Detailed planning and common sense goes far towards reducing the likelihood that someone will be injured at an event. Unfortunately, despite thorough preparations and appropriate precautions, there is still the possibility that some injuries or property losses may occur. Although they cannot be eliminated completely, having the appropriate risk assessment and contingency plans can minimize the severity of injuries and damage with planning and teamwork. This blog post is aimed at giving some tips to event planners with regards to safety.

Before I begin I must differentiate between hazard and risk as this sometimes can confuse some event planners; According to the Event Safety Guide, a hazard is anything which has the potential to cause harm to people. Whereas risk is the likelihood that the harm from a hazard is realised and the extent of it. In a risk assessment, risk should reflect both the likelihood that harm will occur and its severity.

* Firstly, observe your venue make notes of your concerns and ask questions, no question is too silly! Check the exits and look for areas you may deem as potential hazards for your event. After this you can sit down and with a lot of thought and knowledge of the venue put together your risk assessment plan.

* Got through your five steps to risk assessment; identify the hazards, those people who may be harmed, identify existing precautions, evaluate the risks and likelihood then finally determine what measure that need to be imposed.

* What are the hazards you noticed at the event site in the various locations? Think about lighting and ventilation, food safety, fire evacuation procedures, lost children! electrical safety, slipping, tripping and falling. If it’s a larger scale event, things like fireworks and pyrotechnics, temporary structures and violence are things to consider.

* My top tip will be always choosing the right venue for “Your Event” not the other way round! Find a venue that can adapt to your event needs.

* Venue capacity is a major health and safety issue for event planners, getting the numbers right is key. Many event locations and spaces will have a different capacity so being able to monitor number in and out is key when trying to avoid the risk of overcrowding.

* Think about your event format and layout, make sure your exits and entrances are kept clear and unobscured.

* On the day make sure you have your health and safety checklist inspecting all areas prior to your guest arrival…Good Luck!

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Written by Phoebe Benta