Blog 31 May, 2022 Back
Queen's Jubilee Bank Holiday Event Safety
This week the UK will be celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with street parties and events all over the country.
This will involve large gatherings, small parties, road closures, fireworks, BBQ’s, live music and all sorts of events large and small scale.
Large events are a lot of fun, so we’ve put together this safety guide to help organisers and attendees have a great time from start to finish.
If you are planning an event there are things to consider:
Who is organising the event, identify key roles and responsibilities.
Inform relevant agencies (Fire and Rescue, local authorities, Environmental Health etc.)
Identify the risks, scale and complexity of the event. What emergency arrangements need to be made (e.g. first aid, lost children, etc.) How will risk control measures be monitored to ensure they are followed?
An event safety management plan should be prepared for every event. The key tool for a safety plan is the process of risk assessment. Consider whether you require advice.
You must identify risks in advance, and record how you are planning to control them. This could be anything from hazardous weather, a slip or trip to gas and electrical equipment. Risk assessments should determine the controls to be taken before, during and after the event.
Include fire safety risks and have a fire evacuation procedure, ensure it accounts for people with mobility issues, the elderly and children who may need extra assistance. Ensure you have people with appropriate training who can act as fire wardens.
Venue/location. Many locations require permission to use, so make sure you contact the land or property owner if necessary. Some activities will also require road closures and/or a license. Contact your local authority to find out what’s required - they can also provide further guidance about managing the event.
Temporary Structures such as marquees, staging and seating must adhere to safety standards and be properly installed. The HSE has advice on this https://www.hse.gov.uk/event-safety/temporary-demountable-structures.htm
Contractors - when you select and appoint contractors consider their suitability and competence for providing a safe and reliable service.
Consider asking contractors to:
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of their work and the health and safety hazards involved
- provide evidence of a trained workforce and the competence of key staff for the project
- confirm that they have sufficient resource levels to do the work
- provide evidence of previous successful work that shows they can adopt and develop safe systems of working
- In the absence of experience of previous work, ask them to demonstrate an appropriate level of technical ability (e.g. being a member of an accreditation scheme, professional organisation or trade association may help with this).
Alcohol licence. If you’re intending to sell alcohol at your event, you should contact your local council, police and environmental health to make them aware. You must do this by making an application for a Temporary Events Notice - the fee for this is currently £21 (as at April 2022).
Serving food. A one-off street party, or small community event where food is sold or given away to attendees does not need formal registration, but organisers will need to ensure basic food hygiene is in place. Organisers of large events should check with their local council whether they need to register their food activities. Before serving any food, strong consideration should be given to attendees with food allergies or intolerances. Make sure ingredients are clear on menus, tables and food stalls, so that people are fully aware.
On the day, remember to leave space for a fire engine or ambulance which may need to come down your street at any time.
Finally, do you need insurance? Despite taking all of the above elements into consideration, things can still go wrong. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you also have appropriate insurance cover in place for your event. You can do this by contacting your insurance provider and discussing your planned activities.
If you are attending an event personal awareness and simple planning can further enhance safety should danger arise at a large event.
One of the best ways to stay safe is to be prepared. Researching a venue ahead of a large event can help you plan an emergency response, consider –
• How many people are expected at the event
• What items are allowed, and what is prohibited
• How will the days weather affect the event (wind, storms, heat or cold) both at the event and travelling to and from the event
• What is the contact information for security, first aid and lost property
If you are taking young children explain to them the necessity of safety – staying close to family or guardians and being wary of strangers. You could take a digital photo of children just before leaving home so there is a current description on hand in case they get separated and write your phone number on their arm or a piece of paper secured in their pocket.
An outside contact
We recommend at least one person not attending the event is aware of family or friends who are attending. This person has the mobile numbers of everyone attending and everyone has theirs, you could let them know your estimated arrival and departure times along with the location of the event.
Before leaving home
Ensure you have ID on you, don’t wear expensive jewellery or anything you will regret losing in a large, crowded environment. It’s easily torn off.
Make sure your footwear is appropriate for standing only environments, slippery or uneven floors/ground or navigating through large crowds.
On arrival scan the area
Check out your surroundings
• Take note of escape routes and emergency exits, plus toilets, first aid, organiser/reception and security stations.
• Plan an evacuation route that takes into account everyone’s physical abilities – stairs, ramps and uneven ground can be especially challenging for some people during an evacuation.
• Establish a meeting place where your group members can gather if anyone gets separated.
At the event
• Eat properly and stay hydrated with water, don’t drink so much that you lose your sense of your surroundings.
• Remain aware of others. If you get the slightest feeling that something may be wrong, listen to your instincts and act fast.
• Keep an eye on the crowd for signs of trouble. If you do spot something, change location and make security aware of your concerns.
Things to consider are –
- An abnormal increase in the number of people pouring into the area
- A loner who doesn’t seem to belong in the area
- Performers or audience members encouraging hazardous behaviour
• If the crowd is getting too dense for comfort or you feel trapped in area that you don’t like change locations before it gets worse.
• Be vigilant for theft opportunities, a crowd makes pick-pocketing easier, so keep an eye on purses, wallets, phones and handbags. Place essential items in your front pockets where they are less likely to fall out or be stolen.
During an Evacuation it’s important to stay calm.
- Head for the exit and listen for official instructions
- In a crowd, keep feet firmly placed and well-spread, keep arms close to the chest
- Do not stop to pick up personal items in dense and moving crowds.
- If you find yourself in middle of a dense crowd protect your head and stay on your feet, in the event of a surge to protect your heart and lungs from pressure put your arms up and strike a pose like a boxer.
- Move with the crowd and not against it.
- Avoid falling and keep those nearby from falling too. If you do fall to the ground, get in the foetal position – make sure you left side is on the ground to protect your heart and lungs.