Event Operations Manual
Software for Club Treasurers

Event Safety

Below are a number of scenarios that indicate the range of risks associated with crowds at sporting events. Although some of these scenarios may seem to have a low probability, they do actually occur. As an event manager you are expected to have some kind of plan to deal with these problems if and when they occur.

Emergency Scenarios

What happens if . . .

picture of a sporting area at the Commonwealth Games 1982, Australia

(see more about risks associated with events)

It is extremely important for event organisers to have an emergency plan in place.

The objectives of such a plan would be to reduce the possible consequences of an emergency through the provision of training to event staff in:

An emergency plan specifies the organisation's policies and procedures for handling sudden and unexpected situations which require immediate

Elements of an Emergency Plan

  1. An Emergency Plan should include the following elements with the appropriate documentation:
    1. Assessment of the size and nature of the events foreseen and the probability of their occurrence. It is highly recommended that a vulnerability analysis be instigated.
    2. Formulation of a plan in consultation with outside authorities such as emergency services, fire department, police
    3. Procedures
      1. raising the alarm
      2. invoking the emergency plan
      3. communication both within and outside the site
      4. evacuation of non-essential personnel to pre-determined safe assembly points by pre determined exits
    4. Appointment of key personnel and their duties and responsibilities
      1. site incident controller
      2. site main controller
    5. Emergency control centre (if required)
    6. Action on site, for example alerting staff and students, ordering evacuation, confirming evacuation is complete
    7. Action off site, alerting external agencies, alerting population, requesting external aid, advising the media
    8. Where and how injured persons are to be treated. Are suitable first aid facilities on site?
  2. The plan should define the way in which personnel at the incident site can initiate action. The plan should also contain the full sequence of key personnel to be called but consideration needs to be given to absences due to sickness and holidays, and any other changes in manning.
  3. Emergency planning should consider the need to make arrangements for an authoritative release of information to the media. A person would be appointed to receive enquiries from the public.
  4. Appropriate training needs to be given to all personnel who are part of the emergency plan.
  5. Once the Emergency Plan has been finalised and appropriate training has been conducted then the plan should be tested in one of three ways:
    1. full scale exercise to test command, co ordination and communication setups
    2. tabletop exercises can be used to test some aspects of the emergency plan, and has the advantage of not interrupting normal operations
    3. specific aspects of the plan can be tested, for example communication and evacuation.
  6. The Emergency Plan must be regularly updated. This will take into account changes in personnel, telephone numbers and storage areas. This requirement should be written into the plan, and should be responsibility of a particular individual.


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