Events Risk Assessment Policy

All Group event organisers will need to complete a Risk Assessment of their event. This ensures that the event will run as smoothly and safely as possible. This page explains how to complete the Risk Assessment Form which is required before authorisation for your event will be given.

How to do a Risk Assessment

A risk assessment is simply a careful examination of what, at your event, could cause harm to people, so that you can weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent the likelihood that someone could get hurt or become ill.

Hazard - this is anything that has the potential to cause harm (it could be chemicals, traffic, electricity, obstacles, crowds, food).

Risk - this is the chance that someone could be harmed by the hazards you identify. This risk can be low, medium or high.

The important thing is to decide whether the hazard is significant and whether you have taken adequate precautions to make the risk of the hazard (harming someone) low. This is exemplified in the following example. Electricity can kill so it is a hazard - however if the live components are insulated and metal casings properly earthed then the risk of harm is low.

A full risk assessment should be carried out for all events. This will be a legal requirement in many circumstances and you may be completing an assessment as a part of your usual planning processes. You will be able to submit this risk assessment so you do not have to do it twice.

Download the Risk Assessment Form

Your Risk Assessment will need to be recorded and kept in a safe place and provided to the Group Committee on request.

Step by Step Guide

There are five steps to successfully completing a risk assessment for your event. These steps are detailed below.

Step 1 - Spot the Hazards

Plan your event on paper. Then think about the hazards relating to the individual activities and don't forget any equipment. A hazard is something with the potential to cause harm. Only note hazards that could result in significant harm. The following should be taken into account:

  • Any slipping, tripping or falling hazards.
  • Any vehicles driving onto the site.
  • Poor lighting, heating or ventilation.
  • Hazards relating to fire risks or fire evacuation procedures.
  • Electrical safety e.g. use of any portable electrical appliances.
  • Any possible risk from specific demonstrations or activities.
  • Any chemicals or other substances hazardous to health e.g. dust or fumes.
  • Manual handling activities.
  • Traffic control.
  • Moving parts of machinery.
  • High noise levels.
  • Crowd intensity and pinch points.

This list is by no means exhaustive so you should consider what hazards will be presented at your event.

Step 2 - Decide if someone could be harmed and how

For each hazard identified, list all those who may be affected. Do not list individuals by name, just list groups of people. The following should be taken into account:

  • Stewards.
  • Vendors, exhibitors and performers.
  • Potential trespassers.
  • Employees.
  • Members of the public.
  • Expectant mothers.
  • Volunteers.
  • Disabled persons.
  • Local residents.
  • Contractors.
  • Children and elderly persons.

The following are examples of areas to consider:

  • Type of event.
  • Crowd control, capacity, access and exit and stewarding.
  • Fire, security and cash collection.
  • Potential major incidents.
  • Provision for the emergency services.
  • Health and safety issues.
  • Site hazards including car parks.
  • Provision of first aid.
  • Exhibitors and demonstrations.
  • Types of attendees such as children, elderly persons and the disabled.
  • Provision of facilities.
  • Amusements and attractions.
  • Structures.
  • Waste management.

Step 3 - Work out the risks

The extent of the risk arising from the hazards identified must be evaluated and existing control measures taken into account. The risk is the likelihood of the harm arising from the hazard. You should list the existing controls and assess whether or not any further controls are required. The following should be taken into account:

  • Any information, instruction and training regarding the event and the activities involved.
  • Compliance with legislative standards, codes of good practice and British Standards.
  • Whether or not the existing controls have reduced the risk as far as is reasonably practicable.

Further action necessary to control the risk:

Classify risks into high, medium and low. Examples of risks falling into these categories are as follows:

High: An unsecured inflatable being used in adverse weather conditions by young children.

Medium: A display of animals in a roped off arena.

Low: A mime artist performing amongst the crowd.

For each risk consider whether or not it can be eliminated completely. If it cannot, then decide what must be done to reduce it to an acceptable level. Only use personal protective equipment as a last resort when there is nothing else you can reasonably do. Consider the following:

  • Removal of the hazard.
  • Preventing access to the hazard e.g. by guarding dangerous parts of machinery.
  • Implementing procedures to reduce exposure to the hazard.
  • The use of personal protective equipment.
  • Finding a substitute for that activity/machine etc.

Step 4 - Record your findings

You will need to download the Risk Assessment Form which is available above. The form should be used to record all significant hazards, the nature and extent of the risks, and the action required to control them. Send this in to the council with your application but keep a copy for future reference or use. You could also refer to other documents you may have, such as manuals, codes of practice etc.

Step 5 - Review and revise

If the nature of the risks change during the planning of the event, the risk assessment will need to be reviewed and updated.