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The Idiots guide to Event Risk Assessments

If you are anything like me the phrase Risk Assessment fills your heart with dread. 
OMG seriously planning for things that may never happen, working out how bad the injuries could be from these unlikely accidents and what you can put in place to make sure they are very unlikely to happen!!


Well, I have now had the bejesus scared out of me. I recently completed the IOSH Event safety course and I shall never again think that risk assessments are for those jobs worth’s that like to do everything by the book!


Risk assessments are essential, should something go wrong they can be the only thing that can save you from going to jail. What, Jail I hear you cry, yes fellow event managers you could actually go to jail! (Well in very extreme circumstance, but It could happen).


A well-written risk assessment shows that you did consider all the issues that could arise and put controls in place to minimise the risk.


The HSE has a very simple 5 step guide to risk assessments. I have summarised each one with some examples for you to consider. Risk assessments can seem a very daunting task but if you break it down into simple sections it can be done quickly and efficiently.


• Identify the hazards 
A hazard can be anything that may cause harm and in an events environment, that could include electricity supply to stands, Electrical equipment, using ladders to build displays, incorrect footwear (flip flops not a good idea when there is heavy equipment around) unsecured cables.

• Decide who might be harmed and how 
These include Event staff, contractors, the public, venue staff. They may trip over a loose cable, have a heavy object land on their toe, fall off a ladder or receive an electric shock from faulty equipment.

• Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions 
Now you know the hazard you need to decide how likely it will be that it will cause harm to someone. You are not expected to eliminate the risk completely as that would be impossible but you need to think how you can minimise the likelihood of it happening. 
For example, a simple precaution would be to secure all cables to the ground or ensure that any staff working at height are fully trained and have assistance and have all your equipment PAT tested in advance of the event.

• Record your significant findings 
Make a record of all your findings. Below is a template that you can use for your event risk assessments that have been tried and tested. You can modify it to meet your needs there is no right or wrong version just what works for you. 
Risk Assessment Template 
• Review your assessment and update if necessary 
New issues always arise so it good to continually review and update or renew your assessments for the new or recurring event.


I hope this has helped a bit and has given you the confidence to go and write your own risk assessment as they are not a difficult as you may think.

Original Post can be found from here.