Public event risk assessment

To ensure the health, safety and welfare of any employees, volunteers, contractors, participants and the public, you should firstly carry out detailed risk assessments.

Event risk assessment template form

Risk assessments are divided into five stages.

1. Identify the activities

Where the event consists of more than one attraction e.g. fun run, fancy dress, ride out, etc. the event organiser will need to undertake a written risk assessment for each activity in the event.

2. Identify the hazards

The Event Organiser will need to look at each activity and then identify all the significant foreseeable hazards associated with it. A 'hazard' is something that could cause harm or loss. It is worth noting that drawing up a site plan can aid the identification of hazards.

3. Identify who could be harmed

The Event Organiser will then have to identify who could be harmed from these hazards and the likelihood of this harm occurring. Persons who may be affected by a hazard include:

  • Stewards
  • Children and/or elderly
  • Employees
  • Disabled persons
  • Volunteers
  • Potential trespassers
  • Contractors
  • Local residents
  • Vendors
  • Exhibitors and performers
  • Expectant mothers
  • Members of the public

4. Controlling the risk

The Event Organiser will need to identify if the risks are adequately controlled i.e. by complying with recognised safety standards and taking all reasonable precautions to ensure the event takes place safely. It is worth noting that, to determine if a risk is adequately controlled, you will need to identify the possible outcome should you do nothing, i.e. the possible severity of injury or loss should an incident occur. If the risk is deemed insignificant, no further actions are necessary. If the risks are not adequately controlled, you must then decide on what further action(s) that you can take to reduce the risks to a suitable level. These controls will then be written into your event plan.

5. Monitor and review risks

Due to varying circumstances, rarely do events exactly meet the requirements of the original event plan and because of this, the Event Organiser may need to amend the risk assessments prior to the event commencing. The event plan would then require updating accordingly. For annual events, the risk assessments should be reviewed after the event at a debriefing meeting and amended accordingly, ready for the following year. It must not be taken for granted that the risk assessments will still be adequate in future years, they will still require reviewing and amending where necessary. In addition, any contractors involved in the event should also carry out risk assessments and where relevant, you should obtain copies of these.

Fire Risk Assessments

There is a legal requirement for Event Organisers to undertake specific fire risk assessments on temporary structures utilised at an event e.g. stands, marquees etc. A fire risk assessment is a methodical look at the temporary structure the risk posed by its intended use, its occupiers, the potential for a fire to occur, the harm it could cause and then analysing whether the fire safety measures are at an acceptable level.