Safety and Risk Assessment

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Safety and risk assessment

As part of planning a sporting event, it is vital that a risk assessment needs is carried out to help identify potential incidents and emergencies, and what to do should an incident arise.

What are the potential risks associated with sports events?

Common risks at events can be categorised into 5 types of risks: reputational, physical, emotional, facility and financial. With sporting events, there are several hazards to look out for, including:   

  • Venue Hazards: location, suitability for the event and the crowd expected for activity, loss or damage to equipment, venue security, the layout of the venue and how it affects crowd control at the venue.
  • Audience Hazards: a large audience could mean it’s very busy, people could be subject to minor cuts and grazes etc, people may become intoxicated.
  • Site setup and breakdown: construction dangers during the event, fire hazards, technical hazards, traffic problems, environmental provisions such as water and toilet facilities.

How are you going to prepare for these potential risks?

Creating a risk assessment document will list the hazards identified for your sporting event and suggested contingencies to lessen or eliminate the risks.

This document will be a key requirement of any insurer and should be created in advance to give staff time to discuss potential hazards during the event and what measures to put in place to mitigate the risks identified.

The team should also discuss the additional resources that will be needed to put this strategy in place and who will be responsible for implementation. Fire officers could be used, as well as an event first aid company to support the event.

Does the event need to be insured?

Sporting event insurance is necessary to safeguard event organisers and attendees. It is important to have your own event insurance, even if the venue has their own as it will not cover all of your potential hazards.

For sporting events common risks include injury to athletes and damage to equipment, which may have been hired. Sporting event insurance also covers you for cancellation or abandonment, property damage and legal liabilities.

Top Tip

Break your risk assessment down into 5 simple steps:

  1. Identify the hazards
  2. Decide who might be harmed and how
  3. Evaluate the risks and decide on which precautions to take
  4. Record your findings and implement them
  5. Review your assessment and update if necessary

Did You Know?

  • Sporting events are worth £2.3 billion, more than both music events and festivals
  • 15% of organisers are planning on investing more on insurance next year