Brief guide to
Risk Assessments for

The majority of event organisers conduct risk assessments when they are planning events, however in our experience not all events organisers. Considering the changes this year and the threat of the pandemic it’s time to start ensuring we all do conduct a risk assessment for every event taking place, however small.


In order to carry out your risk assessment you usually need a document to record this on for the event, you may have come across risk assessment documents before and they usually are in the form of a chart or table with green, yellow and red risk colour options to indicate the level of risk, here is an image of the a simple risk assessment table


Risk assessment table


Before you start thinking about filling this in, it’s important to understand how to assess risk at an event.


Certain activities undertaken at events have more risk involved than others, in many cases some of these higher risk activities can be at build up (setting up the event in the days before it takes place in the chosen venue) so it’s important to focus on this as well as the event days.


One of the best ways to start thinking about the risk at an event can be to walk through the event in your mind or as a team, thinking about what will be happening at each moment of the event, who will be onsite at the event and what potential harm could come to them depending on the activity they are undertaking, this needs to include event staff, sponsors, suppliers and attendees of the event.


As mentioned before build up is likely to be one of the most hazardous times for an event, this is where anything that needs to be installed or setup takes place in the venue and it can be a bit chaotic with different suppliers, sponsors or exhibitors installing structures or setting up spaces at the same time, usually with time constraints involved depending on how much time you have allowed in your budget to rent out the venue space or how much time the venue has available due to other events scheduled around your event.


Make a list of hazards at these times and if people are likely to come across them, for example cables trailing along the floor when suppliers are building exhibitions booths and who is also likely to be near these cables at the time, so this will likely be the event organising team, exhibitors who are setting up other booths near where the build is taking place and write this down on the risk assessment.


If you take this example you can see that with quite a few people around at the time there is a significant risk someone would hurt themselves on this cabling, so next is to see what can be done to reduce this risk, initially think about what you have available to you already at the event, so this could be barriers, or limiting exhibitors from accessing this area when the suppliers are building stands, which would be something easier to do in a larger exhibition, so bear this in mind. Also think about notifying people of the risk so that they are aware of potential hazards, along with other ways to reduce the risk at this time of the event.


Once you have evaluated and decided on all the risks of each hazard at the event and entered this into your risk assessment, you can use this to first be aware of all the risks involved in the event but also to take steps to try and reduce these risk where possible to make the event as safe as you can, this should be done for any type of event however small, it also allows you to clearly see where to make changes to the event to keep everyone safe.