Staying on top of risk management for an outdoor event

It’s approaching that time of year where clubs all over the country pull out the bunting, pump up the bouncy castle and light the BBQ. Easter weekend was (hopefully) a taste of things to come in 2019, weather-wise.

Outdoor events are a great way to attract new and lapsed members to your club. People love events where they can take the whole family, but still drink and be merry as if they were down the pub with their mates.

So if you get your event right, it could be a great little money earner.

Getting an event right isn’t just a case of pleasing customers. You need to make sure your risk management is up to date and keeping people, and property, safe.

So here are a few risk management responsibilities that you need to consider before you host an outdoor event at your club.

Grounds

It’s important to remember that the entire grounds of your club are your responsibility. Just because you believe people won’t go in a certain area, doesn’t mean you can leave it in an unsafe state.

Not so long ago, one of our clients faced a claim where a dog walker had fallen on their playing fields after workmen repairing the pitch had left a hole uncovered as they stopped for the weekend.

It’s your responsibility to create a safe space for all your visitors, and you must appreciate that not everyone will stay in assigned areas.

Ensure that you have swept all areas of your grounds for potential hazards, and properly cordoned off any areas that are off-limits to visitors.

Emergency vehicle access

It goes without saying that if an accident or injury occurs, ambulances, fire engines and police cars need a way into your grounds. It may sound obvious, but when you’re planning the layout of your event (where bars, stalls and entertainment are located), don’t put popular attractions anywhere near escape routes. Anything that will draw large numbers of people also has the potential to cause a blockade.

Money

Hopefully, your event will increase bar takings, which is great. But it’s important to think about the security of the people tasked with handling the cash.

Don’t let cash build up. Make sure that you collect takings in a lockable cash box, and the cash is removed on a regular basis. We’d also advise selling tickets before the event to reduce the amount you’re taking on the day.

Where possible, take cash to the bank when the event finishes. Otherwise, keep it in a safe until the bank is open. Very recently, a club near the Club Insure head office was robbed of the entire takings from a fun day after an overnight burglary.

Legislation

All entertainment events are classed as work, as are most activities, so they are subject to the Health and Safety at Work Act and the various other regulations passed under it. Also it is virtually certain that any volunteers working at the event will be classed as employees for the purposes of Employers Liability and Health & Safety legislation.

As an event organiser, you have a duty to ensure that any places of work are safe for employees. This includes managing the risk of slip and trip hazards, dangerous materials and unsafe noise levels.

From a licensing point of view, there’s a chance you’ll need a Temporary Event Notice if your club doesn’t usually hold events of this type. Check with your local authority to make sure.

Hazardous Events

In insurance, when we talk about hazardous events, we’re talking about things like assault courses, bouncy castles, bungee jumping and firework displays etc.

If you’re planning on hosting any of those (or similar) at your event, you must contact your broker beforehand. Not doing so could leave you underinsured or non-compliant.

If you’re hiring an outside contractor to run hazardous events, make sure that they hold their own adequate public liability policy with an indemnity.

Manual handling

A risk assessment must be carried out in respect of all manual handling tasks. Manual handling must be avoided if at all possible or mechanical handling aids such as trolleys used for moving heavy equipment.

If you need any more information or advice, make sure you get in touch with Club Insure during your planning stage. It’s easier to put planning right than recover from something that’s gone wrong.

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Sam Humphrey

Sam Humphrey

Sam is Club Insure's Digital Communications Manager. It's his job to make sure that our readers are getting the information they want in the ways they want it.