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Event Safety: A Guide for Event Organisers

Introduction

The Dudley Safety Advisory Group has been set up to advise on safety matters, in an attempt to ensure that public safety is maintained at all events held in the Borough – however large or small.

This includes events held on the public highway. It should be borne in mind that any event on a public highway involves a significant amount of risk. If you are in any doubt about the safety of your event – do not hold it! The number one priority for event organisers must be to minimise the risk to participants’ and public safety. As well as the possible danger to people taking part and other road users, you also need to think about the inconvenience you may cause for pedestrians and traffic.

As organisers you are encouraged to consult with the Safety Advisory Group, who will be able to offer you advice in planning your event. In certain circumstances we may invite you to join one of our meetings to discuss your proposals further.

The Safety Advisory Group

The group is made up of representatives from:


We consider all event notifications and offer advice and guidance to all parties concerned in the planning and organisation of events. Our advice is in addition to any legal requirements and government guidance, which you should also refer to (see Useful Publications). Generally the police do not support any event that takes place on the highway due to the inherent dangers to public safety. The police may however make contingency plans to deal with any potential public safety issues as a result of your event taking place, and also take any action deemed necessary on the day of the event to resolve any public order issues that occur. You also need to be aware that there may be a charge for emergency services or local authority resources, should they be required. The safety concerns and advice given by the Safety Advisory Group to event organisers will be documented. If there is an incident resulting in court/public inquiry proceedings, we have an obligation to notify to any investigating authorities the safety advice given to you about your event.

What do you need to do?

Below you will find a useful summary of the considerations you will need to bear in mind when planning your event, together with useful contact names and numbers for further advice. For a full application/information pack you will need to complete and return the Event Notification form.

Planning and Notice

For every event there must be a competent named organiser(s) identified at the earliest opportunity.
Where members of the public are invited to participate in a staged and planned event, responsibility for public safety rests with the organiser(s) and/or the owner of the property or land where such events are staged. In general at least 3 months notice will be expected in respect of small-medium events, and in the case of large, major events at least 6 months notice will be required.

For events that require Road Closure Orders 3 months notice will be required.

Risk Assessment

A risk assessment is a careful examination of what is likely to cause harm to people, followed by an explanation of managed contingencies to reduce or eliminate such risks.

As the organiser, you will need available to you a competent risk assessor to carry out a risk assessment for your event. This is to make sure that you have all the necessary health and safety measures in place. A standard risk assessment form can be obtained from Dudley Council’s Events Officer (contact details below) or you may download a copy at the bottom of the page. You may find it useful to refer to Five Steps to Risk Assessment.

You will also need to take out public liability insurance to cover your event.

Further Information

For further information please contact the Dudley Council Events Team as follows:

Health and Safety

The risk assessment must incorporate all safety aspects of the event such as crowd control, evacuation procedures, barrier safety etc. Any temporary structure, which is load bearing, must be erected in strict compliance with Health and Safety regulations.

For further information please contact Food And Occupational Safety as follows:

or

Dudley Council, Central Safety, Tel: 01384 814721

First Aid

An agreed level of first aid, paramedical and medical facilities as appropriate, should be provided at the expense of the organiser, and after consultation with the Ambulance Service and relevant voluntary groups.

For further information please contact:

  • British Red Cross: Tel: 0121 766 5444

  • St John Ambulance: Tel: 0121 553 4253

  • West Midlands Ambulance: Tel: 01384 215555

Stewards

You will need to provide enough identifiable stewards to cater for the size and nature of your event. It is imperative that stewards are adequately briefed as to their roles and responsibilities. It is not the role of the police to provide stewarding at events, nor to provide training to steward personnel. It is essential that stewards and organisers are able to communicate effectively. Just as important is communication with the public. In the event of evacuation, for example, an effective means of communication must be available.

Licences

In practice organised entertainment held in a public place, or a private place to which the
public are given access, may require a licence from the local authority. In addition to a licence
from the Council, you may need other licences, to play recorded music or to sell alcohol for
example. It is important to note that you may encounter a waiting period following your application,
and that a charge may be levied.

For further information please contact:

Road Closures

Closing a public highway can be a complex legal matter. If you are considering closing a road for an event, you will be required to make an application in writing to the local authority who will assess carefully the implications of each proposal. You should note, however, that only closures of minor roads or streets can generally be considered, and there is usually a cost incurred in obtaining the requisite orders. Importantly, neither the local authority nor the police are any longer able to provide ‘rolling’ road closures for parades, marches and processions.

All temporary signing on the public highway will be to chapter eight of the Traffic Signs Manual and the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991. All signing will require specific approval of the Highway Authority.

For further information please contact Dudley Council Traffic Section as follows:

Environmental Issues

As the organiser you must, at all times, have regard for environmental concerns. This will include taking account of whether the venue is suited to the type of event proposed. Additionally, attention must be given to the concerns of local residents in respect of noise and litter. Creature comfort facilities should be reviewed such as toilets, hot/cold drinks, PA systems, lighting, tents etc.

For further information please see the following:

  • Anti Litter Control

  • Toilet Provision, Dudley MBC Food & Occupational Safety, Tel: 01384 814685

Food Hygiene

You must also ensure that food preparation is undertaken in hygienic conditions and complies with the relevant legislation.

For further information please see our Food Hygiene web page.

Disabled Access

You must ensure that the needs of disabled spectators and participants are considered during the planning arrangements.

For further information please contact:

  • Dudley Council Access Officer Tel: 01384 814111

Emergency Services

For any medium to large scale event, you are strongly advised to notify the police, fire and ambulance services directly, in addition to returning the Event Notification contained within the leaflet below. The emergency services need to ensure that your event does not pose operational problems either at the scene or in the surrounding areas.

For notification in writing, please contact:

West Midlands Ambulance Service
Emergency Planning Officer
Millennium Point, Waterfront Way,
Brierley Hill, DY5 1LX

West Midlands Fire Service
Station Commander
Dudley Community Fire Station, Burton Road,
Dudley, DY1 3BZ

West Midlands Police
Operations Superintendent
Brierley Hill Police Station, Bank Street,
Brierley Hill, DY5 3DH
Operations Superintendent
Halesowen Police Station, Laurel Lane,
Halesowen, B63 3JA

Disclaimer

The information contained within this page is intended to highlight the importance of making safety your number one priority in planning your event. The considerations are by no means exhaustive, and should be supplemented by other reading, including that listed below. Careful planning and organisation will help to ensure that your event is both safe and enjoyable for everyone involved.

The agencies of the Safety Advisory Group will not be held responsible for any death, personal injury or loss or damage to property (including property owned by one or more of the agencies) caused by or arising from the holding of your event and it is your responsibility to ensure that you have taken all necessary steps (including insurance) to protect yourself from liability of this nature.

If your event is to be held on Council owned land or on a highway, you will be required to sign a Form (a) indemnifying the Council against any action, claim, loss, costs or expenses resulting from or consequential upon any liability of the above nature and (b) agreeing to insure and provide evidence of such insurance with an insurance company approved by the Council to cover liability of this nature up to the value of £5,000,000 in respect of each and every claim.

Contact Details

  • Name Dudley Council Plus
  • Address 259 Castle Street, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 1LQ
  • Telephone 0300 555 2345
  • Out of Hours Telephone If you are reporting an emergency, use 0300 555 2345. If this service is closed, a recorded message will advise what you should do.
  • Opening Hours Open weekdays 8:30am to 5:00pm, Saturdays 9:00am to 12:00noon