Events: Major Incident & Emergency Planning

Date: 05.10.2015     Last updated: 30.06.2017 at 10.54
Planning for emergencies and major incidents at events.

What Can Go Wrong?

  • Fire or gas leak
  • Bomb threat.
  • Structural failures e.g. collapse of the stage
  • Severe weather
  • Security issues outside the venue that may restrict access or egress
  • Crowd-related incidents e.g. disorder or crushing.

Legal/BBC Requirements

  • Attendance of Working Safely in Crowds Training course is recommended for those working in crowds where behaviour is likely to be ill humoured, antagonistic or involve an element of protest. It does not qualify staff to operate in a volatile crowds or where public disorder occurs.

Control Measures

General Controls

  • Put into place plans for dealing with incidents and emergencies that can be managed effectively using the resources already onsite
  • Create an emergency plan that is proportionate to the size of the event and the potential extent and severity of the incident.
  • Clearly define a communication path and decision-making structure

The Plan

  • Ensure the plan covers:
  • Mobilising onsite resources to attend and tackle the incident
  • Removing people from immediate danger
  • The management of any casualties including providing medical assistance.
  • Raising the alarm and informing the public and telling staff what they need to do
  • Alerting and assisting emergency services
  • Incident control
  • Traffic management, including emergency vehicles
  • Controlling crowds including evacuation
  • Evacuation of disabled people
  • Handing over to the emergency services where applicable
  • Dealing with displaced and non-injured (e.g. at a festival with camping)
  • Protecting property.
  • Ensure that the plan is flexible to cope with changes in events.
  • The plan for emergency situations should set out the overall framework for the initiation, management, co-ordination and control of personnel and assets to deal with an emergency onsite.
  • Ensure that all relevant staff members, no matter what their normal working role, understand what they should do in the event of an emergency – including raising the alarm, the location of exits, emergency equipment, and from whom they should receive instructions etc

Emergency procedures

  • Appoint people to be responsible for implementing the emergency procedures in the event of an incident or emergency situation.
  • Ensure that a clear management structure is place, identifying the key decision makers.
  • Plans are discussed with the police, fire and rescue service, the ambulance service, emergency planning and, for fixed premises such as stadiums and arenas, the venue management.
  • Agreement with the emergency services on issues such as access routes to the site, the use of any grid-referenced maps, rendezvous points and transfer of authority for a major incident from the event organiser to the emergency services has been reached.

Division Specific Issues

  • No division specic issues.

FAQs/Did You Know?

  • A major incident plan (MIP) deals with threats to human welfare, where rescue is necessary. The MIP is shared with emergency services and can range from the treatment of casualties on site, to mass evacuation
  • Some parts of the plan can be generic in nature and apply to all events e.g summoning assistance from the emergency services.
  • For all but the smallest events with low risks (or those in fixed venues with established procedures), a major incident plan needs to be drawn up in consultation with the emergency services, and integrated with their plans and those of other authorities
  • Employees and volunteers should be trained in emergency procedures, and be assigned to and understand their specific role should an incident occur.
  • In almost every local authority there are now established safety advisory groups (SAGs) that are the point of joint contact. SAG provides a ready-made forum to communicate with the relevant authorities, and has the local knowledge that can help event organisers in delivery.

 Safety Guides - Quick Links

About this site

This site describes what the BBC does in relation to managing its health, safety and security risks and is intended for those who work directly for the BBC.

It is not intended to provide instruction or guidance on how third parties should manage their risks. The BBC cannot be held liable for how this information is interpreted or used by third parties, nor provide any assurance that adopting it would provide any measure of legal compliance. More information.


Links: Some links on this site are only accessible when connected to the BBC network