Risk assessment template and guidance
If you are planning an event, you need to carry out a risk assessment to identify the hazards and risks associated with the event and to plan for them.
- A hazard is anything that can cause harm.
- A risk is the likelihood of that harm being caused.
The best way to do this is as part of a risk assessment, in which you will list what might cause harm to people at your event, and outline reasonable steps you will take to take to prevent that harm. Once you have identified the risks, you then need top put the appropriate actions/controls into place to reduce the risks.
When putting your risk assessment together, consider these key factors which can contribute to the level of risk:
- How many people do you expect to attend the event? E.g. more than 500 people.
- What is the demographic profile of the attendees likely to be? E.g. high numbers of children, elderly.
- Will the event include a fireworks display, the use of animals for rides or for demonstrations, fairground rides, water sports, vehicle displays or acrobatics? These are activities that are associated with risk and so need tighter controls, their own risk assessments, and the use of competent and qualified contactors.
- Will alcohol be available at the event? Will a premises licence or temporary event notice (TEN) be needed? Implementation of ‘Challenge 25’, age related sales, prevention of public disorder etc.
- Are there likely to be transportation issues e.g. will large numbers of people arrive at the same time increasing traffic congestion on the roads and car parks? Is extra provision for car parking needed and signage to direct people to event?
- Consider the suitability and conditions of the site chosen e.g. close to residents that are sensitive to noise, ground conditions – is it prone to water logging, can heavy goods vehicles negotiate the terrain to deliver equipment etc.?
- Will there be temporary structures such as marquees, gazebos, staging, funfair rides, and inflatables? How will these be checked to ensure they are suitable for use, properly installed to prevent collapse etc?
- Will adverse weather e.g. heavy rain, strong winds, snowfall, extreme temperature, be an issue?
- Will vehicles need to interact in the same place as pedestrians? Will road closures be required? Will the event include a procession? How will pedestrians and vehicles be separated to prevent collisions and injuries?
- Will it include the use of electrical and gas equipment e.g. lighting, sound systems, generators, cooking equipment etc. Is equipment going to be installed by a competent person, will it be suitable for use in weather conditions, how will the public be protected, what checks will be carried out?
Detailed preparation and planning is essential to hosting a safe and successful event. This will enable you to pre-empt any specific issues and how they will managed. This forms part of your emergency planning. Some of the issues to consider are:
- How you will cope with extreme weather conditions?
- How will participants leave the event in an emergency and how will the emergency services gain access?
- Will the event need barriers and will they affect the means of escape?
- Fire safety arrangements – consider the arrangements in place to prevent fire, provision of firefighting equipment, means of escape etc.
- First aid and medical provision - provision of adequate facilities e.g. first aiders, ambulances, etc., dependent on number of persons attending event.
Consideration must also be given to the environmental hazards and how times and duration of the event may impact on the local community. For example:
- Is amplified music or the noise generated by large crowds of people going to impact on residential properties, resulting in noise complaints and subsequent enforcement action?
- Waste management – the provision of bins, removal of waste, litter picking and street cleansing to restore street and parks after the event.
- Welfare facilities – are a suitable number of sanitary facilities going to be available, will they be checked and properly maintained throughout the event?
- Food safety – consider adequacy and food hygiene standards of mobile caterers and food stalls.
- Poster advertising – it is illegal to fly post on private property, structures, paving and street furniture.