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Events & firework safety

Planning a musical or other event so that the events run safely can be difficult for small event organisers. All event organisers need to carefully consider the event to minimise the risk of injury or ill health to both those working at the event, e.g. performers as well as those attending.

The New Purple Guide to Health, Safety and Welfare at Music and Other Events has been drawn up by the Events Industry Forum in consultation with the UK events industry, including representatives from regional and national Government. This publication is designed to replace the original "Purple Guide" (HSG195) which was originally published by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) in consultation with the industry.

The guide aims to help those who organise music or similar events, so that the events can run safely. As an employer, the event organiser - whether an individual, collective or local authority - has a general duty to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of their employees. They also have a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that others - including volunteers and spectators - are not exposed to risks to their health and safety arising from the operation of the event.

This guide goes beyond the compliance with the Health and Safety at Work Act and covers not only legislation and good practice for Health and Safety, but other legislation and good practice across the industry including the Licensing Act 2003, the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and others. The guide has been designed to sign-post event organisers and suppliers to the practices and issues that need to be considered when events are being planned. The contents are not designed to be prescriptive but simply seek to highlight legal criteria and good practice. At all stages, those using this guidance are encouraged to undertake appropriate risk assessments and evaluations to assess the specific requirements for each event they are organising or involved with. This guidance is not the law and there may well be other equally effective ways of dealing with risk.

In some areas, the Guide signposts users to other sources of information that may be helpful. The New Purple Guide can be accessed via www.thepurpleguide.co.uk (new window). There is a subscription charge.

Consultants

If you decide to use a health and safety consultant, please ensure that they are registered (new window). The use of a consultant does not absolve you from your responsibilities to manage health and safety, so it is important that the advice you receive from a consultant is sensible and proportionate. 

Smaller events

Due to the complexity of organising a wide range of events, the guide contains a large amount of detail which may not always be relevant for some smaller events. Organisers running modest scale events may wish to also refer to the HSE"s event safety web page www.hse.gov.uk/event-safety/index.htm (new window). Also use the links on the right for further guidance.

Voluntary and community events do not generally have the same legal controls under the Health & Safety at Work Act. The UK Cabinet Office have published a guide on organising an event - Organising a voluntary event: a 'Can do' guide

Firework safety

If you are organising a major public event, you will clearly need a robust and detailed approach to planning as well as professional involvement. If you are holding a local firework display, such as those organised by many sports clubs, schools or parish councils, you still need to plan responsibly, but the same level of detail is not necessary or expected. Further guidance can be found on the HSE website.

In addition Flintshire County Council’s Community Safety pages have information on Firework Safety and Bonfires, click here to go to these pages.

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