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Health and Safety for Sports Event Organizers – Media, Telecom, IT, Entertainment

By March 23, 2022April 23rd, 2022Sports events

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The recent Winter Olympics and the conclusion of Six Nations rugby are just two of many sporting events, large and small, which have welcomed fans back (in accordance with local laws and restrictions) over the past few weeks. As we continue to live with COVID-19, it is essential that organizers of sporting and other events are aware of health and safety requirements and their duty of care to attendees.

Main legal provisions

The Occupational Health and Safety Act 1974 etc. (“the 1974 Act”) is the main piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in Britain. It defines the general duties of employers (and self-employed persons) to employees and the public, as well as the duties of employees to themselves and to each other. The Occupiers Liability (Scotland) Act 1960 also imposes liability on an occupier for injury or damage to any person as a result of something the occupier has done (or failed to do).

Health and Safety Considerations for Event Hosts and Organizers

The 1974 law stipulates that the working environment for employees must be safe and without risk to health, as far as possible. An employer is also responsible for ensuring that members of the public are not exposed to health risks.

In the context of sporting events, event hosts and organizers will also be required to plan, manage and monitor the event to ensure that anyone attending is not exposed to risks to their health and his safety. This means that it is the responsibility of the host or organizer to ensure that there are sufficient safeguards and procedures in place (including any relevant COVID-19 safeguards that are legally required ) to mitigate any risk to the health and safety of staff, participants and the public. who participate in the event.

Health and safety considerations when volunteers are involved

A sports organization that employs employees is required to comply with the 1974 law.

Where a club is run by volunteers (without employees), the 1974 Act will not apply, but the club/volunteers will have a legal duty to ensure that all premises (e.g. a club house , pavilion, playing field, etc.) under their control are safe for participants and spectators, as far as possible. The extent of the obligation imposed by law will depend on the level of control the club/volunteers have over the premises concerned. They will be required to maintain the premises and any equipment made available in good condition.

The obligation to ensure the safety of a person “as far as possible” means that the level of risk must be weighed against the measures necessary to control the risk, taking into account money, time or difficulties necessary to mitigate this risk.

Manage crowds

Due to the obligation to ensure that spectators and the general public are not exposed to health and safety risks, event organizers must put in place sufficient crowd control measures. This is not a consideration only relevant to the duration of the event – risk assessments should take into account the preparation for the event and should remain in place until spectators have left the premises safely. This would involve issues such as safe entrances and exits, hazard-free walkways, determining the site’s security capability, and having a crowd management plan in place.

What happens if I rent a location or facility?

If you rent a place to play sports or organize an event, you may have certain obligations to manage the risks, to the extent possible. Again, the extent of these duties will depend on the degree of control you have over the premises and any equipment on the premises.

However, the legal obligation is not exclusively an issue for the club/organization renting a pitch or facility. It is important to remember that the owners of the facility or location must also ensure that the environment is safe for use. Owners cannot simply ignore health and safety considerations (because the event is run by a third party) – there will be an ongoing duty to ensure there are sufficient procedures and planning in place , and that the premises and any equipment provided are in good condition.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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