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Live Event Health & Safety Planning

Planning for a safe event is holistic, deal with bits and you should not be surprised if you get bitten.

Health and Safety for Live Events - Considerations

Running live events can be a logistical nightmare, with numerous elements to consider and keep on top of, including health, welfare, traffic management, crowd safety, and emergency planning (as well as much more). You cannot just 'cut and paste' systems, they have to be relevant and bespoke. Choosing a company that specialises in health and safety at live events, such as The Safety Organisation allows you to focus on the event itself, leaving those skills where they belong, in qualified, expert hands.

The size and character of the event you are planning will have a direct effect on the nature of the planning process, taking into account, consultation, licensing, the equipment you will need, facilities required, staffing levels and preparation time you will need. You will need to carry out a thorough assessment, including incident and contingency planning to ensure that your event meets all legal standards.

Suitable planning starts at event concept time.

You can start the process with the question WHEN? When is it; season, lighting, temperatures, prevailing weather, working day or otherwise and so-on. This amongst other considerations will have a bearing on your plans and budget.

When choosing your venue, there are a number of aspects that you must consider. Here are just a very few examples - but there are many more.


Taking into consideration the number of emergency exits and their locations within the venue will have a direct impact on your event. You must plan the layout of a site if you are hosting an event outdoors for maximum safety and the comfort of your guests. This can vary, depending upon the type of event and can change at some stage, depending on the type of event. It can be tricky to calculate the correct capacity limit, so having expert advice can help.

Access and Flow

If you have an indoor event planned, then your access points/exits are pretty much decided but they do have an impact upon the internal layout. Once 'gates' are located, the same principal applies for outdoor events, but there are often areas where foot traffic flow can become pinched, so planning for careful placement of facilities is paramount. Clearly marking paths for pedestrians and roads for vehicles is important. These routes must be separated where possible and where they are not, other safe systems must be put into place which achieve the same degree of safety. If you have large vehicles coming on-site, remember that these need space to get in and out. Try to avoid bottlenecks and dead ends where possible.

Surface Conditions

When holding an outdoor event, you must consider the ground that the event will be held on. Large vehicles can cause problems on the ground if there is an issue with bogginess, flooding or repeated use in damp conditions. You should have contingency plans for adverse conditions, including various options for wet surfaces,  clearing kit/salt and grit for frozen and icy conditions and a perhaps even water pumps for flooding. Whether indoors or out, ensure that the 'floor' is suitable for intended loads. 

Placing of Equipment, Facilities and Services

You should ensure that all equipment not in use is placed in a separate area (often known as a boneyard). Any remaining kit should be out of reach of visitors (fencing, security staff etc) and take care with your cable runs to avoid tampering, trips etc. Signpost facilities such as toilets and first aid tents so that they can be found easily. 

To know more;

This is a little taster of the holistic approach to planning an event, to know more, please contact us via any of the links at this site.

Event Safety Passport Training

The Safety Organisation has a Safety Passport training course. This course in live event safety is a nationally recognised qualification which teaching people basic health and safety awareness and helps those involved in live events health and safety to reduce risk and ensure crowd safety.

Managing Safely Training

TSO can also deliver training for managers (event planners) to help you to safely and legally manage planning for the organisation of all aspects of health, safety and welfare at your event. Learn more about 'Managing Safely Training'.