Event safety


If an accident occurs on site, the names and addresses of witnesses should be obtained, photographs or a sketch map taken and a report made by the organisers. An Accident Report Form should be completed and a copy sent to the Community Events Team straight after the event. You will need to advise your own insurance company.

Some accidents are reportable by law. While all accidents need to be recorded, some may need to be reported to health and safety officials. For further advice you can read the Health and Safety Executive's guidance on how to make a report.


If you are appointing contractors for your event, they should be vetted to ensure they are competent to undertake the tasks required of them. Wherever possible personal references should be obtained and followed up.

Ask contractors for a copy of their safety policy and risk assessments, and satisfy yourself that they will perform the task safely.

Always ask to see their public liability insurance certificate, which should provide a limit of indemnity of at least £5 million.

Provide contractors with a copy of your event paperwork and arrange liaison meetings to ensure they will work within your specified parameters.

Check that the height and width of contractors vehicles will fit through the access to the event site.

Crowded places advice

It is important to consider the possible threat of terrorism when planning your event. The National Counter Terrorism Security Office offers great advice for event organisers and for the management of crowded places.

If you would like to discuss your event in more detail or have a specific concern, then please contact the events team at events@poole.gov.uk.

Fire safety

It is the event organiser’s role to ensure that a fire safety risk assessment is completed and any preventative or protective measured identified and addressed. 

The Fire Authority enforces The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and is able to provide practical advice or if the risk is serious, issue a formal notice.

For guidance and advice, before and during your event you can call Fire Control on 03067 990019 or email enforcement@dwfire.org.uk

First aid

You need to carry out a medical risk assessment taking into account the numbers, age groups and activities involved in your event. First aiders, ambulances etc should be arranged accordingly. Please do not rely on any potential first aid cover that already exists for other activities on site to cover your event.

The Health & Safety Executive Event Safety Guide recommends: 

  • all events should have no fewer than 2 first aiders
  • events with no special risks needs 2 first aiders for every 1,000 people attending (up to 3,000 people)

You must ensure adequate signage and information on location of first aid

facilities is available to all who attend your event.


Marshalls should be trained and fully briefed on all aspects of the event including crowd control and emergency arrangements. Written instructions, site plans and checklists should be provided to them in a briefing pack.

It is important that marshals can be easily identified by the public and that they can effectively communicate with each other, their supervisor, the person responsible for health and safety, security staff and the event organiser.

Where radios are to be used, provide a list of channels to be used for different communications.

Marshals may be required to guide vehicles, clear emergency exits, and work with security staff to tackle any behavioural problems. For this reason marshals should not be used for add-on roles such as collecting entry fees/donations etc.

Marshals will need hi-visibility vests and may need other kit such as torches.

At all-day events, duty rotas will be required.

If marshals are working on the highway they should be adequately trained and the extent of their role agreed with Transportation Services and Dorset Police.


All performers should have their own insurances and risk assessments and the same considerations will apply as for contractors. Where amateur performers are being used, discuss your detailed requirements with them and ensure they will comply with your health and safety rules and event plan.

Depending on the size and nature of your event you may wish to consider employing a professional safety advisor.


The police can be made aware of your event in advance by using the 101 number. You will be provided with an incident number. If there is an emergency on event day, call 999 and quote the incident number as this will help the police know what they are responding to.

Risk assessments

Your event must have a detailed risk assessment to cover any activity that could pose a danger or hazard to anyone attending, involved in or in the vicinity of your event. A sample risk assessment is available to download.

The following healthy and safety aspects should be considered together with any other issues relevant to your event:

  • emergency plans necessitating site evacuation, for example a fire
  • transport / vehicle management on and around the site
  • temporary electrical installations on site and use of electrical equipment
  • waste management
  • first aid provision 

As event organiser, you should also get a risk assessment from each of the contractors, performers, stall holders, or anyone who is part of your event. The events team do not need to see copies of these but you should have them on site during the event.

Depending on the size and nature of your event you may wish to consider employing a professional safety advisor.

Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults

Found children procedure

It is the responsibility of the event organiser to make arrangements for dealing with lost children. A clearly advertised collection point must be set up on site staffed by people who are Disclosure and Barring Service Certificate (DBS) checked. This should form part of your overall risk assessment for the event.

Ensure that lost children are not left in the sole care of a single worker.

If there is a children’s area on site, this will be the best place for the care of lost children. In some circumstances it may be necessary to make an announcement over the PA system. Take care to ensure that announcements do not refer to children specifically or give personal details, descriptions or names.

The parent’s or guardian’s name, address, signature and proof of identity should also be obtained and recorded as well as the child’s name and date of birth.

Once a child has been reunited with their parent or guardian, inform marshals and the Police immediately if they have been involved.

If a child is not collected within 30 minutes then the police must be informed and advice sought. The events team must also be advised.

Missing child procedure

If a missing child report is made to stewards then they should contact the lost children point to ascertain whether the child is there.

If the child is there then parents/guardians should be directed or escorted directly to the lost children point to verify their identity and collect the child.

If the child is not there then parents/guardians should be directed to the lost children point give essential details and a description of the child.

Details of the missing child should then be forwarded to event control.

Event control should then issue a message to all police/stewards so that they can remain vigilant. No details of the lost child should be relayed over the PA system.

If a child is not found within 10 minutes then the Police must be informed and advice sought. The events team must also be advised.


Depending upon the nature of the event, specific security officers may be needed, all of whom must be Security Industry Association (SIA) registered.

The name of the SIA security company and number of registered SIA guards must be supplied to the events team before the event.

Cash collection should be planned to ensure this is kept to a minimum at collection points and that regular collections are made to a secure and safe area. Event staff collecting cash may require money belts or other carrying facilities.

Money counting and banking arrangements should be given careful consideration.

Page last updated: 02 May 2019
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