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With the relaxing of Covid restrictions, large scale events are once again back on the agenda. From 50 to 50,000 people, you can count on Acorn Health & Safety to provide practical solutions to ensure safety at your event including a Covid risk assessment.

There are lots of health and safety issues to take into consideration when organising events, not least the fact that anything that involves the general public is more difficult to manage safely! We can advise on contractor management, medical provision, general safety, fire, security and attend Safety Advisory Group (SAG) meeting where required.

We have a have a network of organisations that ‘make events’ from general infrastructure through to glamping and specialists in the work of pyrotechnics, event management, and ticketing.

If you are arranging an event (large or small) then you must make sure that you have allowed enough time to plan the event thoroughly. 

There are a lot of health and safety issues and COVID guidance to consider when organising an event. Anything that involves the general public makes is more difficult to manage safely!

Here we have outlined some areas that you need to take into consideration during your planning process:

  • Organisers: Allocate an events team to help and support you with the whole process. Delegate tasks to individuals.
  • Identify: The scale of the event. What type of event is it? How many people are likely to attend? Where will you hold it and how long will it be running? The time of day and season the event will be held can affect accessibility (natural lighting, wet ground in bad weather etc)
  • Permissions: For some events, you may need a license and other permissions from your local council. This includes everything from road and footpath closure notices through to the licensing of regulated entertainment, alcohol and premises. When you are still at the planning stage, contact your local council and/or the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to see what licenses or special permissions may apply.
  • Risk assessments: Assess all aspects of the event. It should cover everything from setting up the event, how people will arrive/leave, the staff running the event and equipment that will be used right through to clearing up after the event. Don’t forget to refer to your Covid risk assessment so you can cross check everything is covered. You may find it more manageable to do multiple smaller risk assessments each covering a specific area. We recommend you include (at the very least):
  1. Entertainment (such as amusements and attractions, noise management)
  2. The Venue including the event site, access and egress, traffic management and car parking
  3. Temporary structures such as staging, marquees and fencing
  4. Crowd management for the duration (from the minute they arrive to when they leave)
  5. Deliveries – where will they go?
  6. Electrical safety (ensuring all electrics are PAT tested)
  7. Fire
  8. Food Hygiene (if using external caterers, they will have their own risk assessments which you can incorporate into yours)
  9. Employee welfare (when guests are on or off site)
  10. Waste handling and arranging removal of waste
  • Emergency plans: An emergency plan should include anything that will need acting upon such as a fire, explosion, extreme weather conditions, flood, crowd problems and accidents. Ensure you name the individuals who are responsible in any type of emergency and the roles they will play such as security, marshals, stewards and medical providers, and any others who have specific duties. The plans should also cover when and how evacuation of the area will take place and whether the emergency services need to be involved, not just during an emergency but do they need to be involved with the initial planning?
  • Insurance: Look into event insurance and list possible reasons for which the event could be cancelled and ensure you obtain the right coverage.

Local authorities (councils) are usually responsible for enforcing health and safety law at events however there are a few notable exceptions where the HSE are the enforcing authority:

  • The erection and dismantling of temporary demountable structures (TDS) such as stages and grandstands (but not small marquees and similar tents – these are enforced by local authorities)
  • Fairgrounds
  • Broadcasting – radio and television

All current health and safety legislation is relevant to any event, including the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO), the Licensing Act 2003 and the Civil Contingencies Act 2004.

Although we do not offer any courses specifically on Running Events, we do offer the three day IOSH Managing Safely course (which includes details on managing health and safety in the workplace), consultancy, Risk assessment training and have considerable event experience gained over the last 20 years,

For further details and information please contact us