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Entertainment and events (HSE guidance)

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Public Events - guidance for fairs, music, motorsport and public events in Guernsey

  • Managing an event

    • (1) Responsibilities
    • As an event organiser, you are taking on responsibility for the planning, set-up, management and take down of the event and all associated activities. This is a demanding, yet rewarding role, and it is common to delegate some of the tasks to an organising committee.
    • You will need to plan in advance and obtain the relevant permissions (eg. alcohol, structures, roads). Do not underestimate the effort and time this may take (large events planning often commences 12 months ahead of the event dates). This may include:
      • Preparation (governance, choosing your team, goals, audience, budget... see event management plan below)
      • Engagement (neighbours, parishes, States Committees, Police, Fire, Ambulance)
      • Promotion (advertising, social media, tickets)
      • On-site management (set up, appointment of personnel, running the event, take down)
      • Post-event review (what could be improved)
    • (2) Event management plan and and event safety plan
    • The event management plan includes:
      • Details of the event (eg. organisers, location, times, dates, type of event, size of crowd)
      • Roles and responsibilities (eg. event organiser, event manager, safety officer, stewart coordinator, production)
      • Crowd management (eg. stages, barriers, security, admission, accessible facilities, stewarding)
      • Contractor management (eg. concessions, food, bars, production, stage, music, security, attractions, fairgrounds)
      • Communications on site and off site (eg. two-way radios, mobile phones)
      • First-aid / medical provision (eg. own first-aiders or medical provider)
      • Event electrical safety management (appointment of senior responsible person)
      • Fire safety and evacuation (fire extinguishers, escape routes, fire marshals)
      • Children, vulnerable visitors, diversity and inclusion (lost children, hearing loops, sign language, accessible viewing platforms, accessible toilets and changing rooms)
      • Welfare facilities and toilets (eg. temporary toilets, accessible toilets, water supply, hand washing facilities)
      • Health and safety arrangements (or include them as a separate safety management plan)
      • Permissions (eg. PA licence, PRS/PPL, alcohol, structures, traffic management)
      • Contingencies and emergency plans (eg. bad weather, abandoning, cancelling arrangements, terrorism and security risks)
    • The event safety plan includes:
      • Health and Safety risk assessment
      • Control measures and instructions
      • Fire risk assessment
      • Electrical risk assessment
    • (3) Help with risk assessment
    • Common risks encountered are:
      • Temporary structures, falls from height, slips, trips and falls, fire, electricity, noise, food handling, hazardous substances, manual handling, drugs (search policy, hypodermic needles), young people (lost children, underage drinking), disabled people, violence, crowd control, transport (car parking, backstage access, rigging, emergency access), medical emergencies, weather, high / low temperatures, wind, gas / LPG, Diesel refuelling for generators, CO2 / N2 leakage, pyrotechnics, lasers, smoke and fogs...
    • (4) Guide to Event Safety
  • Fair organisers

    • The organiser must ensure that the overall safety of the site is maintained so that people setting up, breaking down and attending the fair can do so without risks to their health and safety.
    • (1) Planning
      • setting out rides so they can run safely, don't affect other rides and the public can get to and from them safely
      • making sure there are enough easily-identifiable, trained people on site to deal with emergencies
      • ensuring ride controllers know who the deputy organiser is, if the organiser has to leave the site
      • making sure all ride controllers know who the organiser and their deputy are, and what the emergency procedures are
      • marking escape routes and assembly areas clearly, and making sure all people working on the fair know where they are
      • having an emergency plan in place to deal with foreseeable things such as:
        • - fire
        • --overcrowding
        • - major ride collapse
        • - severe weather
    • (2) Managing
      • making yourself (the organiser) or your deputy available, if needed
      • making sure a robust means of communication is in place
      • identifying and checking that daily safety checks are carried out on access routes, fire-fighting equipment, areas closed to the public etc
    • (3) Monitoring
      • checking that safe conditions are maintained throughout the life of the fair by:
      • monitoring individual rides to make sure they don't affect those outside their movement envelope
      • controlling numbers to prevent overcrowding
      • keeping emergency routes clear
      • ensuring housekeeping is done to keep down rubbish and flammables etc, and to ensure the ground stays in good condition
      • checking that the layout has not altered from the original plan
    • (4) Managing the rides and attractions
      • Where individual rides operate as discrete businesses within their own boundaries, ride controllers have overall responsibility to ensure their attractions run safely. The organiser should make reasonable checks to ensure individual ride controllers are complying with their own duties, so they do not affect the safety of the public on site.
      • Where individual ride controllers come together to operate as a temporary or fixed park - whether paid a set amount, receiving a percentage of the gate or where customers pay once for all rides, etc - they will probably become subcontractors and the organiser will take on the legal duties of landlord, with more responsibility for how individual rides are managed.
  • Electrical Equipment Supplier

    • Equipment should be delivered to the event in a safe and serviceable condition and within a valid period, having passed a formal inspection and test. Evidence might be provided by a suitable "tested" label applied to the equipment or by printed or electronic certificate clearly referring to the equipment concerned.
    • Mobile and transportable units (generators) provided for an electrical installation should be within a valid period having passed a formal inspection and test. The results should be available, and the mobile or transportable units (generators) should be provided with evidence that these formal inspections and tests are valid.
    • The name of the owner or supplier should be shown on equipment. Dutyholders with large amounts of equipment may find it useful to label equipment to indicate that the equipment has been tested satisfactorily, ie has been passed as safe, and when it was tested.
    • Portable electrical equipment should only be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, for its intended purpose, and in the environment it was designed and constructed for.
  • Event Electrical System

    • The event risk assessment and the major incident plans should cover all possible hazards associated with the electrical and lighting installations. Planning is a vital part of any electrical installation and site-specific information should be given to the responsible person in good time to enable them to plan the event. 
    • The Person responsible for a temporary electrical system should prepare a risk assessment, to be given to the event manager, which covers the provision, setting-up, operation and removal of the electrical system. The results of the risk assessment should be communicated to all the relevant people and incorporated into the planning and design of the temporary electrical system.
    • Testing and inspection should be carried out by someone with suitable electrical skill. Specialist qualifications such as Temporary Electrical Installations Scheme (BS 7909) | NAPIT are available.
    • Equipment discovered to be faulty in the course of setup or testing should be clearly labelled as such and removed from use. Faulty equipment may be repaired and re-tested at the site if means are available, otherwise the equipment should be returned to the supply for repair, or made unusable to prevent accidental use.
    • It is good practice to have a completion certificate for temporary systems connected to each source of supply. This should be completed and handed over to the event manager/producer by the person responsible and placed into the production safety file or similar. If it is a large operation and the distribution has been split into distinct areas, there may be more than one certificate, in which case the person responsible will fill out a 'Confirmation of Electrical Completion' for the event management.
    • Each test completion certificate should have a 'Schedule of test results' attached which details the results of the actual tests conducted and is important because it proves that the parts tested are going to provide the required level of safety
  • Fairground ride controller / operator

    • (1) Legal requirements
    • The law requires employers to:
      • Manage hazards and risk - You must plan, manage and monitor the erection, running and dismantling of your machines to ensure it is done safely and does not cause health and safety risks to those working on / around them, or to those riding them.
      • Inform and train your employees - You must give your staff enough training so they can do their work safely and not create risks to themselves or others.
    • The vast majority of accidents on fairground rides arise from either poor maintenance or poor operation.You have legal duties to protect the health and safety of those riding on your machines as well as to those working on them
    • (2) Manage hazards and risk
    • There are a number of things you must do in order to manage the hazards and risks in running a fairground ride. Obviously, the greater the hazard, the greater the level of risk control there should be. You should therefore consider:
    • (3) When buying a machine
      • The Amusement Devices Safety Council (ADSC) and HSE have drawn up a system for the safety of attractions. It covers the design, manufacture, testing and operation of fairground rides. It is strongly recommended that you adhere to this guidance when buying a new ride. For further details, see: Fairgrounds and amusement parks: Guidance on safe practice.
    • (4) Risk management system
      • You must identify and then control the risks your machine creates. This process is called risk assessment and this should form part of your health and safety management system. If you employ five or more people, you must have this written down.
    • (5) Ride inspection
      • You must have your ride inspected annually by a competent person. HSE considers ride inspectors registered under the Amusement Devices Inspection Procedure Scheme (ADIPS) or under the PIPA scheme (for inflatables) to be competent in undertaking these inspections. If you use an inspector from outside these schemes, you may have to demonstrate how you assessed their competence.
    • (6) Ride maintenance
      • Your ride will degrade over time so it is important to check it over regularly and ensure that any routine or extraordinary maintenance is carried out promptly. Repairs should only be carried out by a person competent to do them and, where a safety feature is affected, the repair must be reviewed by a competent design reviewer. Routine maintenance procedures should be set out in your machine's operations manual.
    • (7) Accident history
      • Both HSE statistics website and NAFLIC publish details of accidents / incidents involving particular types of machine. You should regularly check these and take the necessary action to ensure the same things don't happen with your machine.
    • (8) Rider safety
      • You must make sure that the people riding your machine can be carried safely, paying particular attention to:
        • any height restrictions identified in the machine's operation manual
        • any obvious or notified disabilities that may affect the rider's ability to ride safely and stay within any containment system. This may include excess weight, heart conditions, physical or mental impairment etc
        • whether the rider appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs
    • (9) Emergency procedures
      • You must have systems in place to ensure that any foreseeable emergency can be dealt with, and that riders and staff can be safely evacuated from the ride. This may include fire, loss of power or the structural failure of all or part of the machine. You can't simply leave this to the emergency services as they may be busy elsewhere
    • (10) Inform and train your employees
      • Your ride staff will probably be involved at all stages of the machine's build up, operation and strip down. It is vital that they receive adequate training so that they can do this safely in all foreseeable circumstances. Training should include:
        • How to unload, build up, strip down and reload the ride. This may require further training in working at height, manual handling and electrical safety.
        • Which parts to check and how to check them when doing daily safety checks. This should also include details about what to do when a problem is found.
        • Deciding on who should and should not be allowed to ride - see Rider safety above.
        • How to operate the machine in accordance with the operations manual, including:
        • loading the ride to ensure it is correctly balanced
        • ensuring restraint / containment systems are correctly closed / fitted before the machine starts
        • clearing people from the danger areas around the machine and making sure fences and gates are closed to prevent access while the machine is in motion
        • not increasing risk to the riders when taking manual control of the ride function, eg through higher speed, more vigorous bouncing etc
        • dealing with people who may become incapacitated or hurt while on the ride.
  • Inflatables

    • (1) Risks from inflatables
    • Serious incidents have occurred where inflatables have collapsed or blown away in windy conditions.
      • These simple precautions can help you avoid serious incidents, whether you supply or buy bouncy castles and inflatables, are hiring one for an event, or operate them.
      • Health and safety law applies to the supply, hire and use of inflatables for commercial purposes. It does not apply to private, domestic buyers and users.
      • This guidance applies to inflatables devices used both outside and inside.
      • Equipment should be designed and manufactured in accordance with British Standard BS EN 14960 Inflatable play equipment - Safety requirements and test methods. For further information on the safe use of inflatables and to purchase a copy of the standard, visit the British Standards Institute Shop, or see: PIPA.
    • (2) Before you buy or hire
      • If you're buying or hiring an inflatable for private or public use you should make sure it has either a numbered PIPA tag or an ADiPs declaration of compliance (DoC).
      • It should also have:
        • written documentation from a competent inspection body to show it complies with British Standard BS EN 14960
        • instructions on how to operate it safely
    • (3) Tag or declaration of compliance (DoC)
      • HSE supports two industry inspection schemes for inflatables run by PIPA and ADiPs.
      • You can use their websites to check safety tests have been carried out and to find out what to do if the equipment has no PIPA tag or ADiPs DoC (you may be risking people's safety if the inflatable doesn't have one of these).
    • (4) Setting up safely
    • When setting up, carry out the following safety checks in line with the inflatable's operator manual:
      • No inflatable should be used in winds above 24 mph (38 kmph), which is Force 5 on the Beaufort Scale (small trees in leaf begin to sway)
      • Certain inflatables may have a lower maximum wind speed for operation. Always check the manufacturer's operating manual to confirm the maximum wind speed for the safe operation of the inflatable
      • When the inflatable is being operated outside, use an anemometer to measure the wind speed at regular intervals. If one of these is not available, the inflatable should not be operated outside
      • Do not use smartphone weather applications to measure wind speed as they do not take localised wind conditions into account
      • When using the inflatable outside, all the anchor points must be used, with metal ground stakes at least 380 mm long and 16 mm wide, with a rounded top. They should have a welded metal 'O' or 'D' ring fitted to the end
      • All inflatables must have at least 6 anchor points. The operator manual will tell you how many there should be, and you should check to ensure they are all still in place and have not been removed
      • The ropes used to secure the inflatable should be in good condition and not stretched, frayed or rotten. Never use improvised tow ropes, eg bungee cord
      • If ground stakes cannot be used because of the surface (eg tarmac) then use ballast weighing at least 163 kg with suitable fixings to attach the guy ropes. The inflatable should be tightly secured to the ground so that the wind cannot get under it and lift it up
      • If an inflatable is being used indoors, refer to the operator's manual which will provide instruction on what anchorage is necessary to maintain the shape of the device and prevent overturn  
      • All other associated equipment must be safe, including the blower
    • (5) Before anyone uses it
    • Have a good look at the inflatable when it is blown up and before use. You should check:
      • the correct blower is being used (the blower specification, including output, will be given in the operating manual)
      • there are no obvious signs of over-tension or sagging of the structure. Also check if the anchor points have been pulled out during inflation  
      • the connection tube and blower are firmly attached to each other
      • impact-absorbing mats are in position
      • there are no holes or rips in the fabric or seams
      • it looks symmetrical - if it looks misshapen or deformed there could be internal problems that make bouncing unpredictable and it should therefore not be used
    • (6) Safe use, supervision and monitoring
    • There should be constant supervision by at least one suitably trained person.
      • Operating instructions must be supplied and should include the following:
      • Restrict the number of users on the inflatable at the same time to the limit in the operator manual or on the unit label. Don't exceed the user height limit and keep bigger users separated from smaller ones
      • Make sure users can get on and off safely, with safety matting at the entrance that is no more than 2 inches deep
      • People should not wear shoes or glasses, and should empty their pockets of all sharp or dangerous items
      • Anyone obviously intoxicated should not be allowed on
      • Don't allow users to climb or hang on the walls
      • Regularly check that anchor points are still secure
      • When operating the inflatable outside, use an anemometer to measure wind conditions at regular intervals, and visually check for changes in wind direction (such as looking at how the trees are swaying). Make sure you take readings in the direction of the wind.
  • Mobile Catering during events Safety Guidance 

    • Catering at outdoor events is a high-risk activity whether at an established venue, market or at a temporary event due to the large numbers of people, frequent use of temporary staff, the temporary nature of the venues.

    • The temporary nature of these events and the uncertainties of the weather can mean that environmental conditions are an added challenge to traders.
    • Local event managers/facilitators and food business operators must work together to secure and maintain high standards and conditions in respect of structures, equipment, cleanliness, food safety management, food standards and health and safety of employees and the public.
    • Any structures used for the preparation of food whether used within a street trading or event environment needs to be fully compliant with the relevant food safety, food standards and health and safety requirements. 
    • Mandatory Health and Safety checks include Gas, Electricity and pressure vessels such as coffee machines.
    • All structures must have their checks undertaken by suitably qualified and competent people.
    • A catering safety risk assessment checklist is available at pdf icon Catering Safety Risk Assessment Checklist [212kb]
  • Further Information is available (music, sports grounds, motorsports events) 

    • The Purple Guide has been written by The Events Industry Forum in consultation with the events industry. Its aim is to help those event organisers who are dutyholders to manage health and safety, particularly at large-scale music and similar events.  The UK Health and Safety Executive was consulted in the production of the workplace health and safety parts of this publication.
    • The current version is only available electronically via (£25 annual subscription applies).
    • The green guide (available to purchase from the Sports Grounds Safety Authority) covers health and safety at sports grounds.
    • HSE UK guidance HSG 112 covers health and safety at motorsports.
    • Clarification on event safety can be obtained from the Health and Safety Executive.  Please contact 
  • Other permits (PA permit, alcohol licence, road closures, structures, fireworks)



Event Safety Guide for Event Organisers, Stallholders and Caterers Small music event generic risk assessment HSG112 Managing Health and Safety at Motorsport Events HSE Guernsey form-g3-confirmation-of-electrical-completion HSE Guernsey BS7909 G2 Schedule of test results HSE Guernsey BS7909 G1 Completion certificate Electrical installation event Safety Guidance Electrical Safety at places of entertainment GS50 HSG107 Maintaining portable electrical equipment Health and safety in the workplace - General Guide Catering Safety Risk Assessment Checklist Gas Safety Event Guidance

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