General Risk Assessment Info for Events

There is an overarching risk assessment for the Andrew Wiles Building produced by OUES FM (see the departmental statement of health and safety organisation which has that document attached). A safety inspection and risk assessment of all departmental buildings is conducted annually by (at least two of) the Director of Administration & IT, Departmental Safety Officer, the Facilities & Services Manager (Maths) and the OUES FM Manager. A report of the inspection is submitted to the University Safety Office and any issues identified rectified as appropriate. The assessment covers normal operations including the use of the teaching facilities etc for standard events such as special lectures, colloquia, open days, departmental parties/celebrations etc.

Large events will typically be held in the building in the mezzanine teaching space area. Such events are generally very low risk being similar to regular activities such as large lectures, seminars and colloquia or departmental parties (e.g. christmas party). Any such event must comply with the university and departmental health and safety regulations, in particular when an event is arranged this must take into account

  • Access to the building - depending on the timing of the event additional consideration for ingress/egress may be necessary. Under normal daily operation the south and north foyer entrances provide safe access for large groups to the teaching and common areas of the building. If an event begins or ends outside of the normal opening hours (or takes place at a weekend etc) special arrangements need to be put in place to ensure suitable safe access is available whilst also ensuring the continued security of the building. Typically this will mean at least one member of the FM team being available. The FM and events teams have radios and as appropriate can provide one to the event key contact for further easy rapid contact and communication.
  • Oversight and points of contact - there are onsite Events, FM and Reception teams. The Events, FM and Reception teams are on a common radio system for easy communication as required. The expectation is that there is at least a 1:150 ratio of university staff overseeing such an event to attendees. For all but the smallest of events (e.g. over 60 attendees) one of the staff on site (whether inside or outside of normal departmental opening hours) will be from the departmental events management team and be familiar with the particular event arrangements. They will be supported by members of the FM team as appropriate to ensure the appropriate overall staffing levels, health and safety cover, building and event areas oversight and access etc.
  • Room and space capacities - these must never be exceeded. Furthermore for events for non members of the department/university (e.g. open days, public lectures) further precautions should be put in place, e.g. a member of the FM team should be on hand to oversee entry/exit to rooms occurs in an orderly fashion and that room capacities are not exceeded.
  • Food preparation - this should be done by a departmentally approved supplier/process (generally the caterers based in the building who can provide a copy of their appropriate H & S certificate if requested).
  • Evacuation procedures - for events such as open days and public lectures where the attendees are not familiar with the department basic H & S info should be given at the beginning, e.g. making an announcement that in the event of the alarm going off people should leave the building in an orderly fashion following the green running-man symbols on the wall. In particular point out the fire exits at the front of the lecture theatres if these are being used, otherwise exit is generally out via the obvious visible exits but up through the core staircases rather than the main mezzanine stairs. It should be noted that the assembly point is then in the humanities courtyard beyond the fountain towards the road end of the courtyard.
  • Trip hazards - as in normal operation cables should not be trailed across the floor presenting a trip hazard. All bags should be safely removed from aisles and walkways as is normal practice.
  • First aid - there are general details of first aid in the building available. For an external/out of hours event a first aider should be available which will often be the member of FM staff available to cover the building anyway.
  • Young people and children - there are additional considerations in relation to the university policy on the safety of young people and children in such situations.

Should an event be planned that will differ from normal operation as outlined above then you must consult  the Director of Administration & IT/Departmental Safety Officer. A further risk assessment may be necessary, e.g. if any non-basic experiment or demonstration were planned, or it may be confirmed that the non-standard activity is not permitted in the building.