With the event organizers, brainstorm a list of all possible problems, issues and injuries that could possibly happen…. Everything from people getting small cuts to a tornado ripping through the event grounds.
Next, rate each of these scenarios according to its likelihood and impact (severity).
Then, think about what actions you will take to lessen the likelihood of these issues, and how you can be prepared in case they were to happen.
We complete this exercise every year before our annual rodeo event. Here are a few examples from our risk assessment that we do before the rodeo:
Issue: tripping (over cords, tree roots, etc.)
Likelihood: 5 (almost certain)
Severity: 1-2 (insignificant – minor)
Action: place mats over any cords that cross walking paths, clean grounds of garbage and large sticks before and during event, have first-aid trained volunteers & first-aid kits on site, EMS onsite
Issue: bleacher injuries (trips, falls, cuts, etc.)
Likelihood : 3 (possible)
Severity: 2-4 (minor- major)
Action: we have upgraded our bleachers to brand new high quality aluminum bleachers which meet or exceed International building codes with stairs and railings and non-slip walkways (from Bleacher Rentals), increased the total number of seats to avoid overcrowding of bleachers, have first-aid kit at front gate and EMS on-site for any injuries
Issue: people being hit by cars
Likelihood: 1 (rare)
Severity: 3-5 (moderate- severe)
Action: we have requested that the county reduce the road speed limit to 50 km/h for the weekend, reflective vests worn by all parking volunteers, signage and volunteers to direct traffic properly, first-aid trained volunteers & first-aid kits on site, EMS onsite
Completing this risk assessment plan ahead of time makes you think of what could happen and how to avoid/ remedy it. In addition, it is a great thing to show that you are prepared if you need to meet with your local council, police, EMS etc. (either while planning the event, or after the event if there was an injury/issue).
This process may seem like just another thing to add to your long to-do list, but it is one thing you won’t want to skip!