Health and Safety

Electrical Safety

Event organisers, contractors and others using electrical equipment must do all that is reasonably practicable to ensure that electrical installations and equipment at an event are properly selected, installed and maintained so as not to cause death or injury.

Installation of electrical supplies must be carried out by a competent qualified electrician. Your contractor needs to make sure that:

  • protection against electric shock is reduced by putting on a RCD (Residual Current Device) if supplies are taken from 240 volt mains electricity
  • outdoor equipment is weatherproof to the appropriate standards
  • cables are routed to reduce tripping hazard and potential mechanical damage

A certificate should be obtained from the contractors as a record that the electrics have been installed safely.

For full and comprehensive guidance: Health and Safety Executive 

ID: 4783, revised 19/03/2019

Fire Safety

You need to make sure that, based on the findings of the assessment, you take adequate and appropriate fire safety measures to minimise the risk of injury or loss of life in the event of a fire. This will include:

  • Training for relevant personnel
  • A means to raise the alarm in case of fire
  • An evacuation procedure
  • Access for emergency services
  • Signage and emergency lighting
  • Suitable escape routes and fire exits
  • Provision of suitable firefighting equipment
  • Measures to control hazards such as cooking, electrical items, gas cylinders, combustible items and arson

Your fire risk assessment should be based on the HM Government Guidance document:Fire Safety Risk Assessment, Open Air Events and Venues

ID: 4784, revised 19/03/2019

Special effects at events

  • smoke
  • fireworks
  • bonfire
  • strobe lighting

 For full and comprehensive guidance: Health and Safety Executive           

ID: 4785, revised 19/03/2019


The audience sound level exposure should be limited to an Event LAeq of no more than 107 dB or C-weighted peak sound pressure levels of no more than 140 dB.

Where practical, the audience should not be allowed within 3m of any loudspeaker. This can be achieved by the use of approved safety barriers and dedicated stewards, wearing appropriate hearing protection.

Noise nuisance to neighbours is considered in the Pollution Control Section.

For full and comprehensive guidance: Health and Safety Executive

ID: 4786, revised 19/03/2019

Fairgrounds/inflatable structures

 Health and Safety Guidance for Fairgrounds

Operators of inflatable structures should have their equipment inspected under the PIPA or ADIPS inspection scheme and safety certificates should be provided as evidence of this. 

For guidance on the use of inflatable play equipment at events: Health and Safety Executive

ID: 4787, revised 19/03/2019

Employee welfare

Welfare facilities’ are those that are necessary for the well-being of your staff, such as:

  • washing
  • toilet
  • rest and changing facilities
  • somewhere clean to eat and drink during breaks

 For full and comprehensive guidance: Health and Safety Executive

ID: 4788, revised 19/03/2019

Handling waste

Event organisers and/or contractors are responsible for assessing the risks associated with storage, handling or use of waste and implementing effective control measures to avoid or control these risks.

For full and comprehensive guidance: Health and Safety Executive

ID: 4789, revised 19/03/2019

Tree safety

For guidance on how to manage the risks from trees on your event site: Common Sense Risk Management of Trees

ID: 4790, revised 19/03/2019

Event Health and Safety

As an event organiser, whether a company, individual, charity or community group, you have prime responsibility and an obligation in law, for protecting the health, safety and welfare of everyone working at, or attending the event. 

The Pembrokeshire ESAG Event Organiser’s Checklist is a useful tool which will take you through a series of steps to help make sure you are doing what you need to do.

If you are holding a sporting activity such as a triathlon, sea swim, canoeing, equine or motor racing event then you must also follow the guidelines of the relevant national governing body.

Guidance on Health and Safety at events is provided on Health and Safety Executive. This provides information to help an event organiser understand their legal duties on health and safety, plan an event, review an event once it’s over and plan for incidents and emergencies. It also provides detailed guidance on relevant health and safety topics to help an event organiser with the risk assessment. 

It is imperative that all event organisers review the material on the HSE site directly.  

ID: 4770, revised 04/04/2019

Key questions you ask yourself

  • Have you decided who will help you with your duties?
  • Is there a clear understanding within the organising team of who will be responsible for safety matters?
  • Have you risk assessed your event and prepared a safety plan/event management plan?
  • Have you gathered and assessed relevant information to help you determine whether you have selected suitable and competent contractors? 

 For full and comprehensive guidance: Health and Safety Executive

ID: 4772, revised 19/03/2019

Have you planned for incidents and emergencies?

You must have plans in place to respond effectively to health and safety incidents and other emergencies that might occur at an event. 

This emergency plan should to be in proportion to the level of risk presented by event activities and the potential extent and severity of the incident.

Emergency procedures should be prepared for staff and volunteers to follow if a significant incident/emergency arises, e.g. sudden bad weather, a fire or structural failure.

It should include contingencies to deal with incidents and situations as varied as an entertainment act cancelling at short notice, severe weather, missing children or the unavailability of key staff in your team.

You will also need to consider your response to more serious emergencies, including major incidents that will require help from the emergency services and implementation of their regional emergency plans.

The National Counter-terrorism Security Office have produced specific advice to help mitigate the threat of a terrorist attack in crowded places.

Make sure you will have enough medical assistance and ambulances onsite and liaise with your local NHS and ambulance service so they can balance your needs against their local capacity and clarify how patients will be taken to hospital. The Events Industry Forum’s ‘purple guide’ includes example first-aid and medical assessments for an audience at an event.

If any accident or dangerous occurrence does occur, action must be taken to prevent any further incidents taking place; the incident should be recorded and reported in accordance with RIDDOR; and the names and addresses of witnesses should be obtained, photographs taken and a report made by the event organiser.  You will also need to advise your own insurance company.

Plan escape routes, exits signs and lighting to help with evacuations together with methods of communication. For further guidance on escape routes and strategies see the

Guide to safety at sports grounds and Fire safety risk assessment guides

ID: 4774, revised 19/03/2019

Venue and Site Design

Once the basic outline of the site has been determined, you should prepare a referenced plan, clearly indicating where the structures, facilities, fencing lines, entrances and exits etc. will be.  The venue/site plan will assist you and your contractors during construction of the site. It will also be useful for services operating during the event, e.g. stewards.

For full and comprehensive guidance: Health and Safety Executive



ID: 4775, revised 19/03/2019

Temporary Demountable Structures (TDS)

TDS’s include large marquees, stages, barriers, screens, lighting gantries, seating platforms, sound towers, art installations, inflatables.

TDS contractors/designers hired to design, supply, build, manage and take down a structure for you, should be competent and adequately resourced.  Your TDS contractor should ensure that the proposed structure has been designed to take account of the use and conditions in which it is to be installed. The structure should be checked to make sure that it has been built according to the design.

A safety certificate should be obtained from the contractors as a record that all TDSs have been checked.

For a full and comprehensive guide: Health and Safety Executive

ID: 4776, revised 17/05/2019

Crowd Management

As an early priority, organisers should establish that they can manage a crowd safely for the type of event and at the venue chosen. Even if the event is free or takes place on streets or open spaces, you should still apply the same crowd management principles to help make it as safe as possible. Once you have assessed the risks, you should create a crowd management plan. Use any venue/site design drawings to help you with this.

Stewarding and security arrangements should also be considered as part of your crowd management plan.

For full and comprehensive guidance: Health and Safety Executive

ID: 4777, revised 19/03/2019

Using barriers at events

If you decide to use barriers and fencing as a crowd management tool, they should be risk assessed. Depending on the complexity of the risk and barrier/s, you may need a source of competent advice to help you. Barriers may be used to:

  • control the crowd to ensure routes are clear for the participants
  • to separate the crowd from performers or participants
  • to protect the public against specific hazards such as moving machinery, barbecues, vehicles and any other dangerous displays.

For full and comprehensive guidance: Health and Safety Executive  

ID: 4779, revised 19/03/2019


Prepare a traffic management plan that deals with the risk of moving vehicles both on and off the site.

For full and comprehensive guidance: Health and Safety Executive 

ID: 4780, revised 19/03/2019

Fall from Height

You must ensure that the risks from work at height are assessed and appropriate work equipment is selected and used.

For full and comprehensive guidance:  Health and Safety Executive

ID: 4781, revised 19/03/2019