The Importance of Event Safety

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The importance of safety at any public or private event is of absolute paramount importance not only in terms of what happens during the event itself but also in the build-up and breakdown of an event site for those who are working on site, as well as visitors and guests attending the event itself.

SES emphasizes the importance of safety to all of our clients and this is an important, if not the most important, aspect of our event planning and delivery.

Prior to his retirement from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Frazer Macdonald (SES Director) was responsible for Fire Safety at several public events in the Perthshire area. He has extensive knowledge of the relevant Fire Safety legislation, is conversant in Fire Risk Assessment and the development of Event Fire Safety Plans. He now uses this experience to ensure that SES can provide clients with the best Fire Safety advice and ensures that the most appropriate Fire Fighting equipment that is required for a particular event is sourced and provided at competitive cost.

Such an approach will in normal circumstances satisfy any subsequent on site event inspection by the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service. For example in event campsites, Frazer will ensure that the requisite instance is maintained between camping pitches and where Marquees, Caravans and Trailers are positioned on the event site, that they are located safe distances apart with appropriate escape routes if they are required. He is conversant with the contents of the Event Purple Guide and applies the guidance set out in this document to events in which SES are involved.

Likewise Ewen West (SES Director) was an experienced qualified Event Commander prior to his retiral from Tayside Police. Ewen was involved in the safety planning of many sporting and other major public events as a senior Police Officer. Since his retiral, he has obtained a Level 4 Spectator Safety qualification ensuring that he retains his expertise in dealing with safety at events. Both he and Frazer still attend Event Safety seminars to ensure they retain their professional knowledge regarding event safety and the impact new and existing legislation/guidance places on Event Organisers. Ewen also has a working knowledge of the Green Guide (latest edition has just been published) as well as the Purple Guide mentioned above

It is absolutely important that any Contractors used on an event sites have properly trained staff, apply their Method of Work Statements and Risk Assessments – SES always ensure that this is indeed the case and monitor works accordingly. Likewise whatever activity is provided on site for visitors is similarly checked by SES for safety and that activity equipment is properly secured and operationally safe.

Incident investigation is another area of SES expertise – both Frazer and Ewen are very well experienced in terms of what is required should an incident occur on site both in terms of scene preservation and initial enquiry should the investigation then become a matter for a statutory authority. They are also proficient in conducting comprehensive investigations and preparing subsequent client reports. 

In terms of Incident and Contingency Planning, this is another area of strength for SES. Frazer and Ewen have prepared such Event Plans and planned and presented a number of Table Top exercises to test Event plans and staff awareness should an incident occur. These exercises have been very well commented upon by a number of Event professionals and underline the knowledge and skill that SES can bring to your event.

In terms of the multi-agency Safety Advisory Groups that exist to oversee the safety at public events, SES are experienced in having dialogue with these Groups, ensuring that the appropriate documentation is provided to them in advance of events, presenting information in person to the Groups and obtaining their authority for events to proceed.

Safety is key to the success of any event and SES can provide events with the necessary information to ensure that the Event Licensing Authority are content that your event is safe, that Incident and Contingency Plans are in place and that Event organisers have in SES, a team that will hopefully prevent any incident occurring and reacting professionally should an incident response be required.