Community groups warned over health and safety

Community-run events are an important part of a town’s culture, helping to bring people together to celebrate, raise money for important causes, encourage volunteering or other worthy aims.

But when such events are run by community members, it can be easy to let health and safety considerations slide.

This importance of health and safety was highlighted by a case in St Ives, where concerns about safety at public events were raised at a town council meeting.

Take a look at our risk management services page if you’re planning a public event and want to make sure your health and safety planning is robust.

The Hunts Post reported that events organisers called for urgent changes to the town’s health and safety planning - such as storing away cables and moving generators - to prevent accidents

Matthew Setchell told St Ives Town Council that the town’s Christmas lights switch-on was “impeccable” for health and safety, because it was run by “professionals, and that’s their job”.

“All I want to do is fix the problems,” he was quoted as saying.

“In the rest of the town, in my opinion, you can see it’s not hard to protect cables, and the distribution panels were unlocked for the second year running.

“It’s a joke and if we ran our business like that, we wouldn’t have one.”

Mr Setchell offered to provide health and safety advice for event management to St Ives groups, an offer welcomed by the council.

Council members also agreed that community groups should be reminded to complete their own risk assessments before events.