H&E North discusses the reasonable steps that any corporate organiser should take to run a safe event.
As an event organiser you will have the primary responsibility for the health and safety of your employees, third party contractors and the all-important attendees. It is important to consider the necessary regulations in advance and during the planning stages to identify, control and eliminate any possible dangers. Regardless of the size of the venue, big or small, it is essential that your health and safety considerations are fit for purpose.
The responsibility of the duty holder, first and foremost, is to ensure that you have taken ‘reasonable steps’ to prevent accidents or harm to your attendees by undertaking that all-important, but easy-to-overlook, risk assessment, considering the size of the event, duration, location and time of year.
Compose a list of all the possible hazards with consideration to attendees, staff, members of the public and even the venue itself. Make a note next to each risk how they can be mitigated and eliminated and if they require urgent action, what emergency procedures are required. To help identify the severity of a risk, use a rating scale of 1-5. During this phase, you should liaise with all stakeholders, including venue/ landowners, local authorities, neighbouring businesses, event staff, local residents and emergency services to gain valuable insight in to the health and safety of your event. Be sure to provide the relevant people with the necessary information about what to do in the case of an emergency and how to minimise any threats.
Some emergency risks to consider include:
• Weather (Is the electrical equipment weatherproofed? Is the wind a risk to the stability of the structures? Could the floor become a slip hazard when wet?)
• Crowd Management (Is there risk of overcrowding? How to handle aggressive behaviour?)
• Electrical and wiring (Are cables and guy ropes routed in a manner that will minimise tripping hazards and damage the equipment?)
• Catering (Are hot surfaces isolated from the public? Is there suitable fire-fighting equipment?)
H&E North recommends to consult appropriate legal advice and before proceeding with any event.