Temporary entertainment events still need to comply with Food Safety and Health and Safety legislation to ensure the health, safety and welfare of any employees, volunteers, helpers, contractors, participants and members of the public.
Planning the event
The following guidance should be used if you are planning an event. However, it is likely that additional guidance will be required for specialist events and larger scale activities.
It is important to allow as much time as possible to plan the event properly and to ensure that relevant authorities are consulted from the outset, for example, local authorities, local police, fire service, ambulance and first aid providers. These authorities may be dealing with many other events particularly in peak season therefore it is important not to leave things to the last minute.
When planning your event you will need to consider:
- Suitable location: Are there any existing hazards such as water, overhead power-lines, access for emergency vehicles, car-parking arrangements.
- Time of year: Extreme weather precautions, provision of lighting for evening events.
- Size of the event: The maximum number of people the venue can hold safely must be established and if necessary the persons attending may need to be counted in to prevent overcrowding. The type of event and the numbers attending will determine crowd control measures.
- Event plan: This should contain details of all the health and safety arrangements including:
- Identification of the event manager and responsibilities for other committee members, for example, liaising with relevant authorities, vetting of contractors policies and supervision of stewards.
- Risk assessments should identify all hazards associated with the event and control measures implemented proportionate to the risk so far as reasonably practicable. Risk assessments should be obtained from contractors involved in the event for their activities.
- An emergency plan should be drawn up outlining the measures to be taken in the event of a major incident. The complexity would depend on the size of the event. The local authority's Environmental Health Department, Emergency Planning, the local police, fire service, health services may assist in this.
- Site plan: The plan should identify the location of all proposed attractions and facilities such as toilet facilities, food vendors, temporary structures, first aid points, entrance/exit points, circulation routes, vehicle access and emergency evacuation paths. Copies of site plans should be made available for the relevant authorities.
- Stewards: Stewards should be properly trained and briefed on all aspects of the event including crowd control and emergency arrangements. Stewards should be easily identified by members of the public and others and be provided with personal protective clothing such as hats, boots, gloves fluorescent jackets and torches if necessary. A means of communication should be provided so that stewards can communicate with each other or event managers.
- Temporary Structures: Staging, tents, marquees or stalls may be required. This equipment should be supplied and erected by a competent person. Safety checks must be undertaken throughout the event particularly in extreme weather conditions.
- Segregation: Barriers may be required to segregate pedestrians from any dangerous activities or unavoidable vehicular activity.
- Vehicular movement: Vehicular activities on site should be prohibited for the duration of the event. Separate entrances should be provided for vehicles and pedestrians. Provision should be made for stewarded car parking. Access routes for emergency vehicles should be maintained during the event. Traffic control measures off site such as road closures, diversions; signage should be discussed with the local police and the highways section of the local authority.
- Activities: Will specialist equipment be used? For example, fair rides, bouncy castles bungee jumps/trampolines. Certificates of thorough examination, testing and erection of such equipment should be available from the hire company.
- Welfare arrangements: Welfare and first aid requirements should be based on the number of persons attending the event and its duration. Both temporary and permanent toilets should be checked and maintained during the event. Provision should also be made for drinking water, baby changing, lost children, missing persons or lost property.
- Insurance: All events require an adequate sum of public liability cover. Contractors and performers will require their own public liability cover, a copy of which should be obtained for the event file.
- Catering: Details of food vendors on site must be made available to the local Environmental Health department at the earliest opportunity to ensure that they are registered and subject to routine food hygiene inspections. Caterer's certificates in food hygiene training should be requested for the event file. The vendors should be sensibly positioned near water supplies with enough space between them to prevent a risk of fire spread.
- Waste Disposal: Suitable arrangements should be made for waste disposal and rubbish clearance both during and after the event. Procedures for disposing of discarded hypodermic needles should be drawn up.
- Accidents: Should an accident occur, the names and addresses of witnesses should be obtained, photographs of the site/equipment taken and a report completed by the event manager. A copy of the accident report should be sent to the council and the insurance company.
- Utilities: Where electricity, gas or water is to be used, arrangements must be made to ensure the facilities are safe. All portable electrical appliances including extension leads etc. should be tested for electrical safety and a record kept for the event file. A certificate of electrical safety should be provided with any hired equipment. Residual current devices should be used particularly in outdoor events and portable transformers where possible to step the power down to 110 volts. Measures should be taken to eliminate trailing electrical cables. Generators should be suitably fenced to prevent public access. Portable gas cylinders should be kept to a minimum and in designated areas away from public access. Utilities should be marked on the site plan.
If you are planning an event and would like further information or advice, contact:
Health and Safety Executive
Tel: 02920 263000
Alternatively you may contact our Health and Safety Team on 01495 235061 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.