Guide

Events health and safety

Event site and venue safety

As an event organiser, it is your duty to ensure that site or venue of your event is safe for workers and visitors.

Site and venue design

When you are deciding where your event should take place and how it should be set up, you should consider:

  • audience size
  • type of visitors you are expecting, eg young people, families
  • activities taking place at the event
  • site access and infrastructure

Once you have considered these factors, you should visit the venue or site to see if it is suitable. Look at the audience capacity and number of fire exits. Ensure there is suitable access for vehicles and equipment.

Decide if the site is suitable for the number of people you expect. This includes space, load-bearing of the floor and access to and from the site.

Consider how weather will affect the site. For example, heavy rain could cause flooding or high winds could knock over temporary structures.

Keep these factors in mind when you design a site plan. The site plan will include where you will position facilities and structures, eg signage, stages, exits, fencing and toilets. The plan will help you and your contractors contract the site.

You should be aware of the risk and safety considerations of temporary structures such as marquees, seating and stages.

Crowd management and transport

Consider how close the venue or site is to public transport links, parking, major roads and local services. Make sure that any work vehicles can get safe access to the venue.

Crowds pose the risk of crushing between people and structures and trampling underfoot caused by rushing or surging. There are risks relating to thrown objects, climbing on structures and aggressive behaviour.

Venues can pose risks to crowds such as:

  • tripping or slipping due to spillages or obstructions
  • structure collapse
  • vehicles
  • hot cooking equipment and risk of fire
  • crowd congestion and cross flow due to overcrowding or poor site design

You should consider crowd movement and behaviour as part of your health and safety risk assessment.

Use barriers to help influence the flow of crowds, prevent visitors climbing on structures and shield them from hazards. See crowd management.

Facilities

You must provide employee welfare facilities such as washing, changing and toilet facilities. Staff need somewhere clean to eat and drink during breaks. See what workplace facilities do you need to provide?

Consider the facilities you will need to provide for visitors:

  • Toilets – ensure there is enough toilets for the number of visitors and that they are serviced to keep them operational and hygienic.
  • Access for people with disabilities – take to steps to make sure the activities, attractions, paths and toilets can be accessed by disabled visitors. 
  • Catering – make sure all caterers are registered with their local council and gas, fire and food safety are considered.
  • Water – it is good practice to make free drinking water available on site.  The Public Health Agency provide advice to event organisers who require a temporary water supply