Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently re-published “Charity and voluntary workers: A guide to health and safety at work” (HSG192). This is mainly concerned with the health and safety of workers employed by the voluntary sector, but does touch upon public events. It was developed in partnership with the Charities Safety Group, which has over 100 member charities, and the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.
The guidance makes clear that employers are required to carry out an assessment of risks that result from their undertaking and, if they employ five or more people, that they must record the findings of the assessment. Therefore, where the body organising an event is an employer, as many charities are, the law requires that a risk assessment is carried out.
The guidance also includes advice and case studies to help charities and volunteering organisations decide on the practical steps they need to take.
HSE also supported Volunteering England in the development and recent launch of their risk assessment toolkit which is available free online at www.volunteering.org.uk. It gives detailed guidance on all aspects of risk assessment in volunteering, including health and safety aspects of organising events.