As the event organiser you are responsible for the safety of everyone who participates, whether they are working at the event, servicing the event or attending as a visitor.
Event Risk Management
Through the process of risk management planning, your goal is to identify the potential hazards - the elements that can cause harm - and put measures in place to eliminate or reduce them. There are, of course, some eventualities that can’t be controlled and assigning responsibility for managing such instances is a critical part of the planning process.
There are five key steps in the Event Risk Management Process:
- Identifying the hazards associated with event activities
- Identifying the risks associated with each hazard
- Developing Hazard Controls
- Preparing an Event Risk Assessment and Control document.
- Preparing an Emergency Management Plan
Identifying the hazards
Undertaking a risk assessment should be a very thorough process and it helps to have the assistance of others who are involved in different aspects of the event to identify potential hazards you may not have thought of.
Work through every aspect or element of the event, for example the site itself, the infrastructure, operational and production elements, and emergency management, and identify what aspects could cause harm to people, infrastructure and the event itself. An example of a hazard might be someone tripping over an uneven section of land you’ve identified on the event site. What could happen? Someone could potentially be injured. You many choose to use the template below as a guide in the preparation of your Event Assessment and Control document.
Identify the risks
The risk of a hazard occurring is the chance, high, medium or low, for the hazard to actually occur. When working through each hazard you identify, you need to consider not only what the risk of it occurring is but also the consequences if it does occur. For example if your event is held in July the risk, or chance, of rain, is reasonably high. How would rain affect your event? Would it ruin everything or could undercover areas keep your event ticking along? The combination of likelihood and consequences will be your guide as how to treat each hazard or whether to proceed with the activity/element at all.
Develop Hazard Controls
Once a hazard has been identified and its risk considered, you will need to think through what action can be taken to ‘treat’ that hazard. Can the hazard be reduced or perhaps even eliminated with the right approach? Or is the risk just too high and the hazard has to be removed altogether? Think about who in the event team is best placed to deal with each hazard and assign responsibility to them. Also consider who will have responsibility for the ongoing monitoring of that hazard. For example the risk of back injury to staff setting up and working at your event is always present, but with the right training and an event staff member monitoring at regular intervals, the chance of injury is significantly reduced.
Preparing your Event Assessment and Control Document
It is always best practice to think through the hazards that might arise at your event and what action will be taken to mitigate them. Depending on the size of your event and the activities that are planned, you may be required to prepare an Event Assessment and Control Document as a condition of your Event in Public Space permit.
Event Risk Assessment and Control Document
The downloadable template below is an example of how this document could be presented. Please be mindful that each event will differ in its requirements and the event documentation will need to be tailored to reflect the size, scope and other particularities of the event.
Event Emergency Management
Preparing an Emergency Management Plan
The purpose of an Emergency Management Plan is to clearly outline the steps that will be taken if there is an emergency during your event.
Regardless of the size or scope of your event, your Emergency Management Plan needs to identify:
- the potential emergencies that might arise
- what procedures would be taken in the event of those emergencies occurring and
- who will be responsible for managing those emergency situations.
The Emergency Management Plan should be clear, concise and easy to use and follow. It is vital that all key staff are familiar with the plan, have a copy of it (or know where to find one), and are kept up to date with any changes to procedures.
At minimum, an Emergency Management Plan should include:
- emergency services contact list
- key event staff and contractors contact list
- emergency response plan to each type of emergency listed and
- site plans highlighting:
- evacuation routes and marshalling points
- emergency service access and egress routes
- location of fire extinguishers, fire blankets and first aid kits/posts.
The downloadable template below is an example of how this document could be presented. Again, please be mindful that each event will differ in its requirements and the event documentation will need to be tailored to reflect the size, scope and other particularities of the event.
Download Emergency Management Plan template
Some useful resources on developing safe events include: