Running your Event
Keeping your event safe and legal
Nearly all events run smoothly, however occasionally things go wrong and it is important to be prepared. If something does go wrong there can be serious implications so event organisers need to plan ahead, anticipate risks and take appropriate action where necessary. The Government Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends carrying out a five step risk assessment (see below) to look at what in your event could potentially cause harm, and whether you have done enough to prevent an accident. More information can be found on the HSE website.
- Identify potential hazards
- Decide who might be harmed and how
- Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions
- Make a record of your findings and necessary actions
- Review your assessment throughout planning /set up
See the Events Health and Safety Checklist and Events Legal Checklist for a list of some of the most common issues and checks to look out for.
Events Health and Safety Checklist
This is a non-exhaustive list of Health and Safety considerations when running an event. Some of these points may only be relevant if you are running a larger event. The DEC cannot take any responsibility for problems that may arise during fundraising events.
- Are fire exits, fire extinguishers and assembly points all clearly signed?
- Are fire marshals fully briefed?
- Are clear emergency procedures displayed somewhere public and prominent?
- Are any uneven/hazardous surfaces roped off or clearly marked?
- Have you done a risk assessment of hazardous areas such as hot drink service areas, traffic routes or deep water?
- Will bad weather affect the event? Have you a back up plan and a plan to reduce any resulting hazards?
- Do you need public liability insurance?
- Is there suitable access and parking for all visitors/staff?
- Are there qualified first-aiders on site and sufficient first aid supplies?
- Have you notified the local emergency services about your event?
Volunteers / Staff
- Is there a specific person in charge of the event and has this been communicated to everyone involved?
- Are all staff/volunteers familiar with site layout, key phone numbers, first-aiders, emergency procedures and risk assessments?
- Is there enough enough staff to cope in an emergency situation?
Events Legal Checklist
This is a non-exhaustive list of legal considerations when running an event. Some of these points may only be relevant if you are running a larger event. The DEC cannot take any responsibility for problems that may arise during fundraising events.
- Does the licensing authority need to approve the event?
- If collecting money do you have permission from the local authority (if collecting on the street) or private landowner (for example if collecting outside a supermarket you will need permission from the manager)
- Have you registered your event with the DEC?
- Do you need a letter of authority or fundraising ID from the DEC (request here)
- If holding a small raffle you must comply with the following:
- tickets must only be sold on same day and premises as draw
- Total value of prizes purchased for draw is no more than £250 (donated prizes can be more)
- Prizes of alcohol must only be offered in licensed premises
- All tickets the same price (no discounts).
- If holding a larger raffle you may need to contact your local authority to obtain a licence
Can someone from the DEC come to my event?
We'd love to come and visit all events but as we are a very small organisation based in Central London with no regional offices or any staff around the UK, we can't always make it.
We operate with a very small number of staff (in order to keep costs low), and rely on volunteers and staff co-opted from our members when an appeal is running.
We will try and get back to you soon as possible but can't promise we will have people available.