Considerations for Health and Safety While Organising events
Organizing events is a very stressful but fulfilling task once the event goes on smoothly. As explained by events company Manchester, for events to proceed without blunder or disaster (hopefully not!), a lot of health and safety considerations must be taken into account when organizing events. Event organizers have the ultimate responsibility for the success of the event, and they must be considering many things while planning the event including the safety of the attendees. For the security, health, and safety of the event, here are some tips to assess potential dangers that could hinder the success of the event:
Assess the Programme and Venue
It is important that the event has a rough or final program to ensure that the considerations and other assessments will not go to waste. Ensure that the program includes all activities that will be done and that there is an estimated number of attendees and their profile (e.g. mostly children, mostly elderly). Having considered this, one could assess the suitability of the venue via prior research and an actual inspection. Factors to consider include:
- Capacity – You must know if the capacity can handle the estimated number of attendees without sacrificing their comfort and safety.
- Convenience – Is the venue too hard to reach by the target audience? How does one commute there? Is there enough private car parking? Depending on the nature of the event, one might need easy access to emergency personnel (e.g. circus shows).
- Hazards – You must check common hazards such as the integrity of the structure (damaged ceilings, damaged power lines, etc.), the general safety of the area, and similar considerations.
After doing these assessments and the planned venue seems okay, the next step in organizing events that will consider health and safety is to draft a site map and make sure that it is detailed enough and everyone in the organizing team has a copy.
Create A Risk Assessment
Now that the venue has been assessed, you must consider possible hazards and the magnitude of the risks they present. Using scales to quantify the risk is also recommended.
The top hazards for events include:
- Equipment Hazards – Depending on the nature of the event, one must see if vital equipment poses any risk (e.g. electrical shock) to the attendees or if the attendees might damage the equipment.
- Crowd Control Hazards – Is there a chance that a stampede might occur? Will the crowd be sober or drunk throughout the event?
- Weather hazard – Check if the event date falls on a stormy day. This hazard might result in the postponement of the event depending on the severity of the weather.
Draft an Emergency Plan
Once the hazards have been identified and classified according to their severity, you must draft an emergency plan in the event that the hazards or feared incidents might occur. This is to add a safeguard to the integrity and smoothness of the event. Organizing events includes the need to be prepared for any untoward incident. The emergency procedures to be followed must be known to all key personnel (e.g. operators, ushers, security staff). Vital information such as potential hazards, traffic and parking guidelines, location of first aid stations, potential evacuation sites and nearest hospital(s) must be known. It is also suggested that signs and announcements be made before the event to inform the attendees.
Organizing events need not be stressful. Being well-prepared and taking into consideration health and safety issues during preparation can give you peace of mind.