When planning an event, health and safety should be considered from the outset. As an event organiser, it is you responsibility to make sure your staff and visitors are kept safe throughout set up, breakdown and the event itself. Your duties include:
- taking steps to reduce risks
- co-ordinating work activities and contractors
- ensuring staff competence
- monitoring and reviewing health and safety
Planning your event
During the planning stage of holding an event you should:
- Appoint a competent person for health and safety – this could be yourself, a staff member or someone from outside your business.
- Write a health and safety policy – it should set out who does what, when and how.
- Carry out a health and safety risk assessment – this will help you decide what safety measures you need to put in place.
There are number of risks to consider when planning an event:
- Fire safety – it is your responsibility as an event organiser to control the risk of fire at your event. See fire safety and risk assessment.
- Electrical safety – you should ensure that any electrical equipment at your event is properly selected, installed and maintained.
- Equipment safety – ensure that any equipment you use, including tools, structures and computers, is suitable for the job and well maintained. See safety of workplace machinery equipment and tools.
- Falls from a height – you should reduce the risk of falls, particularly during site construction. See work safely at height or in a confined space.
- Waste – you must make sure that any waste is disposed of safely. Take care that waste does not accumulate and cause an obstruction. See duty of care for business waste.
- Noise – you must take precautions against your workers or the audience being exposed to dangerous levels of noise.
Staff, contractors and training
It is important to involve your workers in health and safety planning and management. You should consult your employees on health and safety to help you spot and control risks.
You should provide health and safety training and information to everyone working for you, including contractors. All workers should be trained on hazards and risks, measures to deal with risks and how to follow emergency procedures.
When selecting a contractor to work with, you should make sure they:
- show an understanding of health and safety risks
- can demonstrate their staff are adequately trained and competent
- have enough resources to carry out the work
- can prove they have previously carried out work safely and successfully
Monitoring and review
Throughout the event, it is your responsibility to monitor health and safety compliance. Use your risk assessment as a basis for checks.
After the event is over, it is a good idea to review any problems or successes. This will allow you to make improvements for future events. You can include other organisations as part of this debrief. This could include your local council, the police or fire service - if they were involved in managing aspects of the event’s health and safety.