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Overcoming risk assessment myths for event planners

Helping event planners get to grips with risk assessment is the aim of two half-day seminars being run by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

The Risk Assessment for Event Organisers seminars, which take place on Thursday, August 14, will give an insight into why risk assessment is needed and how it can be practically carried out – without the process being over burdensome.

They will be useful for those involved in organising any type of public event – indoors or outdoors – including fêtes, carnivals, charity fundraisers, firework displays, conferences, award ceremonies or staff activities.

Newspaper headlines frequently suggest that popular events are being cancelled across the country because of a perceived increase in the health and safety bureaucracy associated with running them.

RoSPA's seminars, however, will outline that, while risk assessment is a legal requirement, it does not have to mean an overload of red tape. Rather, it is an immensely valuable tool for meeting common aims – that events are properly managed and that the safety and well-being of event workers, volunteers and visitors is ensured.

The Society's staff will lead the sessions. Presentations will be given by Peter Cornall, Head of Leisure Safety, David Walker, Leisure Information Officer, and Bernie Cerrino and Ian Whyte, health and safety consultants.

Peter Cornall said: “At RoSPA, we promote the idea that life – and particularly our leisure-time activities – should be as safe as necessary, not as safe as possible.

“It is a shame when we hear of events being cancelled and 'health and safety burdens' or 'red tape' being cited as the reason. Unless risks are intolerable, good health and safety is about enabling risks to be managed safely, rather than stopping activities altogether. Risk assessment is a crucial part of this process.

“We hope these half-day seminars will give confidence to those actively involved in running events and will enable the good work that is going on in our communities to continue smoothly and without incident.”

Both seminars follow the same programme, the first running from 9.30am-12.30pm and the second from 1-4pm. Lunch is provided at both sessions, which are being held at RoSPA Headquarters in Birmingham.

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