A full risk assessment should be carried out for all events. This will be a legal requirement in many circumstances. The following guidance should aid you in carrying out your risk assessment. A form to record your findings has also been provided.

Identifying the Hazards:

All hazards should be identified including those relating to the individual activities and any equipment. A hazard is something with the potential to cause harm. Only note hazards which could result in significant harm. Examples of things that should be taken into account includes:

  • Any slipping, tripping or falling hazards;
  • Hazards relating to fire risks or fire evacuation procedures;
  • Any chemicals or other substances hazardous to health eg: dust or fumes;
  • Moving parts of machinery;
  • Any vehicles on site;
  • Electrical safety eg: use of any portable electrical appliances;
  • Manual handling activities;
  • High noise levels;
  • Poor lighting, heating or ventilation;
  • Any possible risk from specific demonstrations or activities;
  • Crowd intensity and pinch points

Identifying those at risk:

For each hazard identified, list all groups of people who may be affected for example: Stewards, employees, volunteers, contractors, vendors, exhibitors, performers, members of the public (including children, elderly persons, expectant mothers, disabled persons), local residents and potential trespassers.

Areas to consider:

The following are examples of areas to consider:

Type of event, Potential major incidents, Site hazards including car parks, Types of attendees such as children, elderly persons and the disabled, Crowd control, capacity, access/egress and stewarding, Provision for the emergency services, Provision of first aid, Provision of facilities, Fire, Security and cash collection, Health and safety issues, Exhibitors and demonstrations, Amusements and attractions, Structures, Waste management.

Assessing the risk:

The extent of the risk arising from the hazards identified must be evaluated and existing control measures taken into account. The risk is the likelihood of the harm arising from the hazard. You should list the existing controls and assess whether or not any further controls are required. The following should be taken into account:

  • Any information, instruction and training regarding the event and the activities involved;
  • Compliance with legislative standards, codes of good practice and British Standards;
  • Whether or not the existing controls have reduced the risk as far as is reasonably practicable

Further action necessary to control the risk:

For each risk consider whether or not it can be eliminated completely. If it cannot, then decide what must be done to reduce it to an acceptable level. Only use personal protective equipment as a last resort when there is nothing else you can reasonably do. Consider the following:

  • Remove the hazard;
  • Prevent access to the hazard eg: by guarding dangerous parts of machinery;
  • Implement procedures to reduce exposure to the hazard;
  • The use of personal protective equipment;
  • Find a substitute for that activity/machine etc

Record the risk assessment findings:

Use the attached Risk Assessment Form to record all significant hazards, the nature and extent of the risks, and the action required to control them. Keep this for future reference and use. You could also refer to other documents you may have, such as manuals, codes of practice etc.

If the nature of the risks changes during the planning of the event, the risk assessments will need to be reviewed and updated. Where the risk assessment has identified significant risks, you must provide information to all those affected, regarding the nature of the risk and the control measures to be implemented.