Organising an event

Guidance for event organisers: safety, welfare and insurance

Guidance for event organisers for considering safety, welfare and insurance for their public event.

Responsibility for safety

You as the event organiser (and in some cases the landowner) are ultimately responsible for safety at public events. 

We would also expect you to have a named person who is responsible for the safety on the day of your event. For larger events this may be a dedicated safety officer with a support team. Your safety officer(s) should have a level of expertise sufficient for the hazards likely to be identified with your event.

All events are different and it is impossible to provide specific guidance for every possible eventuality. However, there are minimum safety standards that we expect and we outline these in this section. 

Insurance

You and all contractors and performers, will need public liability cover, with cover of at least £10m (lower levels could be considered for small events, subject to an analysis of the risks), in respect of any one claim or series of claims arising out of any one cause for:

  • any loss or damage to property, or
  • any bodily injury, including death, illness and disease

Cover should extend to protect the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames against any liability, loss, costs, expenses, claims or proceedings whatsoever arising in respect of the above.

If you are employing staff you must provide evidence that you have employers’ liability insurance cover.

For insurance queries, please use our insurance email address.

Fire safety

You will need to provide fire risk assessment and a procedure for dealing with a fire at the event, including details of fire fighting equipment and the locations.

GOV.UK provides guidance for fire risk assessments.

  • Please note that except during emergencies, emergency services and/or other agencies may charge you if you require them to be present at your event.

Temporary structures

Any marquee, tent or temporary structure erected as part of an event must be appropriate for the purpose intended, be in good condition and erected by competent persons. Materials used in temporary structures should be treated to ensure they are flame resistant. Ask the contractor for the certificates to confirm this.

Any temporary structure that is load bearing should be erected in strict compliance with health and safety legislation and accompanied by a certificate by the installer. You should note and be aware of any appropriate foul weather precautions that the supplier provides (eg safe wind speeds, snow loading limits).

Where there is a risk of fire, eg cooking using LPG cylinders or petrol/diesel generators, you should give particular consideration to safe storage of flammable materials including bulk storage if appropriate. The London Fire Brigade and our Health and Safety team will be able to provide further advice on the safe storage of combustible materials.

If any mains electricity is used it should be installed by a competent electrical contractor. All electrical systems should be protected by a suitable residual current device (RCD) with a rating of 30mA.

First aid  

Your event management plan should include details of medical provision at your event. You should include details of all first aid procedures, including how to deal with a first aid related incident at the event and accident reporting arrangements.

Animal welfare

Events involving animals must incorporate measures to ensure animal welfare and the protection of public safety from animal exhibits or performances. Your event management plan must provide details of how any animals will be cared for.

There are special requirements laid down by Defra in respect of agricultural shows where farm and show animals are present. Specialist advice on animal welfare provisions is available from our Environmental Health team.

Noise and vibration

You must have regard to the level of noise being caused, and the impact of your event on the wider community. Music events with low frequency bass music have the potential to cause disturbance from vibration. You may need to carry out regular monitoring of noise levels, include limiters in sound systems, provide acoustic barriers or carry out detailed acoustic assessments.

If your event is likely to generate excessive noise levels that could interfere with the ability of people in the surrounding area to use and enjoy their property, you must take precautions to protect those affected.

You should also be mindful of the noise at work regulations, which protects workers and volunteers from excessive noise at work, and be prepared to provide protective equipment to those likely to be exposed to loud noise for long periods.

Please contact our Environmental Health team for further advice on noise and vibration.

Welfare and sanitation services

You must provide details of your arrangements in connection with the following areas:
  • sanitary provision (the event safety guide (purple guide) contains a guide to the number of facilities per number of guests)
  • lost children/persons
  • site cleaning
  • waste disposal

Waste and litter

You must have adequate arrangements to dispose of waste generated at the event. We will not dispose of any waste, so trade waste companies should be contacted for assistance – there will be a charge for this service.

You should also arrange for stewards to litter pick at the end of the event. Appropriate equipment such as litter pickers, gloves and bags should be provided.