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May 28, 2010

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Safety in any event

A new report identifying areas of good practice in crowd safety is to be used by the HSE in the upcoming revision of its events safety guidance.

Buckinghamshire New University was commissioned by the Executive to undertake the research into the management of crowd safety at unusual and outdoor street events. Four events from around the country formed the basis of the study – ‘tar barrels’ at Ottery St Mary, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, ‘cheese rolling’ at Coopers Hill in Gloucestershire, and the Notting Hill Carnival.

Information was gathered at the events to identify areas of good practice in crowd safety. It was collected via in-depth interviews with key players involved in the events, through questionnaires about safety carried out with members of the public attending, and from photographic and documentary evidence.

Teresa Moore, the University’s head of music and events management, explained: “We set out to identify good practice in the management of crowd safety, and looked at both the organisational arrangements and the facilities that were put in place to manage the safety of the crowd, including communications, first aid, transport, physical structures and welfare services.”

Prof Chris Kemp, who led the research team, added: “We recognise that our research is just a start in collecting evidence of the good practice that seems to work to enhance crowd safety at particular events, and very much welcome feedback on the report and on how the factors we identified are relevant for other events.”

Tony Whitehead, of the HSE, said: “HSE, in collaboration with the event industry, is about to begin the revision of the existing Events Safety Guide, HSG 195. This research will contribute to the body of information to be considered during the revision, and is an excellent example of partnership working with academia, where the examples of good practice outlined within this report will be shared with the industry.”

The report is available at

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