Events health and safety

Event safety: planning for emergencies


You should put plans in place for how you will respond to incidents or emergencies at your event. First, you should use your health and safety risk assessment to identify the key risks. Then you should create a plan that outlines your procedures for handling the emergency.

What an emergency plan should include

Your plan should address the following:

  • getting people away from danger
  • dealing with injuries and casualties
  • securing property and assets
  • working with the emergency services

Your plan should put procedures in place for the following:

  • raising the alarm
  • keeping your visitors informed
  • onsite response to emergencies such as fire
  • contacting and working with the emergency services
  • crowd management
  • evacuation, including visitors with disabilities
  • first aid and medical assistance

You should ensure that all workers at the event are aware of emergency produces. The plan should outline who is responsible for implementing procedures and the role of staff.

Incidents and emergencies

If the incident is under control and the risks have been reduced to a tolerable level, your event performances and activities can start again. You should consult with any relevant organisations, such as the emergency services.

If an incident is declared an emergency by the emergency services, your staff and resources will be under the police's authority. This may apply to the entire event or one part of it.


Emergencies may require you to quickly move your visitors away from danger. You should ensure your event site has clear, unobstructed escape routes. You will need to decide on a 'show stop' procedure to end performances and activities and communicate the evacuation process to visitors. You should decide on a safe place (sufficiently far away from danger) where visitors can be moved to. Other things to consider include:

  • signs
  • lighting
  • arrangements for disabled visitors
  • doors and gates