Planning your event: risk assessments

Identifying and dealing with potential hazards - how to write a risk assessment

You are legally responsible for making sure you have a suitable risk assessment. This requirement is set out in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, under Regulation 3 and Regulation 7

You need to include your risk assessment in your Event Management Plan

A risk assessment identifies risks posed either by the site or the activity, to members of the public, people taking part, and employees, including voluntary workers. 

It should also show how these risks can be eliminated or minimised. 

There has to be a site visit, so that any specific hazards can be identified, for example, a dangerous item or substance, condition, situation or activity. 

You also need to do a Fire Risk assessment, as well as any other specific risk assessments required under other regulations, like Noise and Manual handling.

Things to look at in your Risk Assessment

The event 

  • Location
  • Time
  • Duration

The venue

  • Capacity and crowd movement
  • Site location and design
  • Entrances and exits, including emergency access and evacuation routes
  • Support facilities, for example, power supplies, toilets, parking and transport

People attending

  • Profile
  • Configuration, for example, any segregation

Site Construction

  • Structural calculations
  • Use of plant and machinery
  • Use and management of contractors

Fire risk

  • Use of materials
  • Pyrotechnics and special effects
  • Litter and refuse
  • Temporary buildings, concession stands, tents, marquees

Marquees and Temporary Structures

  • Effects of weather
  • Structural stability
  • Fire

Electrical equipment

  • Certificates required

Other things to consider

  • Noise Control (both people on site and resultant noise pollution)
  • Communications
  • First Aid and Welfare
  • Topography of site
  • Crowd dynamics
  • Vehicle movements before, during and after the event
  • Trip hazards
  • Damage to hearing
  • Electrical risk
  • Fire
  • Evacuation of site
  • Alcohol sales
  • Special effects
  • Litter and trade refuse

This is not a full list. You should use it to prompt you to consider any aspects which may impact on the event.

You should get help from a competent person who has the right skills, knowledge and training to make sure your risk assessments are suitable and sufficient.

There is more information on completing Risk Assessments on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.