Large crowds are normal in many areas of life, from railway stations to sports arenas. While large crowds attending an event may be desirable from a commercial point of view, the crowds must be safely managed in order to avoid crushing, injury, and in severe cases even death. Even minimal changes to the layout of a venue can result in crowd formation and if not correctly managed crowding disasters can cause negative publicity, the possibility of compensation claims, insurance costs and even legal prosecution, all of which can be very costly to an organisation.

Preparing For Events With Crowds

In order to prevent visitors to an event becoming anxious and distressed, good crowd management needs to be in place. Managers need to know about their obligations to health and safety when planning an event and should be aware of any potential crowding risks. All members of the team should know what their responsibilities are and be adequately trained to cope with crowd behaviour. A risk assessment can help an organisation to work out if the arrangements they have in place will be enough to cope with the expected crowds. Crowd mentality should be considered. If one reckless person decides to climb on to a roof for a better view, it may be that others might decide to follow suit. This sort of crowd mentality needs to be considered and then pre-empted in a risk assessment.

Factors To Consider With Crowd Behaviour

The layout of a venue or building can have a strong impact on crowd behaviour, dictating which way the crowd flows. Crowd safety barriers can be used to direct crowd flows and the layout can also be adjusted in order to facilitate easy movement around a venue. Clear signage including well-placed information is vital in order to help people move around without stopping, blocking entrances or moving against the flow. The type of people who are likely to make up the crowd should also be considered, including their age range and probable behaviour. Dangers to watch out for include steep slopes, dead ends, places where many routes suddenly converge into only one, a number of steps, and uneven or slippery floors which are likely to cause accidents.

Keeping Pedestrians Safe From Traffic

Crowd safety barriers are often used on busy roads to keep pedestrians safe from oncoming traffic. They clearly designate pedestrian areas, making it obvious to pedestrians where they should walk and therefore keeping them safe from traffic. Crowd safety barriers are sold in sections which can be linked together to cordon off any desired area, making them flexible for many different events. They are often made from galvanised steel. This means the steel is specially coated and will withstand many years of use. Galvanising a metal protects it from oxidation and corrosion which would weaken it, and means it will be strong and long lasting.