Skip to main content

Events health and safety

Event definition

For the purpose of this protocol an ‘event’ is defined as an activity (or group of activities) which:

  • are not part of routine, ‘business as usual’ University operations (lectures, tutorials, departmental meetings, small private functions that do not impact on other building occupiers or University assets)
  • have the potential to impact students, staff, the general public or normal University operations

Due to the atypical nature of these events, an increased risk of hazards may arise which require a higher level of consideration, safety management and input from approprite University departments.

Event procedures

Different procedures and control measures need to be followed depending on the category (minor or significant) and location (on or off University premises) of your event. The details below outline the key points to consider and the Procedures for Events document provides a useful flowchart to guide you through the steps. 

Event location

Events are classified as either on or off University premises:

On University premises

An event which takes place on campus or at other locations which are owned, rented or under the direct control of the University.

Off University premises

An event which takes place in locations which are not under the direct control of the University. This may include overseas venues.

 

Minor and Significant events

Events are categorised as minor or significant. To determine the category of your event, please check the classification guidance below. If you are still unsure, please seek advice from your Health and Safety Manager.

What is a minor event?

Events are classified as minor if they fall within the following parameters:

  • attendee numbers are under control so the venue capacity cannot be exceeded 
  • no third parties (e.g. contractors) are involved in the event 
  • the event is non-contentious and unlikely to attract negative publicity 
  • no hazard has been identified to attendees from any performance, demonstration or presentation 
  • no significant preparation or breakdown work (e.g. structures) are required for the event 
  • attendees are over the age of 18 years 
  • no potentially hazardous elements are involved in the event (e.g. vehicles moving, animals, inflatable structures, naked flames, chemicals, lasers, radiation) 
  • no additional significant hazards are associated with the event

Additional requirements for events on University premises to be classified as minor: 

  • any food is either prepared and supplied by the Delivered Catering Team or is provided as part of a small-scale, contained event to be attended (in the majority) by co-workers and invited external guests only  
  • any alcohol is either supplied and served by the Delivered Catering Team or offered as part of a small-scale, contained event to be attended (in the majority) by co-workers and invited external guests only 
  • food and drinks are provided to attendees for free, or for charitable donations only
  • the event is held in a space (indoors or outdoors) where a booking system is used (e.g. timetabling, events, school/service contacts)
  • any gazebo or shelter is provided by catering/events 
  • the event is held between the hours of 7am and 7pm, during weekdays, Monday to Friday (i.e. not during a University closed day). 
  • existing electrical and water supplies are in use and in situ 
  • no alterations are made to building fabric or services  
  • waste produced is within capacity of the regular cleaning provision to the area

Additional requirements for events held off University premises (including international events) to be classified as minor: 

  • formal bookings are made with a venue (e.g. contract or hire agreement)
  • the Event Organiser is provided with venue safety information (e.g. fire evacuation) 
  • food and drink (including any alcohol) is prepared and supplied by the venue 
  • any outdoor structures required are provided as part of the contract/agreement 
  • the removal of any excessive waste is agreed by the venue in advance 
  • the event does not require the venue to apply for additional licencing 
  • transport for attendees is arranged through contracted suppliers (e.g. coaches/minibuses) 

What is a significant event?

Events are considered significant if they do not fall into the minor event definition above. 

 

Roles and responsibilities

All events require a nominated Event Organiser and Event Approver. The responsibilities and actions for each role are provided below:

Who is an Event Organiser?

An Event Organiser is the person identified locally to control and manage all aspects of the health and safety of the event to ensure it runs smoothly and safely. The Event Organiser can be:

  • a staff member
  • a student (students must be supported by a University or LUU member of staff) 
  • an external contact/organisation. Sometimes an external organisation may wish to host an event on campus. In this case the Event Organiser role can be facilitated by: a current member of staff who will accept and fulfil the role and required actions; or the University Conference and Events team, who may apply a commercial charge for this service

Event Organisers carry out the duties outlined in the Roles and Actions Table and should either themselves, or with the support of a team, have the authority and experience to make decisions regarding the risks associated with the event, both before and during the activity

Who is an Event Approver?

The role of the Event Approver is to review and agree that the control measures outlined within event risk assessments/checklists can be implemented and would manage risks.

  • For a minor event the approver can be a line manager or an individual with sufficient knowledge of the event to judge that the control measures will keep everyone safe.  
  • For a significant event a Head of School or Service (or LUU Senior Officer for student-led events) needs to be the approver due to the additional risks involved.

The responsibilities of the Event Approver are outlined in the Roles and Actions Table.
 

 

Procedures guidance

The details below provide guidance on the appropriate processes and documents you need to follow – and complete - in planning your event.

I am running a minor event on University premises

  1. Review the Roles and Actions Table which provides a summary of the responsibilities required of the Event Organiser and Event Approver
  2. Download and review the Events Health and Safety Proforma ON University Premises Risk Assessment (pre-completed by Health and Safety Services) and ensure you implement the control measures (which is done by completing the Actions for Event Organisers). 
  3. Download and verify that the risk assessment actions have been completed by populating the Events Health and Safety Checklist ON University Premises. If this checklist does not cover all aspects of your event you can add extra sections where appropriate.  
  4. Completed Events Health and Safety Checklists for minor events need to be agreed by the nominated Event Approver. For minor events on University premises, this can be a line manager or an individual with sufficient knowledge of the event to judge that the control measures will keep everyone safe. 

The Procedures for Events Held On University Premises provides a useful flowchart to guide you through the above steps.

I am running a significant event on University premises

  1. Review the Roles and Actions Table which provides a summary of the responsibilities required of the Event Organiser and Event Approver.
  2. Download the Events Health and Safety Risk Assessment Table which outlines guidance and areas of risk to consider in developing risk assessments for significant events. Actions are provided to assist Event Organisers which, when complete, ensure control measures have been implemented.   
  3. Download the Events Health and Safety Proforma ON University Premises Risk Assessment which provides instructions and a template of the risks associated with most events.  Significant events require Section 2 of this document to be completed. To populate this area, transfer the information from the Events Health and Safety Risk Assessment Table (linked above) to begin building the risk assessment specific to your event.
  4. See the Guide to Risk Assessment of Significant Events which offers step-by-step instructions in developing Section 2.  
  5. Seek Health and Safety approval of the risk assessment – this is required prior to the event being approved locally. 
  6. Download, follow the prompts and populate the Events Health and Safety Checklist ON University Premises document to verify that arrangements are in place to control risks. 
  7. Completed Risk Assessments and Events Health and Safety Checklists for significant events require agreement from the nominated Event Approver that the control measures in place can be implemented and would manage the risks. A Head of School or Service (or LUU Senior Officer for student-led events) should be the approver for a significant event due to the additional risks involved. 

The Procedures for Events Held On University Premises provides a useful flowchart to guide you through the above steps.

Please note: You may need to attach additional documents to your Event Health and Safety Risk Assessment for a significant event. For example, if you are using external contractors for setting up a stage/marquee/play equipment you will need copies of their risk assessments and public liability insurance.  

If the Event Health and Safety Risk Assessment Table requires permission to be obtained as a control measure (ie from the Facilities Directorate or Fire Safety Managers), confirmation of this needs to be saved with the approved risk assessment.

I am running a minor event off University premises

  1. Review the Roles and Actions Table which provides a summary of the responsibilities required of the Event Organiser and Event Approver
  2. Download and review the Events Health and Safety Proforma OFF University Premises Risk Assessment (pre-completed by Health and Safety Services) and ensure you implement the control measures (which is done by completing the Actions for Event Organisers). 
  3. Download and verify that the risk assessment actions have been completed by populating the Events Health and Safety Checklist OFF University Premises. If this checklist does not cover all aspects of your event you can add extra sections where appropriate.  
  4. Completed Events Health and Safety Checklists for minor events need to be agreed by the nominated Event Approver. For minor events on University premises, this can be a line manager or an individual with sufficient knowledge of the event to judge that the control measures will keep everyone safe.  

The Procedures for Events Held Off University Premises provides a useful flowchart to guide you through the above steps.

I am running a significant event off University premises

  1. Review the Roles and Actions Table which provides a summary of the responsibilities required of the Event Organiser and Event Approver.
  2. Download the Events Health and Safety Risk Assessment Table which outlines guidance and areas of risk to consider in developing risk assessments for significant events. Actions are provided to assist Event Organisers which, when complete, ensure control measures have been implemented.   
  3. Download the Events Health and Safety Proforma OFF University Premises Risk Assessment which provides instructions and a template of the risks associated with most events. Significant events require Section 2 of this document to be completed. To populate this area, transfer the information from the Events Health and Safety Risk Assessment Table (linked above) to begin building the risk assessment specific to your event.
  4. See the Guide to Risk Assessment of Significant Events which offers step-by-step instructions in developing Section 2.
  5. Seek Health and Safety approval of the risk assessment – this is required prior to the event being approved locally.    
  6. Download, follow the prompts and populate the Events Health and Safety Checklist OFF University Premises document to verify that arrangements are in place to control risks.
  7. Completed Events Health and Safety Risk Assessments and Events Health and Safety Checklists for significant events require agreement from the nominated Event Approver that the control measures in place can be implemented and would manage the risks. A Head of School or Service (or LUU Senior Officer for student-led events) should be the approver for a significant event due to the additional risks involved. 

The Procedures for Events Held Off University Premises provides a useful flowchart to guide you through the above steps.

Please note: Significant events held off University premises can have a huge number of variables. Event Organisers must contact their Health and Safety Team for advice on the development of the Event Health and Safety Risk Assessment and suitable control measures.

When holding an event off University premises, you will also need to follow the health and safety requirements of the venue you are using. If you have made a formal booking/payment for use of a venue then these requirements may be outlined in your terms and conditions.  If a venue requires a risk assessment for your event you can share the Events Health and Safety Risk Assessment and Events Health and Safety checklist.  
 

 

Event permissions

Some aspects of events require permission from specific teams within the University.  Obtaining permission from these individuals or services is separate from obtaining approval for the event to proceed (through approval of the Events Health and Safety checklist/risk assessment). Contact details and the remit of permissions are outlined below:

Contacts

 

Getting started

The following worked examples include those of frequently occurring University events to provide guidance on the steps required when putting the above processes into practice.

BBQs on campus (minor event)

Bakes sales/fundraising on campus (minor event)

Complete actions of the Events Health and Safety Proforma ON University Premises Risk Assessment and the Events Health and Safety Checklist ON University Premises. Follow the Preparing Food at Home Information Sheet. Completed Events Health and Safety Checklists for minor events need to be approved by the nominated Event Approver.

Drinks reception on campus (minor event)

Complete actions of the Events Health and Safety Proforma ON University Premises Risk Assessment and the Events Health and Safety Checklist ON University Premises. If providing alcohol, follow the Managing Alcohol at Minor Events Information Sheet. Completed Events Health and Safety Checklists for minor events need to be approved by the nominated Event Approver.

Public engagement event off campus (minor event)

Complete actions of the Events Health and Safety Proforma OFF University Premises Risk Assessment and the Events Health and Safety Checklist OFF University Premises. Completed Events Health and Safety Checklists for minor events need to be approved by the nominated Event Approver.

 

Frequently asked questions

Can i use a previous risk assessment/event checklist?   

If an event is repeated - or is a regular activity - then it makes sense to reuse a previous Event Risk Assessment and Event Checklist. However you should check that the information in the existing assessments and checklists remains relevant and, if required, the documents are updated to ensure they relate to the event in question.  

Even if no updates are required you will still need to obtain approval (re-date and sign off by the Events Approver) before the new event. 

If you are planning to run a sequence of similar events you can ask the Events Approver (and any specialist teams providing permissions) to give you authorisation to hold a series of events as long as the arrangements are the same and the level of risk will not change.

Who should I share event information/risk assessments/checklists with?  

The information within your risk assessment and/or event checklist should be shared with others who are involved or potentially affected by the event including: 

  • the Event Approver
  • event team members through inductions, briefings or training
  • your Health and Safety Team (for significant events)
  • any specialist teams who have provided permissions 
  • contractors providing a service at the event (e.g. catering services, first aiders) 
  • notices to warn other users of an area about an event 
  • warnings to nearby departments about potential noise/increased footfall 
  • advance warning to Cleaning Services that additional waste may be generated and require removal 
  • staff at external venues if the event is being held off University premises

How do I report an incident, near miss or accident during an event? 

Any incident, near miss or accident that occurs during an event must be reported on the University’s ‘Sentinel’ system. Event Organisers should ensure they are aware of how reports are made prior to the event, for example, who has access to – and  can place a report - onto the system.  This process will be different depending on arrangements in each area (contact the Health and Safety Team if unsure).  

Event Organisers should take notes of basic details about any accident or incident (e.g. casualty details, what happened, injuries sustained, treatment given and whether casualty needed an ambulance/hospital admittance etc.) ready for reporting at the earliest opportunity.  

Does this protocol cover events held within the LUU building? 

LUU activities held within the Students’ Union Building are not covered by this Protocol. For information on these events please contact helpandsupport@luu.leeds.ac.uk

 

Events safety resources

Downloadable document library

Food and drink