Health and Safety Guidance Notes for Local Societies and Organisations taking part in the Festival of Chichester

These notes have been prepared for organisers of events advertised in the Festival of Chichester brochure.

The purpose of these notes is to provide advice and guidance upon Health and Safety matters for those managing such events.

Liability Insurance

It is important that all event organisers have separate liability insurance for their activities. This may be provided by your venue, but it is your responsibility to check that proper insurance is in place. The Festival of Chichester cannot provide such cover for you. 

Health and Safety Legislation

The scope of the application of Health and Safety legislation to external events depends upon the employment status of event organisers in particular whether events are organised on a totally voluntary basis or whether the organisers are employed by some other body.  These notes assume that UK Health and Safety legislation applies in full to all external events but if there is some doubt with this regard the organisers should take appropriate professional advice.  External event organisers are responsible for ensuring the events they manage comply with Health and Safety legislation.

Health and Safety at Work Act

This requires that event organisers take responsibility for the health & safety of employees, volunteers, contractors, audiences and the general public affected by their activities. 

Risk Assessment

Health and Safety legislation requires that all activities within the scope of the legislation should be assessed according to their risks.  A risk assessment is nothing more than a careful examination of what could cause harm to people, so that they can be weighed up according to whether sufficient precautions have been taken to prevent harm.  The remaining part of these notes contain a risk assessment guide and an assessment form which should be completed for each event advertised in the Festival.  External Event organisers need to be able to show that a proper check was made and that reasonable steps were taken to ensure any remaining risk to participants is low.


The ‘golden rule’ when completing the form is to decide whether a hazard is significant, and whether satisfactory precautions have been taken to ensure that the risk is small.  Don’t be overcomplicated.  Hazards occurring during the external events run during the Festival are likely to be few and simple. Checking them is common sense, but necessary.

Five Step Risk Assessment

Step 1Look for the hazardsLook afresh at the event what could reasonably be expected to cause harm?  Ignore the trivial and concentrate on significant hazards which could result in serious harm or affect several people.  Hazards may arise from activities involving for example: Everyday Hazards.  If crossing busy roads it can be more difficult to manage groups of people.  Can the route be varied to make maximum use of pedestrian crossings?  Does the route go near deep water?Premises.  Most venue premises are likely to be certificated by the Fire Authority, but do check with your hirer; it is important that numbers involved do not exceed the maximum permitted.Electrical Hazards.  Little electrical equipment is used but there may be PA equipment etc.  Is the wiring suitable, will the equipment be used outside in wet conditions?Tripping and slipping.  Loose carpets, uneven pavements, trailing wires etc. – have all reasonable precautions been taken?Fire escapes.  Do any premises used have sufficient means of escape in case of fire?  Are fire exits and gangways kept clear?  
Step 2Decide who might be harmed and howYoung people.  What age are the participants in the event?  Who has the responsibility to supervise them?  As a general rule parents/ guardians should be present and responsible for their children.  Particular care should be taken where road traffic or deep water is present.Elderly and infirm.  May find it difficult to gain access to events and need particular help if an emergency evacuation is necessary.  
Step 3Evaluate the risksEvaluate the risks and decide whether existing precautions are adequate or more should be done.  Consider how likely it is that each hazard could cause harm. This will determine whether or not you need to do more to reduce the risk.  Even after all precautions have been taken, some risks usually remain.  What has to be decided for each significant hazard is whether this remaining risk is high, medium or low.  The real aim is to make all risks small by adding to precautions as necessary.
Step 4Record your findingsA note should be made of the risks considered and any measures taken to reduce them.  Unless some special risks exist this does not need to be anything more than a brief sentence summarising the hazard and measures taken.
Step 5Review your assessment and revise it if necessaryIf any changes are made to plans do they make any significant change to the position?

Festival of Chichester Risk Assessment Form

Step 1 List Significant Hazards HereStep 2 List Group of People Who Are At Risk From The Significant HazardsStep 3 List Existing Controls Or Where Additional Controls Are Necessary


Assessment Undertaken:

Signed                                                                          Date