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All you need to know about the new Purple Guide to Health & Safety

The new Purple Guide aimed at helping event organisers understand the legislation and guidelines of event health and safety was launched on the 18/03/14 in Portcullis House in Westminster. The launch itself was sponsored by IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health).

After 4 years of deliberation between the Events Industry Forum (EIF), which encompasses both professional and trade bodies from all areas of the events sectors, industry leaders believe that the latest edition of the document could act as a benchmark for events worldwide.

So what exactly is the Purple Guide to Health, Safety and Welfare at Music and Other Events?

The Purple Guide, which was written by experts within the event industry, with Government guidance, was originally a 21 chapter document, first published in 1992, aiming to help companies, organisations and individuals who organise live events, such as the Glastonbury and V Festival, to ensure that the event runs safely. The document itself has now been revamped and includes 23 chapters (outlined below) and may be expanded over the summer.

The beauty of the Purple guide is that it goes beyond the standard Health and Safety at Work Act, covering not only health and safety legislation, but industry specific good practice and legislation such as Fire Safety and alcohol licensing. 

As we pointed out in our post announcing the availability of the new guide, it is essential to keep in mind that it is precisely that, a guide, a starting point providing advice on organising a safe event. Our specialism in live event health and safety can help you interpret and implement the advice contained within the guide. 

Who will find the guide useful?

  • Event Organisers
  • Student Unions
  • Local Authorities
  • Health and Safety Enforcement Officers
  • Emergency Services
  • Land Owners
  • Event Contractors
  • Events Management Students
  • Community Events Organisers

A brief overview of the guide

As we say, the new guide has been expanded to encompass 23 chapters outlining the legislation and guidelines of Health, Safety and Welfare at Music and Other Events. The chapters of the document are as follows:

  1. Health and safety legislation
  2. Planning, management and risk assessments
  3. Venue and site design
  4. Contingency and emergency planning
  5. Medical
  6. Communication
  7. Transport Management
  8. Working at height
  9. temporary demountable structures
  10. Fire Safety
  11. Electrical and lighting
  12. Barriers and fencing
  13. Crowd management
  14. Special Events
  15. Amusements
  16. Waste management
  17. Noise
  18. Sanitation
  19. Campsites
  20. Information and welfare
  21. Food, drink and water provision
  22. Safeguarding children and young people
  23. Animal welfare

Reaction to the guide

MP Nick De Bois, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group for events, claims that the detailed health and safety guide for events could act as inspiration for other nations.

"There is no reason why this should not set the world standard," he said at the launch. "It is not just there so we can tick boxes and be confident we have done what is necessary; this is actually an aid and an assistance." 

He added "It is vital that the high standards of creativity are reach with the highest standards of safety. Good business should be safe business for visitors, participants and suppliers."

More information about the Purple Guide

For more information of how you can download the Purple Guide, visit

For more information about our The Events Safety (Purple) Guide Training, please contact us here