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The potential hazards posed within the events industry may not seem to be much reason for concern at first, but health and safety should be at the forefront of any gathering where a significant number of people are expected. The Global Citizen concert made headlines recently as there were a lot of questions around safety measures, but a lack of answers.

Having an event might appear to be rather an innocuous occasion but any and all potential risks need to be identified and mitigated before it can take place. No event can go ahead without a health and safety check being conducted first. An audit by a health and safety official will be carried out with certification issued to ensure the necessary measures are in place to prevent any harm or, far worse, loss of life.

So how is this governed and what recourse is there for anyone who does not have any health and safety checks in place? Quite simply put, it is law and before you hold any event, you will need to ensure the process for your health and safety assessment has been correctly followed as non-compliance will land you in serious hot water.

One of the most important pieces of legislation in place to oversee health and safety at an event is the Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act (SASREA). The Act came about in time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and is intended to cover all bases when it comes to health and safety. SANS 10366:2015 as well as other various bits of legislation also inform these requirements.

A key element within the SASREA, should anything go wrong, is that anyone who has anything to do with the event, whether it is the event organiser, the venue, sponsors, service providers or suppliers, are all liable. It is, therefore, critical to follow the Act to a T.

Previously, it might only have been the venue and perhaps the event organiser who would be held accountable should anything go wrong. However, the Act ensures that every single player who has any involvement is liable and, therefore, each needs to ensure that a thorough health and safety check is conducted and that the necessary approvals are attained prior to the event running. This also means that all parties need to seek event or personal liability cover to protect and safeguard themselves in the instance of any incident.

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