Temporary structures and event equipment

Many events will require temporary structures such as staging, tents, marquees, stalls, feather flags etc. Decide where this equipment is to be obtained, who will erect it and what safety checks will be required. Temporary structures should only be obtained from experienced suppliers. The location of any structures that require stakes or peg anchorage in the ground must be agreed with the community events team and clearly identified on the site plan.

In adverse weather conditions, for example, high winds or if the ground is waterlogged on certain areas of the event site, it may be necessary to move the position of any erected structures. We recommend a site visit with your contractor prior to the event.

Consider whether a viewing area or platform may be needed for disabled people at your event.


Barriers must be used to protect the public against specific hazards such as moving machinery, generators, barbecues, vehicles, crowd control in front of staging etc.

Crowd control

The type of event and the numbers attending will determine the measures needed. Consideration will need to be given to the number and positioning of barriers, and the provision of a public address system.

Emergency exits must be clearly signposted and kept clear at all times.


Domestic gazebos are often not suitable for use at a public event and can pose a safety risk in the event of high winds, or proximity to fire risks such as barbecues.

Guy ropes

All guy ropes and ground pegs must be clearly marked with hazard tape or similar hi-visible material to minimise trip hazards.

Marquees, stages, tents and large outdoor screens

The safety and security of structures includes, but is not limited to marquees, stages, large outdoor screens and is the responsibility of the event organiser. The lifting equipment used to erect these should be certified with a copy of the certificate produced for inspection. Organiser’s are advised to consult their contractors and insurance should be taken out to cover the hire of equipment from private sources.

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM) were introduced by the Health and Safety Executive to ensure the safety and welfare of those carrying out construction work and protecting others who the work may affect from harm.

As an event organiser, responsible for any construction project that is part of the event, you are a CDM client and your duties should include:

  • make suitable arrangements to ensure that construction work is carried out safely
  • ensure cooperation and coordination between those involved in the planning, design and management of construction work
  • ensure that pre-construction information is provided to the right people
  • ensure a construction phase plan has been drawn up prior to construction
  • ensure arrangements for the provision of suitable welfare are put in place
  • other duty holders are appointed as appropriate
  • sufficient time and resources are allocated
  • relevant information is prepared and provided to other duty holders
  • the principal designer and principal contractor carry out their duties
  • welfare facilities are provided 

Full information about CDM regulations 

Plans for stages or equivalent structures should be supplied to the events team at least 28 working days prior to the event taking place. These plans will be shared with Borough of Poole Building Consultancy Services and may require a site visit(s) to approve the safety of the structure on site structure plans to be approved. There may be a cost for these visits, the events team will advise you in due course.


It is essential that you provide an adequate number of toilets at your event, all of which must have hand wash facilities. The use of urinals as well as cubicle toilets should be considered where alcohol consumption is expected.

Please do not rely on existing toilet facilities on site as unfortunately they can be subject to closure at short notice.

If your event is for longer than 1 day, we recommend that you arrange for the toilets to be emptied and cleaned.

Health & Safety Executive: "The Event Safety Guide: A Guide to Health, Safety & Welfare at Music and Similar Events (1999)" advice for temporary toilets at events

For events with a gate opening time of less than 6 hours:

  • female: 1 toilet per 120 females
  • male: 1 toilet per 600 males and 1 urinal per 175 males 

For events with a gate opening time of 6 hours or more:

  • female: 1 toilet per 100 females
  • male: 1 toilet per 500 males plus 1 urinal per 150 males 

For all public events:

  • 1 toilet per 75 people with a disability. 

Page last updated: 02 May 2019
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