Event safety guide for event organisers

Last updated: 25 January 2022

8. Risk assessments

A risk assessment is nothing more than a careful examination of what might cause harm to people (the hazard) and what chance that someone may be injured (the risk).

Do not try and over-complicate your assessment. Follow these steps:

  • look for the hazards: plan your event on paper, listing the activities and equipment that will be involved. Then think about the hazards relating to each activity and piece of equipment
  • decide who might be harmed and how: for each hazard you identify list all the groups of people who may be affected
  • evaluate the risks and decide whether any existing precautions are adequate or whether more could be done

You should take into account:

  • any information, instruction and training regarding the event and the activities involved
  • any laws, codes of good practice and British Standards that apply to your event’s activities and equipment
  • whether or not your existing control measures have reduced the risk as far as is reasonably practicable
  • further action necessary to control the risk

Classify the risks into high, medium and low.

For each risk consider whether or not it can be eliminated completely. If it can’t, then decide what you have to do to reduce the risk to an acceptable level.

  • Record your findings: You should list your findings on a risk assessment form so that you have a record of all significant hazards, the nature and extent of the risks and the action required to control them. Keep this for future reference.
  • Review your assessment and revise as necessary: Your risk assessments will need to be reviewed and updated if any of the risks change while you are planning the event or as a result of incidents during the event.

Each attraction within an event should be separately risk assessed. Be aware that specialist events may require specialist guidance.

Remember to obtain risk assessments from your vendors, performers, exhibitors etc for their activities and equipment.

Fire-based risk assessments

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 came into force with effect from October 2006. It is compulsory that a fire based risk assessment is carried out for every event held.

It is important to have this document with you at the time of the event and it should be produced when required. Failure to produce this document could have severe consequences if the event is found to be a potential fire hazard. Putting the public at risk could result in the event being shut down.

The Fire Service would not attend an event to cover for any risk as it is up to the event organiser to put in place any preventative measures.

You must include the risk of fire in your event risk assessment. You must show that you have:

  • identified the fire hazards, i.e. sources of ignition, fuel and oxygen
  • identified people at risk within and surrounding your site and those at highest risk
  • evaluated the risk of a fire occurring and evaluate the risk to people should a fire occur
  • removed or reduced fire hazards and removed or reduced the risks to people
  • considered detection and warning, fire-fighting, escape routes, signs and notices, lighting, maintenance
  • recorded significant findings and action taken
  • prepared an emergency plan
  • informed and instructed relevant people and provided training
  • reviewed and revised your assessment where necessary

Risk assessment guidance