Keeping The Public Safe at Large Events
Public safety always has been – or should have been – the most important priority for any event organiser. From personal safety to protecting people’s possessions and equipment, the organiser has a very important duty of care to all those who take part, staff, visitors, suppliers and more. There are many reasonable steps that you can take to ensure a safe and successful large-scale event.
Well before the event, there should be a thorough assessment of the venue, arrangements and, above all, any potential risks and hazards. Check that the venue is large enough to fit in all anticipated participants and whether there are any areas that might be dangerous if overcrowding was to occur. Can people access and leave the venue safely, even if they have a disability? Check for hazards such as overhead power lines, trailing electrical flexes, teetering piles of boxes or scenery and fire or flooding risks. Are there appropriate medical facilities either on site or nearby? Are children catered for correctly?
In an emergency that requires people to leave the venue, clear line markings and warning signage must be in place to allow a safe exodus. These show people the way out to a safe exit and help them navigate the route around a building when they are trying to remove a risk or guide people away from a hazard such as a fire or a flood. Other line markings can help in an emergency, such as car park markings that show people where to congregate in the event of an evacuation and labels showing the location of medical equipment such as defibrillators or first aid boxes.
Think about barriers
The type of protective barriers used at a large public event is a crucial decision for any event organiser to make. Too flimsy and they won’t protect people against risks such as vehicles going out of control or violence on a sports pitch. Too rigid and you run the risk of people not being able to escape in the event of overcrowding and crushing. They can also impede people’s enjoyment of a large event if they are too high or too bulky. Watch out for trip hazards too around your protective barriers, such as legs that stick out or trailing ropes or wires.
Looking after people may be the top priority, but event organisers will also need to ensure their assets are looked after if they want to maximise profits from the occasion. Expensive items, such as vehicles, machinery, equipment and stock can all be subject to sabotage or theft if left unattended and not adequately guarded. Investing in a strong asset protection system can prove a highly valuable benefit if it means avoiding loss or damage to your expensive kit. Bringing in an expert asset protection company can really help you achieve the perfect set-up that will bring you
peace of mind and keep your valuable machinery, vehicles, equipment and stock safe and sound.
On the day
On the day of the event, the risk assessment must still continue. As an organiser, you are in charge of every single aspect, not least public safety. Even if you have hired people to oversee safety, or have a police presence, you must keep yourself fully aware of what is going on and where safety risks might still be present. This includes the less ’public-facing’ areas like car parks, staffrooms, toilets and washing facilities. Check these areas too, using a checklist to keep track of where you have monitored, and at what time. Check that all signage is still in one piece, readable and not damaged and that your protective barriers are doing their job.