East Devon District Council

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Guide Organise an event on council land

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7. Risk Assessments & Public Liability Insurance

Public Liability Insurance

Event organisers could be held legally liable for the costs, damages or injuries which may occur during an event. You must be insured against this risk via a Public Liability insurance policy.

Event organisers using East Devon District Council land must provide public liability for their event up to a minimum of £2 million for general events or £10 million for events containing firework displays or the event will not be able to take place. The insurance needs to cover the whole period of the event from start to finish.

Site Plan

For all events there must be plenty of space for the public to move around stalls; rides; performance, stage and exhibition areas, and to have unobstructed routes to exits.

For large events you must:

  • Prepare a scale plan of the site showing the position of all the activities/attractions, circulation routes and exits and should also detail the floor size and entrance/exits of all marquees and tents etc. This should be provided along with your event application and updated if your plans change. Any updated copies will need to be provided to East Devon District Council prior and during the event, if requested.
  • Have clearly displayed safe evacuation routes which are adequately marshalled

Risk Assessments

Event organisers should complete a risk assessment for every event that they organise. For ease, we have provided you with a sample risk assessment.

A risk assessment helps to focus on the activities and hazards that have the potential to cause harm, and it helps ensure that each event runs as smoothly and safely as possible.  Every event organiser planning an event on East Devon District Council land must submit a completed risk assessment with all the other application documents before their event takes place.

A risk assessment is a careful examination of what could cause harm to people, for example fire, traffic, vehicles, slips, trips and falls, weather conditions, use of electrical equipment, use of a marquee, staging, food and hygiene etc.

  • Look for the hazards when planning your event
  • Decide who might get harmed and how
  • Evaluate the risks and decide what precautions need to be taken
  • Record your findings – draft your risk assessment
  • Review your assessment

Some attractions will also require a separate risk assessment to be carried out by the operator / owner of the attraction. This needs to be documented and a copy supplied alongside your application and general risk assessment.

  • Bouncy castles and children's amusement rides
  • Marquees and inflatable attractions
  • Fairground equipment
  • Exhibition stands or stalls
  • Displays and parades involving animals, vehicles, weapons, flames, special effects, parachuting
  • Stages, platforms and barriers

Each attraction/activity will have its own special hazards which should be identified so that comprehensive safety precautions can be prepared.