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Detailed planning

Bring everything together by recording the detailed planning for immediately before, during and after the event. (The appendices in part 4 of this guide give more information on some of these topics.)

Organising the event:

Once you have decided on the fundamental objectives behind the activities, then you can start to organise the event in detail. Remember to write things down as you go and to keep the event plan up to date.

Committee. Identify specific responsibilities for all committee members. One person should be identified as the event manager and be responsible for liaison with other organisations such as the local authority and the emergency services. One person, with suitable experience, should be given overall responsibility for health and safety and another person co-ordination and supervision of stewards. This committee should be in operation before, during and immediately after the event.

Liaison. Contact the emergency services and the Council about the proposed event as soon as possible by completing and returning the event notification form. Decide what additional information is required regarding specific activities and make contact with the local authority and/or the relevant organisations.

Site Plan. Draw up a formal plan identifying the position of all the intended attractions and facilities. Plan out and designate the entrance and exit points, circulation routes, vehicle access and emergency evacuation paths.

Emergency Plan. A formal plan should be established to deal with any emergency situations, which may arise during the event. The complexity of this will depend upon the size and nature of the event itself. A simple easy to follow plan will be acceptable for a small event.

You may have to liaise with the emergency services, local hospitals and the local authority emergency planning officer and create a planning team to consider all potential major incidents and how you would deal with them. You will also need to consider who will manage the emergency and liaise with the Emergency Services should an emergency occur.

You will also need to ensure that all those involved in the event are aware of the Emergency Plan and what to do. The Safety Advisory Group may organise a tabletop exercise to test your Emergency Plan prior to the Event.

Temporary Structures. Many events will require temporary structures such as staging, tents, marquees, stalls etc. Decide where this equipment is to be obtained, who will erect it and what safety checks will be required.

The location of any such structures should be identified on the site plan. Consider whether barriers will be required to protect the public against specific hazards such as moving machinery, barbeques, vehicles and any other dangerous displays etc.

In some cases, barriers will need to have specified safety loadings dependant upon the number of people likely to attend. Temporary structures should only be obtained from experienced suppliers.

The standards for lighting, emergency lighting, ingress/egress remain the same for temporary and permanent structures. Organise any special consents you may need from the Council.

Risk assessments. Your risk assessment will be the key document to ensuring the safe planning of your event. It involves a careful examination of each attraction within an event and recording the significant findings. (See Appendix 3 for more detail - A template risk assessment form to record your findings can be provided.)

Follow these basic steps and try not to over-complicate the assessment:

  • Look for the hazards;
  • Decide who might be harmed and how;
  • Evaluate the risks and decide whether any existing precautions are adequate or whether more could be done;
  • Record your findings;
  • Review your assessment and revise as necessary.

Catering. If you are using catering contractors you should obtain a copy of their menu and list of prices to ensure that it suits your event. See Appendix 8 - for further information on Food Safety.

Stewards. See Appendix 11 for further guidance. The risk assessment (see Appendix 3) should identify the minimum number of stewards required. Stewards must be fully briefed on all aspects of the event and be able to effectively communicate with each other, their supervisor, the person responsible for health and safety, and the event manager.

(N.B. Only the Police or a properly authorised/qualified person has the authority to regulate traffic on the public highway. See Off Site Traffic note.)

Crowd control. The type of event and the numbers attending will determine the measures needed. Consider the number and positioning of barriers, stewarding and the provision of public address system(s).

Numbers attending. The maximum number of people the event can safely hold must be established. This may be reduced dependant upon the activities being planned. The numbers of people attending the event may have to be counted on entry to prevent overcrowding.

Remember that one particular attraction e.g. Pop star or band may draw large numbers of visitors. It will also be necessary to establish a crowd profile to assist in stewarding and crowd control.

First Aid and Medical Provision. Appendix 4 provides additional guidance. Medical Services are extremely busy and should be booked well in advance of the Event.

Ensure that the Medical Services provider has a 'Duty Order' detailing the operation of services for the event and a Contingency Plan for Major Incidents. These Plans may require validation and approval by the NHS Ambulance Service.

Lost and Found Children. Plan for a lost and found children's point. This area should be supervised by appropriately trained people. (CRB check for staff working with children.) Written procedure for handing over children to adults should be available.

Provision for those with Special Needs. Specific arrangements should be made to ensure that disabled visitors have adequate facilities, parking and specific viewing areas and can be safely enjoy the event.

Security. Depending upon the nature of the event, specific security arrangements may be necessary, including arrangements for securing property overnight.

Cash collection should be planned to ensure this is kept to a minimum at collection points and that regular collections are made to a secure area. Following your risk assessment, stewards or helpers collecting cash may require money belts or other carrying facilities. Counting and banking arrangements should be given careful consideration.

On-site traffic. Contractors and/or performers vehicles and other traffic should be carefully managed to ensure segregation from pedestrians. It may be necessary to only permit vehicular access at specific times and not during the event itself.

Separate entrances should be provided for vehicles and pedestrians with specific arrangements for emergency vehicle access. Car parking facilities will be required at most events and these will have to be stewarded. Consider where such facilities should be situated.

Off-site traffic. Unplanned and uncontrolled access and egress to a site can result in a serious accident. Traffic control both inside and outside the site should be discussed with the Council's Highway Engineers and the Police.

Adequate signs and directions should be provided in prominent positions on the approaches to the entrances. If road closures, signs on the highway, traffic diversions and/or the placement of cones are required then an application must be made for a traffic regulation order and/or approval from the local authority.

Road Closures/Diversions. Any functions that require a road closure or diversion may need a Road Closure obtainable from the Council (See Appendix 6). You will need to allow 12 weeks.

Public Transport. Consult with the Traffic Manager to establish if existing services will be adequate or possible alteration of existing services.

Contractors. All contractors should be vetted to ensure they are competent to undertake the tasks required of them. Whenever possible personal references should be obtained and followed up. Ask contractors for a copy of their safety policy and risk assessments and satisfy yourself that they will perform the task safely. Always ask to see their public liability insurance certificate, which should provide a limit of indemnity of at least £5 million. Provide contractors with a copy of the event plan and arrange liaison meetings to ensure they will work within your specified parameters.

Performers. Ensure all performers have their own insurance and risk assessments and the same considerations will apply as for contractors. Where amateur performers are being used, discuss your detailed requirements with them well in advance and ensure they will comply with your health and safety rules and event plan.

Facilities and utilities. Where electricity, gas or water is to be used, detailed arrangements must be made to ensure the facilities are safe. Portable gas supplies for cooking should be kept to a minimum in designated areas away from the general public.

The same should apply to any fuel supplies items such as portable generators etc. Generators should be suitably fenced or barriered to prevent public access from public areas. All these arrangements should be clearly shown on the site plan.

Electrical safety. Consider the entire installation and seek expert advice. If the event is outside, consider whether it could be run off a lower voltage via a transformer? Use a residual current device (RCD) especially outside or in a damp or wet environment.

This is particularly important for musical instruments, microphones etc. (you cannot use a RCD where a sudden loss of power could be dangerous, for example, on lighting systems or moving machinery). Use proper electrical connectors and avoid insulation tape or other temporary measures. Locate electrical leads safely to prevent tripping hazards.

All portable electrical appliances including extension leads etc should be tested for electrical safety and a record kept. Any hired equipment should come with a certificate of electrical safety.

Emergency lighting. At small events torches may be sufficient, but large events will need standby or continuously operating generators. Ensure earthing rods are used where applicable.

Manual handling (lifting & carrying). Assess the venue and the tasks involved in creating the event. What will need to be moved and how will you do it? Will there be awkward, heavy items such as beer barrels or marquees?

Think about it…is it heavy, slippery, and uneven in weight or shape? The task, where is it going? Up or downstairs/into a tight space? Who is doing the work? Are there enough people? Their age, sex, strength, fitness should all be considered. Whenever possible, use aids and equipment, such as sack barrows, to help the job.

Potential onset of adverse weather. resulting in poor ground conditions creating an instant danger to vehicle and pedestrian traffic. You should consider providing a four wheel drive vehicle or tractor to assist participants whose vehicles are affected and a wheel wash to prevent transfer of mud from the site to the Highway. The employment of professional private contractors to undertake vehicle parking and on-site management could relieve you of much work.

Contingency plans. Consider the implications on the event of extreme weather conditions. Will the event be cancelled? Could specialist matting be hired in at short notice? Or could the event be moved to an alternative inside venue.

This will involve a lot of planning and may be too complex for anything other than the smallest of events. There could also be other scenarios, which should be planned for, such as dealing with a disappointed crowd if the main attraction has not turned up. (See Appendix 7)

Clearing up. Arrangements may be required for waste disposal and rubbish clearance both during and after the event. Individuals should be designated specific responsibilities for emptying rubbish bins and clearing the site.

Timescale. Set out the proposed timescale and give yourself as much time as possible to organise the event. You may need as much as 9 to 12 months planning. Some specialist advice may be required, and special permission could take time.

You may need to allow time for any licenses needed to be granted. The earlier planning commences the better, as a minimum you should allow 12 weeks. Do not forget the summer can be a busy time with hundreds of events taking place within your area.

Event plan. Draw up and maintain a comprehensive event plan. This should include all your health and safety arrangements. Once you have resolved all the issues referred to above, keep records of the proposals as a formal plan for the event. This will help you when carrying out your risk assessments.

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