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Public events: health and safety guidance

​​Introduction

The guidance is intended for those organising public events for which a public entertainment permit issued by the Bailiff is required. It summarises the action to be taken to reduce the risks to the general public and others. It may also contains useful information for organisers of events which fall outside the remit of the permit.

If you are unsure whether your event requires an entertainment permit you should approach the Bailiff’s office for advice.

It is the responsibility of the event organiser to identify hazards and risks.

Health and safety legislation

If any person involved with the event is at work, the Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law 1989, which sets outs general duties of all those involved with work activities, will apply. 

In addition, other legislation dealing with specific issues, eg electricity, may also be applicable.

Even if there is no work activity involved with the event, proper consideration to health and safety will help contribute to its success.

Guidance for organisers of public events

Organisation

It is the responsibility of the event organiser to ensure that health and safety issues are properly managed for all aspects of the event, including: 

  • setting up the event 
  • the event itself 
  • clearing up after the event has taken place 

The person named on the entertainment permit is responsible for the overall planning and managing of the event.

The precise arrangements for addressing health and safety will vary depending on the size and nature of the event, however, the main principles will remain the same. It is important to ensure, preferably in a written document, that the following main points are addressed:

  • the overall responsibility for the event is acknowledged
  • the individuals or organisations who are in control of certain aspects of the event are named with their area of control clearly identified (an organisation chart may be of assistance)
  • the manner in which health and safety risks associated with the event are addressed (commonly referred to as the 'event risk assessment')

The event risk assessment

The purpose of a risk assessment is to identify hazards which could cause harm to then evaluate whether you have implemented enough precautions ('control measures') or should do more to prevent harm.

It is important to consider whether you can eliminate the hazard altogether, if not, you must then control the risks. This will help ensure you have adequate health and safety measures in place. 

A written risk assessment should be prepared for all events so that everyone involved is aware of the measures that are being taken. For larger events, and for some smaller events where there are significant hazards, a written assessment will be required as part of the information requested by the Bailiff’s panel.

​It is recommended that the approach to carrying out the risk assessment follows the five steps approach:

  1. identify the hazards and those at risk
  2. evaluate the risks and decide on precautions ('control measures')
  3. record your findings and make a plan of action
  4. implement any additional control measures identified
  5. review your risk assessment
Guidance on risk assessment

Some key issues which need to be considered: 

  • site conditions
  • fire safety
  • first aid
  • emergency planning
  • communication
  • crowd management
  • vehicle movements
  • children
  • livestock
  • electrical installations and lighting
  • use of gas cylinders
  • stability of temporary structures
  • sound: noise and vibration
  • fairground rides
  • firework displays
  • sporting and similar activities
  • waste management
  • welfare arrangements

These are just an example of some of the issues which may be associated with your event. Other risks might also be present and you need to be aware of these. The arrangements and circumstances, including before and after each event, will need to be considered in order to identify the risk areas relating to your specific event.

Insurance

If the event involves any work activity, you should check that all employers have insurance to satisfy the requirements of the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) (Jersey) Law 1973. You should also arrange for public liability insurance cover for the event.

Accidents

You should keep a record of any accident or dangerous occurrence. This will not only be useful for investigation and insurance purposes but should be considered part of the evaluation of the event.

Evaluation of the event

After the event it is important that you review the manner in which health and safety was managed and take forward any lessons that have been learnt.

Examples of issues that should be addressed include:

  • who attended the event? 
  • were the anticipated audience numbers and profile what you expected? If not, did this create any complications to the manner in which you had planned the event?
  • were there any hazards which were not identified and if so, how were they dealt with?
  • which arrangements worked well, which didn’t and why?

It is recommended that you keep a record of this evaluation for future use.

Example of health and safety arrangements for a small garden fete

The types of event that are subject to a Bailiff’s permit vary considerably, including events such as small garden fetes and larger events such as the Battle of Flowers. 

Irrespective of the size of the event, the approach to be taken to managing health and safety issues is identical. H​owever, the risks associated with the event will differ according to the type of activities involved.

It may be thought that the risks associated with a smaller event are lower, however, this is not necessarily the case. It very much depends on the nature of the event and the type of activities that are provided.

The following steps illustrate the application of the recommended approach for an imaginary situation, that of holding a small garden fete.

Organisation

An individual or group should be put in charge of planning the management of health and safety for the event. They will need to communicate with all those involved. This would include stall holders, operators of attractions and the exhibitors, in order that they can then consider the hazards, risks and precautions required for the whole event and for each individual attraction and activity. 

Start an event diary and clarify with everybody how you intend to keep people informed and how they can contact you. Keep a record of these contact names.

Contact the Bailiff’s office for advice on whether your event requires a Bailiff’s permit. You may also need to contact other authorities, including the parish. Do this at least three months prior to the date proposed.

If this is the first occasion that you have been involved in managing the health and safety for this event, review the experiences of previous events, and where possible, contact other organisations who have held similar events in order to learn from their experiences.

Make sure you are adequately insured for the event and ask to see insurance documents from any concessionaires.

Examples o​f issues to consider​

The venue

Make sure the site is big enough for all the planned activities. Check for obvious hazards such as: 

  • slopes or steep changes in ground levels, 
  • unfenced holes or ponds 
  • any tripping hazards 

Plan the ​layout of the event

Prepare a plan showing the layout for the event, including the exit routes. Remember to consider spacing and layout of attractions.

Car parking

If you intend to provide car parking, you may need to arrange for designated marshals. Provide them with high visibility vests so that they can be easily seen. Vehicles need to be directed away from pedestrians where possible.

Erec​​tion of stalls and tables

Stalls and tables should be in good condition and erected on firm ground. Make sure they can support weights placed on them.

Movement ​​of goods and material

Storage and movement of goods needs to be considered. Make arrangements for moving any heavy items.

Stall ​​holders

Ensure that the stall holders are aware of health and safety precautions. Make sure they are instructed in the operation of any equipment they will be using.

Cables and wiring for electrical equipment, lighting and ​PA systems

Make sure that all cables are laid safely away from public areas, or if this is not possible, cover and protect them. Ensure that a competent person has installed and tested any electrical equipment.

Ma​​rquees

Marquees must only be erected by competent persons. Exit routes must be clearly identified and kept clear of obstructions.

Safet​​y barriers

You should consider whether you need to provide suitable barriers around attractions, displays and equipment. Examples may include: around BBQs, stages and platforms.

Fire s​​afety

You should consider such issues as:

  • means of escape in case of fire 
  • fire risks such as cooking facilities and storage of gas cylinders 
  • fire fighting equipment and use of materials which burn easily

Bouncy ​castles or similar

If installing a bouncy castle or similar at your fete, you should always:

  • obtain safety certification for the equipment from the suppliers
  • check that the equipment has been installed in a safe manner
  • arrange for the equipment to be supervised by one or more competent persons at all times
  • consider erecting signs indicating age or height restrictions that apply to the equipment - the suppliers may be able to provide this for you

Other at​​​​tractions

Check that health and safety issues have been considered for all other attractions. If the equipment is operated by a concessionaire, ask to see the risk assessment for the equipment.

Food hygiene and mobile vendors

You need to store and serve food properly. Some foods need to be kept refrigerated or stored separately from other food types eg cooked and uncooked meats. 

Serving utensils and appropriate hygienic clothing should also be used, eg plastic gloves, aprons and hats. 

Ensure that the toilet and washing facilities are located away from food stalls. 

Further advice can be provided by Environmental Health.

First aid

You should consider the arrangements for providing first aid. The types of injuries and illnesses likely to occur at a fete are heart attacks, sunstroke,​ and minor injuries such as cuts and bruises.

Ask people involved with the fete if they are qualified first aiders. If not, contact other organisations such as St John Ambulance, who may be able to assist.

Insurance

As organisers you could be held legally liable for the costs or damages of any injuries and other mishaps which may occur during the event. Appropriate public liability insurance should therefore be arranged.

Accidents

If an accident does occur, you need to record the details of the accident. This will be useful to assist in your review of the event and to notify your insurers.

Evaluation

After the event you need to evaluate the success of the event and take forward any lessons that have been learnt. This evaluation should take place as soon as possible after the event.

Record the outcome of the evaluation so that it can be referred to for future events.

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