How do I do an event risk assessment?
You must complete a risk assessment (Links to an external site.) for your event. This will help ensure that your event runs as smoothly and safely as possible. This guide explains how to complete the risk assessment.
Step 1 – Identify the hazards
Plan your event on paper, listing the activities and equipment that will be involved. Then think about the hazards relating to each activity and piece of equipment. A hazard is something with the potential to cause significant harm, such as:
- Any slipping, tripping or falling hazards
- Hazards relating to fire risks or fire evacuation procedures
- Any chemicals or other substances hazardous to health, e.g. dust or fumes
- Moving parts of machinery
- Any vehicles on site
- Electrical safety, e.g. use of any portable electrical appliances
- Manual handling activities
- High noise levels
- Poor lighting, heating or ventilation
- Any possible risk from specific demonstrations or activities
- Crowd intensity and pinch points
This list isn’t exhaustive, and you will need to identify any other hazards related to your event’s activities.
Step 2 – Decide if someone could be harmed and how
For each hazard you identify, list all the groups of people who may be affected. This might be:
§ Disabled people
§ Children and elderly people
§ Potential trespassers
§ Expectant mothers
§ Vendors, exhibitors and performers
§ Local residents
§ Members of the public
The following are examples of areas to consider:
§ Type of event
§ Provision of facilities
§ Potential major incidents
§ Fire, security and cash collection
§ Site hazards including car parks
§ Health and safety issues
§ Types of attendees such as children, elderly persons and the disabled
§ Exhibitors and demonstrations
§ Crowd control, capacity, access and egress and stewarding
§ Amusements and attractions
§ Provision for the emergency services
§ Waste management
Step 3 – Work out the risks
The risk is the likelihood of someone being harmed by the hazard. You need to evaluate your event’s risks and decide whether you have done enough to reduce the risks.
You should list the measures you have already taken to control the risks and decide whether you need to do anything else.
Take into account:
- Any information, instruction and training regarding the event and the activities involved.
- Any laws, codes of good practice and British Standards that apply to your event’s activities and equipment.
- Whether or not your existing control measures have reduced the risk as far as is reasonably practicable.
Further action necessary to control the risk
Classify the risks into high, medium and low. These examples show the type of risk that belongs in each category:
High – An unsecured inflatable being used in bad 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 can’t, then decide what you have to do to reduce the risk to an acceptable level.
- Remove the hazard.
- Prevent access to the hazard, e.g. by guarding dangerous parts of machinery
- Find a substitute for the hazardous activity or equipment
- Use personal protective equipment to reduce the risk – this should be a last resort
Step 4 – Record your findings
You should list your findings on a risk assessment (Links to an external site.) form so that you have a record of all significant hazards, the nature and extent of the risks, and the action required to control them. Keep this for future reference.
Step 5 – Review and revise
Your risk assessments will need to be reviewed and updated if any of the risks change while you are planning the event.
If you identify any significant risks in your risk assessment, you must provide information to all those affected about the risk and the control measures to be put in place.
The Health and Safety Executive’s Five steps to risk assessment (Links to an external site.) guide explains what is involved.
Remember: obtain risk assessments from your vendors, performers, exhibitors etc. for their activities and equipment
Further information can be found on the links below:
Community Events/Special Events (Links to an external site.)
Traffic management (Links to an external site.)
Banners and buntings (Links to an external site.)
* should be 2-3 pages, double spaced. Please include at least two references.