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Liability at Public Events

By 23 September 2016News & Articles

Many public events are commercial enterprises. They include music festivals, professional sporting events, speedway racing and animal races. Public events involve inherent risks outside those normally encountered through work. There are also other public events that are non-commercial, like fund raising activities for charities such as fun runs.

When a public event is conducted, a person is conducting “a business or undertaking”, as a result of which work health and safety laws apply. A person conducting a public event is required to ensure:-

• The health and safety of workers in the workplace and people attending the event.
• The work carried out at the event does not risk the health and safety of participants or spectators.
• That plant and structures are safe and without defect.
• Systems of work at the public event are safe.

A person conducting a public event must do what is reasonably practicable to ensure health and safety. This means fulfilling a standard of behaviour of a reasonable person in their position. The duty includes:-

• Providing the highest level of protection for people against the risks of injury; and
• Being proactive about health and safety.

People attending a public event will inevitably encounter a risk to health and safety, for example visiting the saddling yard at a horse racing event.

The event organiser needs to anticipate the likelihood that patrons will be exposed to the risks of injury and provide reasonable practicable control measures in response.

Reasonable control measures might include:-

• Increasing supervision
• Providing information or erecting signs
• Erecting barriers restricting entry to certain areas or activities.

If you’ve been injured at a public event and want to know where you stand, then feel free to call us for free no obligation consultation with one of our expert lawyers.

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