Creating an Event Safety Plan

Part of the Event Management For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

One of your most important roles in event management is to ensure that people are safe at your event. Create an event safety plan well in advance of any large or public-facing events. Depending on how much time you have been given from your client for the whole planning process, ideally create this plan a few months in advance, then circulate it to the following groups:

  • The client

  • The venue management

  • The police

  • The fire and rescue service

  • The ambulance service

  • The local enforcement authority

It’s not unusual for several drafts of the event safety plan to be produced to take account of all the safety elements of the event and the associated procedures. Don’t worry if you’re on version 6 by the time it’s approved!

The event safety plan contains information under the following headings:

  • Event overview: This is to help put into context what the event is for and for whom. Referring back to your original brief will help you write this section.

  • Venue overview: This should cover information such as the contact/directional details, a floor plan and any specific access information.

  • Risk assessment: This shows all readers that you have considered all the potential risks, but more importantly how you are minimising or removing those risks.

  • Event health, safety and welfare: There are various methods that can be used to ensure your team’s and guest’s welfare at your event. The reader of this document will not need to know every individual plan, but more an overview that you are aware of what is required and any specific details that may be pertinent to the local authorities.

  • Stage, temporary structures and infrastructure: Provide an overview of any major structure, of their manufacturer and any health and safety notes such as wind speed ratings.

  • Electrical systems: Information on the level of power that is required and how this is being provided and maintained on site.

  • Food, refreshments and traders: You are likely to provide food not only for your guests but also for your crew. Give information in the event safety plan about the food – not whether it will be lamb or chicken, but how many caterers you will have on site and the types of food-preparation techniques they will be using.

  • Waste disposal: Detail your plan for this – whether you will be having recycling bins, how often these will be emptied and whether you are employing litter pickers, for example.

  • Security/stewarding: Include information on how many staff will be on site and any particular processes they will need to follow. There is information earlier in this chapter on different security options.

  • Crowd/traffic management: This will be of particular interest to the local authorities who will want to ensure that you have taken adequate precautions to manage large movements of people. See later in this chapter for methods of crowd management at events.

  • Organisation and contractors: You should include a little information on the people you’re going to have on site in your event safety plan. An organisation chart helps show outside readers how your on-site team will be structured and who will be responsible for what.

  • Communications: Provide a basic overview of your communication plan in your event safety plan.

  • Medical/first aid provision: Detail who on site will be available to provide first aid attention and how they can be contacted.

  • Fire precautions and equipment: Your health and safety advisor and production manager will be able to help you fill in this section of the event safety plan. Readers will want to know what your exit routes are, how many extinguishers you have, where they are and who will use them in case of an emergency.

  • Sanitary accommodation: Include information on how many toilets are provided and how often they will be serviced during your event.

  • Emergency procedures: This is an area where the local authorities will want to see lots of detail and feel confident that you are responsible enough to deal with emergencies on site.

  • Event inspection: Cover when and who will inspect your site and sign off the site in terms of structures and health and safety.

  • Accident reporting and investigation: An overview of your process needs to be included.

  • Provisions for people with special needs: Adhering to the Equality Act is important. See earlier in this chapter for some basic pointers. Provide information in your event safety plan as to what visitors with various special needs will need to do.

  • Contingency plans: Show the local authorities that you have considered all the main potential issues by putting contingency plan examples in your event safety plan.

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