New guidance document brings together the core elements of event safety management

There has never been a greater need for strong and effective event safety management. To support this, the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) has today launched a new guidance document which provides a comprehensive guide to key elements involved in the planning and delivering of safe events.

The Supplementary Guidance 03: Event Safety Management document, outlines the full event planning cycle and provides event management and safety teams with the tools to effectively deliver safe events for all.

Chief Executive of the SGSA, Martyn Henderson, said: “Safe events are achieved through a balance of good management and design. The focus of the SGSA in creating this new document is to provide individuals in the management, organisation or hosting of an event, with the tools to ensure the safety of anyone attending their events.

“Safety management should never be an afterthought. Venue management and event organisers around the world face common challenges and need these practical tools and guidance to help ensure the safety of the public.”

The new guidance is supplementary to the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds (also known as the Green Guide), which is used around the world for the safe design of sports grounds. It builds on a number of the concepts within the latest edition of the Green Guide, published at the end of 2018, in particular the significance of Zone Ex.

This new guidance document brings together the following core elements of event safety management:

  • Management responsibilities. Providing guidance on the measures the venue management and/or event organiser should take in order to meet their responsibilities for safety management throughout the event planning cycle.
  • Event safety personnel. Focusing on the five key roles which typically make up the safety management team at a venue or event: a senior executive; Safety Officer; supervisory stewards; stewards and a named individual with a responsibility for security.
  • Risk management. Detailing the requirements by which venue management and/or event organisers can meet their responsibility to achieve a reasonable degree of safety for all people present at an event.
  • Incident management. Advising the best way to manage incidents or threats as they occur by revising operational procedures and, if necessary, implementing contingency plans.
  • Contingency planning. Highlighting the difference between standard operational procedures that apply during normal conditions, to when hazards or threats are categorised as ‘critical’ and need a planned response known as a ‘contingency plan’.
  • Operations Manual. Listing all the documents considered necessary for the safe management of an event, such as policy and planning documents, risk assessments, contingency plans, operational plans and site plans.
  • Event Management Plan. Explaining the importance of this final section of the Operations Manual, and how it must be prepared in advance summarizing all the operational procedures to be put in place for a specific event.
  • Event Record, review and audit. Focusing on the need to maintain records for each event and have robust reviewing and auditing procedures which offer confirmation and assurance that the safety management operation is properly planned and open to subsequent examination.

While this document is a comprehensive guide to all elements relating to event safety management, the Green Guide remains the foundation upon which all other SGSA guidance is based.

SGSA’s Head of Inspectorate and lead author of SG03: Event Safety Management, Ken Scott MBE, said: “Event safety management is a discipline that requires forethought, focus, detailed planning and leadership, backed up by information and intelligence gathering, the co-ordination of multiple stakeholders, targeted communications, and the presence of competent staff who are appropriately trained, briefed and resourced.

“The guiding principle of this new guidance is that whatever the size, nature or location of an event, the safety of all people present must be a priority over every other event specific concerns.”

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