a step by step guide to safety at events, fêtes, fairs, car boot sales, indoor and outdoor fundraisers, craft shows etc. page updated 4 Mar 2017
See our step-by-step guides to:
|Is this for you?||...read on|
|No scapegoats!||...the buck stops with you!|
|Plan your event||...you gotta have a plan, Sam|
|Evaluating any risks||...danger, danger, Will Robinson|
|Preparing for Emergencies||...contingencies, belts and braces|
|Let's get organised||...don't overdo that committee thing!|
|Who to contact prior...||...you're more than a number in my little black book ;-)|
|Prepare the Site and facilities||...special guide to doing it in public|
|People are People too||...lost souls, special needs, and erm.. biological functions|
|Stewards' duties||...the nameless officials who make it all happen|
|Pre- and During-Event checklist||...did I leave the cooker on? Or last minute checks|
|Recommended reading||...for the specifics|
If you're using health and safety consultants, use this guide to confirm they're on the ball!
You can easily have
your logo or brand message rendered onto props
Preparing for Emergencies
Ok, you carried out your risk assessments on the attractions and activities but you haven't finished yet. You must also consider what could go wrong on the day and draw up a Contingency Plan to deal with each one.
In this written plan, make sure you cover what you'll do in the event of emergencies such as a fire, accident, crowd disturbance, bomb scare, very bad weather, the need to evacuate the site and so on.
Make sure your Plan includes:
Keep your Contingency Plan with and as a part of your Safety Manual.
Discuss and agree your Contingency Plan with the emergency services and give them a copy of the completed document. If anything changes, make sure you update them with the new version.
Let's get organised
Start getting your organisation together several months before the event - you'll find the best time is at the early stages of planning. This will give you time to carry out your risk assessments and obtain specialist advice where necessary.
It also gives the authorities (police, fire and ambulance services and the local authority) and the voluntary organisations (such first aid and drug awareness societies and so on) time to make their arrangements, especially if they need to attend the event. This is very important during the summer months when there may be several events taking place on the same day.
Even if you have safety consultants, form a Committee with responsibility for the smooth and safe operation of the event - make sure your consultants are represented. But don't go overboard, less is definitely more when it comes to committees :-)
One person should be in overall charge of the event.
A suitably competent person should be appointed to act as the Safety Officer for the event with overall responsibility for safety matters (though overall responsibility for the event remains with the organising committee).
This person should be trained or have experience or knowledge of safety matters appropriate for the event. You must take into account the size and nature of the event and the possible level of risks when selecting someone.
Someone with personal experience and knowledge may be adequate for a small indoor event. For large or complex events you may need professional help and advice. Some assistance may be available from your local authority
During the event the Safety Officer or a nominated deputy should:
Who to contact prior...
Get in contact with the following people at an early stage of planning and keep them updated along the way. Their experience, advice and help will be invaluable.
Contact the Police Station local to the site, and arrange to let them have details of the event in writing. Make sure you include the layout with entrances and exits marked and also how many people you are expecting. They will give advice and may assist with crowd control, public order, emergency access and local traffic management and parking. You might also get advice and assitance for local traffic management from your local authority.
Contact the Fire Safety Office local to the site. They will give you advice on fire safety matters, including how to call the emergency services and marshalling of spectators and traffic in emergency conditions.
They'll also advise you on local access for emergency vehicles and provision of on-site fire-precautionary and fire-fighting arrangements. Expect a site visit by their safety officers.
Contact the St Johns Ambulance, British Red Cross or other voluntary first aid society. Arrange for them to attend and provide first aid cover. Remember, you may have to pay for this service.
Inform the statutory Ambulance Service for the area if yours is a large event. They will be responsible for establishing a casualty assessment centre in the event of a major incident and deciding the hospital to which any casualties will be taken.
If you are having the sort of event where large numbers of youths are expected, seriously consider having drug advisors and counsellors on hand. You should find local volunteer organisations who are willing to provide a presence. Site them next to your first aid point.
AA / RAC
These motoring organisations can assist in providing direction signs to your event. You may like to consider this option if you expect enough people to be travelling from outside the locality. You'll have to pay for this service, though.
Your local council is a good source of advice. You can get help from your council's various departments on the following:
Public Liability Insurance
As organisers you could be held legally liable for the costs or damages for any injuries and other mishaps that which may occur during the event.
You can get insurance via a public liability insurance policy. It is generally accepted that this insurance should cover you for a minimum of £2 million. For larger or riskier events you may need a greater level of cover. If you don't have this cover, any claim could be made against all the organisers and their private finances.
If the worst happens and someone is injured or property damaged, you must record full details of the incident and report it to your insurers without delay. If something happens, difficult as it may be, don't say sorry or admit liability as it may invalidate your cover.
If you are using specialist contractors, check that they've got their own public liability insurance and that they comply with any policy terms and conditions. If you're unsure, ask to see a copy of their policy.