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Frequently asked questions

Licensing

Where can I find out about the Licensing of events?

In addition to health and safety law, some events may also require licenses from local authorities. You can get advice on Licensing from your local council and/or the Department of Culture, Media and Sport / Scottish Government, who are responsible for developing entertainment Licensing law, which is administered by Licensing authorities. Find out more at:

Street parties and small fetes

Where can I get help organising a street party or small fete?

Find out how to plan a small party and what information your council will need to know by going to GOV.UK.

Public welfare and environmental issues at events

Where can I find information to help me with public welfare and environmental protection issues at events?

There are many activities at events that fall outside HSE’s areas of responsibility. These include the provision of toilets and medical care for the audience, a wholesome water supply, food safety, lost persons, child protection and pollution control, plus many equality issues. These matters are covered by powers held by other national or local government bodies.  

Find out more:

'The Events Industry Forum is currently writing updated industry guidance about these matters.

General

Are the CDM Regulations enforced at events?

The erection of some temporary demountable structures at entertainment events falls within the definition of ‘construction work’ in regulation 2(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM).

However, HSE policy is that the CDM Regulations do not provide a useful regulatory framework for temporary structures used in the entertainment industry. This is because the CDM Regulations were specifically drafted for the procurement and delivery of projects in the construction industry. The processes and management arrangements in the entertainment industry can be significantly different.

Instead, organisers and their contactors should focus on compliance with The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999 and other relevant regulations (eg Work at Height Regulations 2005).

Who enforces the health and safety law at events?

Local authorities are generally responsible for enforcing health and safety legislation at events. Where an event is actually organised by a local authority, HSE is normally responsible for enforcement. 

HSE has enforcement responsibility for the following activities at all events:

  • the erection and dismantling of temporary demountable structures (TDS) like stages and grandstands (except for small marquees and similar tents which are enforced by local authorities)
  • radio and television broadcasting
  • fairgrounds

In certain circumstances, arrangements can be made to transfer enforcement responsibilities between HSE and local authorities. 

HSE's Enforcement Policy Statement sets out the principles which HSE inspectors and local authority environmental health officers should follow when making enforcement decisions. In particular, any action taken by regulators should be proportionate to the risk.

What is the role of a local authority Safety Advisory Group (SAG)?

Local authorities can call their Safety Advisory Groups (SAG) by different names, for example in Scotland they are known as Event Planning and Operations Groups. These are non-statutory groups of multi-agency representatives formed to promote safety at public events.

Typically, local authority SAGs exist to:

  • promote high levels of safety and welfare at events by giving advice and guidance
  • promote good practice in safety and welfare planning for events
  • ensure events have a minimal adverse impact on the community

Why has HS(G) 195 not been revised?

The events industry, via the Events Industry Forum (EIF), intends to publish a comprehensive guide on staging events, which will include sections on health and safety.

HSE has agreed to provide the EIF and their associate members with text relating specifically to health and safety for this industry guide. Once the EIF produces a draft, HSE will look at the practicalities of endorsing the sections on health and safety.

Updated 2014-05-21