Competent Persons Risk Assessment For Outdoor Celebrations
With British summers becoming warmer and drier, outdoor celebrations can be planned with greater confidence. More people will decide to hold alfresco weddings, birthday parties, and – most likely in 2023 – coronation street parties. Organising such events isn’t just a question of ordering food and drink, a band and some flowers. There are more complex and important arrangements to be made to ensure the health and safety of all participants. These can best be carried out by someone trained in H&S event safety, who can identify all areas of potential risk and put safeguards in place.
Competent Persons Risk Assessment
These will include the risk of accident and injury to any personnel working at the event, such as hospitality staff and security. You’ll also have to take contractors into account, who may be providing and setting up equipment. This is all in addition to the guests at the event, and other members of the public who might be in the vicinity. After this, you’ll have to determine what risk is posed by equipment and facilities, such as stages, lighting, electrical hook-ups and toilets.
An event organiser must be able to plan, manage and monitor every aspect of the proceedings. You can get help with this from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), who provide useful information and a toolbox to help you with the key threats such as gas and fire. When you’re dealing with materials in an unpredictable environment, you need to cover all and any unexpected occurrences. Will electrical wiring stand up to heavy rain, for example, or could lightning start a fire? With recent unpredictable weather patterns, you may have to conduct risk assessments that also consider high winds, heat exposure or floods.
Everyone loves a street party or a festival, but the more people gather in one place, the greater the health and safety risks. Quite apart from the super-spreader risks of infection, you have the security elements of crowd control. Your risk assessments need to consider the likely number of people who’ll attend your event, and whether the facilities are adequate to support them. Will you need safety barriers to safeguard access to sensitive or dangerous equipment, for example? Will you need security personnel to control entrances and exits, or access to celebrities?
With a coronation on the horizon in 2023, the HSE continues to stress the importance of competent persons risk assessments. In particular, all electrical installations should only be planned and effected by competent personnel. Only equipment specifically intended for outdoor use should be installed, and regularly checked for damage or evidence of water coming in. Competent persons only should inspect, test and maintain any such equipment in compliance with the relevant regulations.
If this leaves you feeling concerned about the safety of your friends and neighbours, or employees and customers, it’s easy enough to get professional help. We’re skilled in risk assessment and competent persons assistance in the workplace, and will always be happy to offer you our advice.