Planning any major event entails identifying potential hazards and ensuring crowd safety measures are in place. You need to consider all possible risks of harm to visitors and staff working at the event, which means looking at crowd dynamics and movement around the venue in great detail. This will entail conducting a comprehensive risk assessment, which is generally a legal requirement anyway.
Risk assessments for events
Your event risk assessment should identify any potential hazards and note all the ways these will be controlled. Crowd safety is a priority for any event planner, and your management plan should be tailored to the event and venue. For example, consideration should be given to arrival times, entrance arrangements, and the exit and dispersal methods to be used. It’s also important to plan for visitors with disabilities and families with younger children or babies. The UK Health and Safety Executive recommends that event planners take all reasonable steps to reduce or eliminate all identified risks. So even if you are hosting a free event or street or open space celebration, you still need to consider all aspects of crowd management.
Risks to consider
Some issues to consider include the type of event and the key risks that might impact crowd safety. This means you should try to build up an audience profile and estimate the total number of visitors attending the event. The suitability of the site or event venue and an assessment of precautions currently in place also need consideration. When assessing site suitability, another important facet of your crowd management plan will be ensuring perimeter fencing security. You won’t be able to accurately estimate the number of visitors to events if your site has open access, leading to overcrowding and potential hazards.
Building crowd management plans
You are then ready to start building your crowd management proposal. This should include the identification of any potential hazards which could impact crowd safety and the possibilities of risks caused by visitor dynamics, such as congregating in specific areas. For example, your plan should make every attempt to ensure there are no risks of visitors being crushed against any structures at the venue. This could perhaps be caused by falls or individuals being trampled if panic situations should arise.
All activities and entertainment planned for your event will also need risk assessment just if they cause visitor hazards of any kind. This will mean working out just how near your visitors are allowed to get to activities. Other major considerations include:
- Car parking and whether it impacts pedestrian walkways
- Potential ground conditions on the date of your event and how you will manage crowds. After all, we’ve probably all witnessed some of the major music festival mud baths over the years!
- Other hazards include potential fire risks from food concessions or onsite cooking.
The HSE website is a valuable resource for crowd safety planning tips, and as can be seen here, there are loads of challenges to be faced when planning any event. Zaun is an expert at providing the essential perimeter fencing required at events or planned activities. We work with you to ensure intruders are kept out of your venue, making event safety and planned crowd management much easier to handle. Get in touch to find out more about our affordable fencing solutions.