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Introduction

The Somerset Council  SAG’s aim is to welcome and encourage events to take place in Somerset whilst ensuring that they take place safely and successfully.  Through consultation and joint working between the Council and its partners, including Avon and Somerset Police, South West Ambulance Service, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue, and Trading Standards, it aims to standardise the approach to all organised events. These are events that are open to the public and are staged in a public place, on a highway, or on private, or council owned land in Somerset.

The SAG holds regular meetings to which organisers of larger or new events are generally invited. Smaller events located close to large roads or motorways or events with dangerous activities are also of interest.

To assist you in developing your proposals we have brought together the following notes and weblinks to signpost you to relevant advice and resources to help keep your employees, volunteers and audience safe.

As an event organiser you will have prime responsibility for protecting the health, safety and welfare of everyone working at or attending the event. Key aspects for consideration during development of your plan may include, but are not limited to:

  • Drawing up an event management plan and associated risk assessments
  • Staffing and Stewarding – provision of PPE
  • Fire safety – developing your fire risk assessment and associated plans
  • Incident planning – steps to take in the event of an emergency
  • Transport management – consider safe entrance and exit of vehicles and pedestrians, safe travel routes, parking management
  • Crowd management – access and egress, one way systems, emergency evacuation
  • Electrical installations – safe infrastructure, designed and installed by a competent person
  • Food, drink and water – confirm your suppliers
  • Sanitary facilities – provision of hygiene and hand wash stations
  • Waste management – consider recycling opportunities
  • Sound – limit noise levels to not only prevent disturbance to the neighbourhood
  • Medical and first aid management
  • Communications

Attending a SAG

If you are planning to hold an event and you would like advice, please call 0300 123 2224 or email safetyadvisorygroup.mendip@somerset.gov.uk

You may be asked to a SAG meeting if we think your event would benefit from advice and guidance.

Temporary Event Notices

A Temporary Event Notice (TEN) is given to an individual and authorises them to conduct one or more licensable activities for no more than 96 hours.  TENs can be used to authorise small-scale (>500) events held at any one time, subject to certain restrictions.  If you want to hold a public event that involves the retail sale of alcohol, the provision of regulated entertainment or the provision of hot food or hot drink served between 11pm and 5am, you can do so using a Temporary Event Notice.

If you want to hold a public event that involves the retail sale of alcohol, the provision of regulated entertainment or the provision of hot food or hot drink served between 11pm and 5am, you can do so using a Temporary Event Notice (TEN).

Risk assessment

Whatever the size of your event you will have to think about what hazards are associated with your event. This includes who might be harmed and what you can do to eliminate the hazard or reduce the likelihood of harm to a reasonable level. The risk assessment should help you plan for your event and to produce an event management plan. You can find guidance as well as a risk assessment template and examples on the Health and Safety Executive website.

See our Risk Assessment Template with some examples of the sorts of controls needed for some of the risks to help you plan for your event.

Event Management Plan

The key to a good event is a strong event management plan.

This should be a detailed, accurate and comprehensive document which sets out exactly what will happen at the event, the procedures in place to manage it safely, and what will be done to deal with expected or unexpected situations and emergencies.

Serving food

Whether you are attending a community party or hosting one of your own, it is important to be aware of food safety and hygiene as food hygiene legislation may still apply.  Please see the link How to safely host a street party | Food Standards Agency for some practical tips and advice on best practices, so that everyone can trust the food they’re eating.

If you are preparing food at home then do follow the simple advice on the Foods Standards Agency website for preparing food safely.

First Aid Cover

Your event risk assessment should help you decide whether you need to have first aid cover and what that needs to be.

For small community based events like fetes and street parties you do not have to provide first aid for the public, but it is a good idea to have a first aid kit to hand and someone prepared to take charge in the event of an emergency.

Public Liability Insurance

It is a good idea to have public liability insurance to cover your event.

If you are engaging contractors whether to put up a marquee, provide a bouncy castle, or run a food stall you should check that they have public liability insurance in place. The Council requires all hirers of their land to have cover, but for community run very small events it may not be necessary.

Road closures

If you would like to close a road for an event, permission is required.

For more information on closing a road for your event, please see organising an event on or affecting the public highway.

Events on Council land

You will require permission to hold an event on Council land. Please read our Booking events and permits page for more information.

Fireworks

Follow the Health and Safety Executive organising firework displays  guidance when running your own or organising a display for the public.

Last reviewed: November 29, 2023 by William

Next review due: May 29, 2024

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