Event safety in Finland is regulated by various laws and acts. They are in there to protect both the event-goer and the organiser. The laws and the related permits also act to make the event organiser aware of the risks and danger points.
Always consider that even if an element of the event (e.g. fireworks) is outsourced, the event organiser is still responsible for the element.
It is strongly recommended to involve the rescue department, the police, ambulance services and other authorities early on in the event planning. This will help you map out the risks involved more comprehensively and prevent them to a greater extent.
Risk factors include:
Check the weights of every tent, stage and structure. Make sure you know the wind tolerance limits of all structures and provide wind speed meters for all stage managers and other people responsible for the structures.
In case of heavy wind:
Determine the strength of the structure
Remove possible dangerous structures such as banners and beach flags
If needed, remove the walls and ceilings of stage structures
If needed, evacuate some or all of the area
Minimum widths for venue exit routes have been established and must be complied with:
|Number of people:||Minimum width of exit:
|More than 240 (for every 60 people)||+ 400 mm|
Near misses and accidents
If a near miss or an accident takes place at the event, a notification must be made to the authority responsible for the supervision of consumer services, the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes). The event organiser is responsible for making the notification.
Meetings with authorities
When planning an event, you should never hesitate to contact the relevant authorities. In the case of large or potentially risky events, you must call together a meeting with authorities.
This meeting offers you a chance to go through the event and any possible risks. Each authority is an expert in their field and may set conditions for the event that the organiser must abide by. Depending on the event, you could invite the Central Finland Police Department, Tampere Region Rescue Department, City of Tampere Environmental Protection, The National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira), City of Tampere Building Control, City of Tampere Facilities Management, and City of Tampere Planning Services.
Feel free to ask for our help in organising the meeting.
Inspection by the authorities
An inspection by the authorities is arranged before the beginning of the event, with authorities participating according to their interests. The event organiser is responsible for calling the inspection. The inspection takes place at the event venue. The time of the inspection is agreed in advance and communicated to all the relevant authorities. During the inspection, all critical parts of the event, safety risks and other matters that the authorities find relevant are discussed. Bring the necessary documents (e.g. safety and rescue plan, consumer safety plan) to the inspection with you.
Security stewards appointed by the event organiser are responsible for monitoring safety during the event. According to the basic rule, there must be at least one security steward per one hundred visitors in the event. The police determines the minimum amount of guards for each event and can, if necessary, require the event organiser to increase the number of security stewards even during the event if this is required by the nature of the event.
Persons responsible for safety must be able to communicate with each other by means of radiophones, for example. The number of visitors to the event must be monitored in order to ensure that the maximum number of people allowed at the venue is not exceeded.
For large or potentially risky events, you must appoint a professional security manager. It is their job to act as liaison to rescue and first aid personnel and draft an alarm plan and a first aid plan. The plans are given to all first aid personnel, security stewards, event personnel and outside vendors/service providers. It is imperative that everyone knows what to do and who to contact in case of emergency.
The event organiser must prepare for the arrangement of first aid. The organiser is also responsible for first aid preparedness and alerting additional help. The level of first aid preparedness depends on the nature of event and the number of visitors. No specific first aid team is required for small events and events with low risks, but even in those cases, first aid equipment must be available on the event location. The Finnish Red Cross, for example, provides first aid services for events. First aid teams must be booked for the event one month in advance. Including a first aid team or the rescue and first aid authorities in the planning of event and the evaluation of risks, for example, helps the event organiser to prevent dangerous situations even better.
The provision of first aid varies from one team of 2–3 people to several teams depending on the nature of the event and the degree of gravity and extent of the risks. If you have questions about how to organise first aid, contact the first aid department of the Hospital District.
Permits and notifications to the authorities do not lessen the event organiser’s responsibility for accidents. The event organiser is always liable for accidents. Remember that a company’s or organisation’s general insurance does not always include liability insurance for public events covering damage or accidents occurring to visitors in an event. The event organiser should determine the types of insurance needed for the event in the planning phase.
Accident insurance covers accidents to the event organiser, event staff and volunteers. It is legally required that the event organiser takes out accident insurance for all hired employees.
The organiser is responsible for the safety of volunteers. Make sure to check the appropriate insurance policies for your event.
Liability insurance covers all liabilities for personal or property damage the event has towards the visitors, officers or third parties. The insurance does not cover any damage to the organiser, staff or volunteer workers. The police requires proof of liability insurance. Without it, the notification of the public event will not be approved.
Insuring inanimate objects
Think about the objects you have at your event and who is responsible for insuring them. Instruments and PA equipment are typical valuable objects at events. Make separate agreements for all valuables. There are separate insurance policies and rules for pieces of art.
When flying unmanned drones, you must always follow aviation protocol. The drone must always make way to other aircrafts and be specifically careful to not disturb or endanger emergency service helicopters in any way.
You must always retain actual visual contact with the drone (camera is not sufficient).
Before allowing any drone flights at your event, find out the flight altitude and what happens if the drone looses contact with base. Some drones do not automatically return to their base in case of lost contact, but instead fall. This poses an obvious risk.
When operating drones in halls, tents or other indoor structures, you must adhere to consumer safety laws and draft a safety plan for the flight. Additional information on operating drones indoors from the responsible authority, the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes).
More information on how to operate drones safely and what to pay attention to as an event organiser is available, provided by Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi): https://www.droneinfo.fi/en