Risk Assessments

If you are organising any event, you need to undertake a risk assessment.


A risk assessment is a desktop exercise which outlines all the possible risks (including pre and post event risks) associated with your event.

You need to do your risk assessment early in the event-planning process, so that risks can be managed in the planning process rather than being discovered on the day.

Risk assessments are required for internal events and as well as external events. For an external event, the venue will have their own risk assessment but as an event organiser, you need a risk assessment to outline risks to your audience and staff who are working off campus.

How to undertake a risk assessment

So you know you need to produce a risk assessment for your event but what do you do?

Firstly, download the University’s risk assessment template and visit the venue where the event is taking place. This is not always possible, but it is useful to see the space you are assessing, it makes writing the risk assessment a lot easier.

Once you know the venue you can then write the risk assessment and this is carried out in five steps:

  • Write down what might cause harm (the risks)
  • Work out who is affected (eg: staff, guests)
  • Assess the likelihood of it happening and the severity (risk)
  • Evaluate it – is it acceptable
  • Action – how do you to prevent or reduce the risk

Useful things to consider

  • When considering the risks think about pre and post event risks as well as risks during the event (for example setting up the event, staff getting home late at night)
  • Know where the first aid box is located in the venue and where the nearest defibrillated is located and include this in your risk assessment
  • Know who is first aid trained amongst the staff working your event, write their names on the risk assessment for reference. Security staff are first aid trained and they can be contacted on 4444 in an emergency
  • Know the fire procedure for the venue and where the evacuation meeting point is

Advice and guidance

We can offer advice and guidance on event risk assessments, contact eventsteam@sheffield.ac.uk for more information.