Health and Safety Considerations When Organizing Events
Before launching in-person experiences, Eagle Eye Projects and Events thoughtfully considers the health and safety risks for the event. This way we are resourceful in determining what risks are present and how to address them. Many factors can influence an event’s risk prole, including the location of the venue, the purpose of the event, and the event attendees. This has even become more crucial now because of COVID-19. Eagle Eye Projects and Events assumes that during a global pandemic when there is COVID-19 prevalence in virtually every locale, every event goer and staff member could transmit the virus. Because everyone is a potential transmission risk, taking appropriate safety and risk management measures is crucial. As event organizers, we have a duty of care- to both our attendees and our staff. The larger the 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 from coming to anyone involved in your event and forward planning in case of any emergency situations that could arise. We follow this guide to identify potential hazards in your event and take the necessary steps to protect all parties involved.
Before any event, we:
Conduct a risk assessment and identify how to mitigate those risks.
Review the safety steps and complete our safety checklist to capture what safety and security measures you have considered and selected for your event.
Communicate safety policies and procedures to your attendees and staff.
Review this information regularly in the lead up to your event, and use your safety checklist the day of your event to confirm you’re implementing the selected safety steps.
Below is the in-depth protocol we follow to ensure safety during all our events.
- We assess the suitability of your venue.
Factors we consider are:
Capacity – can your attendees be safely accommodated inside the venue? Will they be standing or seated? Is there room to circulate? Are there pinch points where overcrowding could occur?
Access – is there sufficient access to the event site/venue for pedestrians and vehicles? Are people with disabilities, wheelchairs or pushchairs able to access the venue? Are there enough emergency exits?
Hazards – does the site have any existing hazards, such as overhead electric power lines or buried services that your structures could interfere with? Is it prone to flooding or high winds? Consider ground conditions and topography when positioning any temporary structures.
Facilities – how far away are the nearest hospital and fire station? What are the public transport links like? Consider the infrastructure you need for your events.
Once we have confirmed the suitability of your venue, we draft a site plan indicating where the structures, facilities, fencing lines, entrances, and exits will be. We make the plan available to all contractors, suppliers, and staff working on the event.
- We create emergency plan
Now we think about any risks to safety that might be present at your event and rate their risk level. Using a scale from 1-5, with 1 presenting a negligible risk and 5 presenting a very severe risk. Hazards to be considered include:
Trip or equipment hazards – are there any cables or guy ropes that people could trip over? Is there glass people could bump into? Could people come into contact with generators or other electrical equipment? Is there equipment that could get wet?
Crowd management hazards – could crushing/overcrowding occur? How would aggressive/drunken behaviour be handled? Could people be at risk around roads or car parks?
Crew hazards – how will you protect those working for you from lifting and carrying injuries?
First aid hazards – could people become injured through the activities of your event? What injuries could occur? Could runners suffer heat exhaustion in high temperatures? What would happen if an attendee suffered a heart attack?
Weather hazards – could the ground become slippery when wet? Could the wind pose a risk to the stability of your structures? Could equipment get wet or become overheated?
Environmental hazards – could event activities damage the venue or site? Could rubbish pose a risk to wildlife? Could contamination occur from any spillages?
Fire hazards – how will you control smoking in the venue or onsite? Could campers use barbecues or stoves? Could an electrical fire occur? Are there re extinguishers?
Catering hazards – could ovens or hot water burns cause a risk? How will food allergies be handled? Are the containers for hot food and drink suitable?
Child protection hazards – is there a risk of children becoming lost? Could there be allegations or abuse or neglect – do staff need to be checked?
We write down all possible risks and who is at risk – be it attendees, crew, members of the public, or the venue itself. Then we write down how we will mitigate and manage each risk. This could be just noting basic measures, such as having a first-aider on site and accident report book. We create emergency plan
- We carry out a risk assessment.
It’s important for us to plan for any situations that will require urgent action. This could be anything from a fire to a stage collapsing to even bad weather. We develop emergency procedures to be followed by anyone working on the event and discuss our plans with the venue management. For larger events and/or those not in a fixed venue, we include police, fire and rescue service and the ambulance service in your consultation.
Aspects we consider when developing procedures include:
Raising the alarm – how will we communicate the emergency with staff and volunteers?
Informing the public – do we have an adequate public address system? What is the procedure for stopping (and restarting) the show?
Onsite emergency response – are there fire extinguishers? Do we need security staff?
Summoning and liaising with the emergency services – who will be our point of contact and how will we assist the emergency services?
Crowd management, including evacuation – how will we move people away from immediate danger to a place of safety, not forgetting 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 there sufficient medical provisions?
Handling casualties – how will patients be taken to a hospital? Will there be ambulances onsite?
- We implement health and safety
As the event organizer, we are responsible for managing our staff, suppliers, and attendees to ensure they are not exposed to risk at all the different phases of the event, from set-up to break down.
We provide staff with relevant information during the site induction and ensure suppliers do the same for their employees. This includes information such as site hazards, speed limits and parking, first aid, toilets, and wash facilities, and emergency arrangements. We also provide relevant health and safety information to the public in the form of signage and/or a pre-event announcement.
We monitor risks throughout our events by creating a checklist and having a nominated individual/s responsible for checking at regular intervals. A clear and competently implemented paper trail is one of the best ways we use to mitigate risk. With Eagle Eye Projects and Events, your health and safety is super prioritized at all our events.
Reference: https://www.eventbrite.com/blog/guide-health-and-safety-for-events-ds00/ [accessed 23 August 2023]