Health, Safety and Safeguarding for Events

This page has information on

  1. Risk Assessments for your event including COVID risks
  2. Emergency Procedures
  3. Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults
  4. Public Liability

1. Risk Assessment for your Event.

Please consider how to make your event safe. You can create a very simple risk assessment, to help you manage any risks – use this risk assessment form here from the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) risk-assessment-template-2019


Wiltshire Council have a useful page to look at possible risks to consider relevant to COVID when organising an outdoor event see here:

See information  from the Health Safety Executive (HSE) about how to assess and manage risks relating to COVID here

Implementing health and safety

As the event organiser, you are responsible for managing your staff, suppliers, and attendees to ensure they are not exposed to risk at the event, from set-up to close. Provide staff with relevant information during the site induction. This should include information such as site hazards, speed limits and parking, first aid, toilets, and wash facilities, and emergency arrangements.

Monitor risks throughout your event by creating a checklist and having a nominated individual/s responsible for checking at regular intervals.

See this useful Health and Safety Guide from Eventbrite – See  here for guide

As an event organiser, you have a duty of care – to both your attendees and your staff. The larger your event, the more important health, and safety, but even for small events it should still be a consideration. This means taking reasonable steps to prevent harm coming to anyone involved in your event and forward planning in case of any emergency situations that could arise. Conducting a risk assessment might seem like a daunting prospect, but it doesn’t have to be a big, bureaucratic process – it’s ultimately about being conscientious and applying common sense.

2. What happens in an emergency?

Also, think about your emergency procedures – aspects to consider include:

  • Raising the alarm – how will you communicate the emergency with staff and volunteers?
  • Informing the public – do you have an adequate public address system? What is the procedure for stopping (and restarting) the show?
  • Onsite emergency response – are there fire extinguishers? Do you need security staff?
  • Summoning and liaising with the emergency services – who will be your point of contact and how will you assist the emergency services?
  • Crowd management, including evacuation – how will you move people away from immediate danger to a place of safety? Don’t forget to take people with limited mobility and children into consideration.
  • Traffic management – how will emergency vehicles gain access to the site? How will vehicles leave the site in the event of an emergency?
  • Providing first aid – are their sufficient medical provisions?
  • Handling casualties – how will patients be taken to a hospital? Will there be ambulances onsite?

3.  Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults

The NSPCC have issued a guide for Safer Activities and Events which is useful to read

It is likely you have your own safeguarding policy: make sure that you have a lead person on the day, and that all volunteers are aware of risks for children and vulnerable adults, and report any concerns to the lead person.

NSPCC Safe Events Briefing for staff safe-events-briefing

4. Public Liability Insurance

From Government guide for voluntary organisations running an event

This insurance covers the organisers of an event providing them with financial protection if they are held to blame for injury to a person or for loss or damage to property and sued.

You can buy different levels of cover, from £1 million upwards. This seems a lot but costs are relatively low, sometimes as little as £50 or £60. How much you need varies according to:

  • the type of event and activities you are planning
  • how many people will attend

If you are unsure, talk to your own insurer or an insurance broker who will be able to advise you.

You do need to be sure that the policy you buy covers all the activities you want included, so be open and clear with the insurer or broker you talk to. And make sure that you check the terms of the policy and in particular any exclusions.

You can find a specialist insurance broker on the internet or on the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) website.