Managing an event

Your duties as an event organiser

You are responsible for ensuring that overall safety at the event is maintained so that as far as reasonably practicable, people setting up, breaking down and attending the event are not exposed to risks to their health and safety.

These duties will include:

  • having health and safety arrangements in place to control risks
  • ensuring co-operation and proper co-ordination of work activities
  • providing your employees and others with relevant information on any risks to their health and safety
  • ensuring the competence of staff to undertake their role safely
  • monitoring health and safety compliance
  • reviewing your health and safety arrangements

What you need to do

Once physical activity starts at the event site, attention should move away from planning and paperwork to the effective management and monitoring of site operations, as follows:


Have appropriate management systems in place for each phase of the event to make sure health and safety risks are controlled. While the numbers onsite during the public period will be significantly greater, the need for safety management during build up, load-in, breakdown and load-out is just as important. There may be fewer people, but this is likely to be when the highest-risk work activities are carried out.


Ensure co-operation and proper co-ordination of all work activities on the site. This does not mean you become responsible for all the individual technical work carried out by third parties. Rather you should make sure you develop a safe overall phased programme of work by taking into account contractor risk assessments and communicating this to all relevant parties.

Further information


Provide your employees and others, including contractors, with relevant information on any risks to their health and safety identified by your risk assessment/s. Your contractors will need to do the same for their employees.

Do this as part of a general site induction and briefings about individual work activities or tasks. For example, you may need to tell people coming onto site about:

  • site hazards and control measures
  • buried services such as electric cables
  • safe speed limits
  • where they can safely park
  • first aid, toilets and wash facilities 
  • emergency arrangements
  • weather forecast news
  • procedures for using / booking plant

You may also want to provide relevant health and safety information to the public, eg in the form of signage.


Staff should be competent to undertake their role safely. There should also be an appropriate level of competent supervision, proportionate to the risk, nature of the work and the personnel involved.

Monitoring and review

Periodically, you should check your agreed methods for controlling risks and test them to make sure they are working and being followed. Your risk assessment should set out the frequency of checks, who is responsible for them, and the methods they use.

For small-scale events, a simple checklist is probably enough.

For larger events, such as a festival, a number of people may share the monitoring role. Whoever has the role should be familiar with the risk assessment findings and control measures, and be able to identify new hazards and assess risks as they arise.

Others with managerial responsibilities can also assist in this monitoring role while undertaking their other duties.

For guidance on accidents, ill health and dangerous occurrences see RIDDOR.

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Updated 2024-02-09