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Event Support

Our experienced staff support events of all sizes from small presidential visits to Trinity Ball. While the Central Events Office manage relationship with vendors for events and the Junior Dean approves events on campus, Estates & Facilities provide expert advice and support over Insurance, Health & Safety, Attendant Services and Cleaning Services.

For queries relating to any of the above services, please contact the Service Centre on estatesandfacilities@tcd.ie or extension 4000.

Further information on event guidelines are outlined below:

Event Safety Management

Events in the university are organised through the Central Events Office. However, When planning an event, a number of actions are required to ensure compliance with health and safety legislation and University Procedures. Please note that permission for an event may be required from the appropriate University authority (Senior Dean, Junior Dean, Provost’s Office) and compliance with the guidance below will be a condition of such approvals.

This guidance and the associated requirements are applicable to all events that fall outside the scope of the following:

  • normal calendar teaching/research activities in Schools and Research Institutes; and,
  • normal activities of societies and clubs (e.g. weekly debates, sports fixtures etc.)

If you are unsure if your event requires an event safety management plan, please contact the Safety Office with an outline of the event.

Routine Events [Requiring a Safety Management Checklist]

Routine events can include meetings and similar programmes, performances, lectures, competitions etc:

  • One room
  • No hired in equipment, entertainment or catering
  • No hazardous equipment, materials or processes
  • Requirements:

  • Complete the Indoor Event Safety Management Checklist
  • Approval email from Head of Area & Junior Dean

Non-routine Events [Requiring a Safety Management Plan]

If any of the following attributes or a combination are present, the event will be considered to be non-routine:

  • Event open to members of the public;
  • Stage, marquee or similar structure;
  • Presence of equipment, entertainment or catering;
  • The event involves the use of hazardous equipment, materials or processes (e.g. plant, machinery or equipment, amusement structures, entertainment equipment, dangerous goods and hazardous materials, stage rigging, or working or performing at heights);
  • Security concerns on the part of a recognised student group or guest;
  • High attendance;
  • Activities taking place in external areas of University;
  • Impacts on University routine
  • Impact on the University reputation

Requirements:

  • Complete an Event Safety Management Plan & submit to katharine.murray@tcd.ie- Safety & Safety Risk Management Office). For large scale or hazardous events, a more detailed event management plan may be required.
  • Refer to Event Management Guidance below
  • Approval email from Head of Area & Junior Dean

In addition the following may be required:

  • Contractor method statement / Contractor Risk Assessment

Event Management Guidance

Event Date

  • Where practical (particularly for large events) start organising at least 6 weeks in advance where possible. This will allow sufficient time to carry out a risk assessments and obtain specialist advice where necessary.
  • Each event should have a designated organiser/person in control who is present and available during the event and whose contact details are provided to the University Authorities
  • Consult the academic calendar to avoid conflicting events (e.g. teaching, exams, other events, conferences etc.).
  • Bear in mind building opening hours; it may be possible to extend the opening hours of a building, however, there may be associated costs or security implications (Section 4: Events Permission Application Checklist).
  • Allow sufficient time (if necessary) to prepare and tidy the venue afterwards, thus, avoiding any conflicts with venue bookings before and after.

Booking Considerations

Reference the following governing the booking of University venues: Regulations. Booking can be made via the Enquiries Office (enquiries@tcd.ie or tel: 1897).

Capacity figures for various indoor venues can be found by selecting the following link. Do not exceed stated capacity figures.

For venues without capacity figures, contact the Safety Office as capacity is dependent on:

  • The amount of seating/tables etc in the area.
  • The capacity of the stairs cannot be used as a basis for determining the occupancy capacity of a room, as this might result in an estimated occupancy that could not be controlled in the event of an emergency.
  • Single escape route may be acceptable for areas not likely to contain more than 50 persons and within a reasonable distance to an exit.
  • The width of escape routes and exits is as follows: up to 50 people 750mm; up to 100 people 850mm; 150 people 950mm
  • Visit the venue to ensure it meets your audio visual and capacity needs. Contact IT Service for further information on audio visual issues: https://www.tcd.ie/itservices/facilities/lecture-theatre-av.php
  • Most venues do not allow food and drink, refer to the catering section for more information.
  • Consider the impact of activities on adjacent areas, particularly with respect to noise generation.
  • Ensure the venue is wheelchair accessible and familiarise yourself with the arrangements for evacuating wheelchair users or persons with reduced mobility.

Venue Setup

  • Furniture or equipment arrangements must not impede or block exits.
  • Egress pathways/aisles towards exits must not be obstructed.
  • Similarly, corridors, stairs and egress routes must also remain clear and must be checked beforehand.
  • Nothing may be setup in stairways, hallways, aisles, or exit routes.
  • Similarly, fire safety system e.g. fire extinguishers, break glass, call points, emergency lighting must not be obscured.
  • Ensure items, equipment and cables are properly secured so that that do not create a tripping hazard.

Crowd Supervision

  • Event organisers are responsible for crowd control.
  • The capacity of the venue must not be exceeded. For larger events, the use of entry tickets to track attendance is strongly recommended.
  • Monitor access to the event to prevent overcrowding.
  • Placing additional chairs in the venue is strictly prohibited, unless authorised by the Safety Office.
  • Ensure attendees do not stand or sit in aisles, corridors, stairs and egress routes.
  • Prior to commencing the event, advise attendees of the location of exits to be used in the event of an emergency. Adhere to the following guidance on Public Safety Announcements.
  • Overcrowding violations may incur disciplinary action.

Fire Equipment / Detection

  • Never cover smoke detectors or attach anything to them.
  • Please note that heat, smoke, dust, aerosols, steam, fog/smoke machines, cooking and food preparation tasks, and physical contact can activate smoke detector heads.
  • In the event of fire alarm activation due to known non-smoke related activities (e.g. dust), everyone must exit the venue and then inform security of the issue.
  • For any activities involving heat, smoke, dust, aerosols, steam, fog/smoke machines, cooking and food preparation tasks, contact the Safety Office for advice and a hot work or head isolation permit will be issued where applicable.

Candles

Indoor Use

  • Candles and devices generating an open flame, smoke or fumes are not permitted within University. A suitable alternative for indoor use are battery powered LED candles

Outdoor Use

  • Candles and devices generating an open flame are strongly discouraged for outdoor use, however, if there is genuine need, then the following requirements must to be instituted:
  • Any open flames must be attended at all times while lit.
  • Proximity to building with open flames must be greater than 4 meters.
  • Combustible materials must not be stored within the vicinity.
  • Flames must be completely extinguished after use.
  • Attendees with candles must be mindful of others and maintain a respectful safe distance. Also passing lit candles from one person to another is not allowed.
  • Events where open flames are used require the presence of stewards and/or security - completion of the Event Safety Management Plan will aid in determining the numbers and any additional safety requirements necessary.
  • First aiders may also need to be present depending on numbers attending - see First Aid section.
  • A number of suitable fire extinguishers must be readily available depending on numbers attending.

Fireworks / Pyrotechnics

  • University does not permit the use of Fireworks or Pyrotechnics on Campus.

Decorations

  • Curtains, Drapes, Flags, Bunting and other decorative materials must be made of non-combustible materials / flame retardant.
  • Manufacturer certification of same must be available for inspection and the items themselves must be CE marked.
  • Self-applied flame retardant treatment must be carried out as per the manufactures instructions; again the instructions and confirmation of adherence to same must be available for inspection.
  • Dried plant material such as hay, straw, leaves, wreaths etc. are not permitted.
  • It is recommended that no more than 10% of the wall and ceiling area of a venue can be covered by curtains, drapes, flags, bunting and other decorative materials.
  • Decorations must not be hung near lights or other heat sources.
  • Windows and doors must not be covered with decorations. Similarly, door vision panels must be kept clear.
  • Fire egress routes from buildings must remain sterile.
  • Decorations must not be hung in a manner that obstructs or obscures any fire safety system e.g. fire extinguishers, break glass, call points, emergency lighting.

First Aid

  • For the vast majority of scenarios one first aid point is generally required for large or high risk events. It must not be assumed that building designated first aiders will be available; therefore, alternative arrangements must be put in place.
  • All accidents involving staff, students or the public, must be reported (Accident Report form). In addition, near misses should also be reported.
  • In order to decide on the level of first-aid provision necessary, an event organiser should make an assessment of the first-aid needs appropriate to the circumstances. The recommended minimum number of first aiders at small events where no special risks are considered likely is 2:1000 for the first 3,000 attending.

Insurance

The University is insured to meet employers and public liability. However, the completed Event Safety Management Plan will be reviewed to identify any non-standard activities/high risk activities and determine if insurance cover can be provided. In addition, each and every service provider, contractor, caterer, hiring company etc. should provide evidence of their insurances. Please contact the Service Centre for further details on estatesandfacilities@tcd.ie or extension 4000.

Security

The Event Safety Management Plan will be reviewed to plan security aspects accordingly. The following is a list of issues that may be relevant depending on the format of the event:

  • parking and traffic issues
  • Vehicle and pedestrian segregation/management
  • crowd control / barriers
  • exclusion of unwanted visitors (people without an invitation/ticket)
  • offensive materials
  • illegal substances
  • cash security
  • dealing with inebriated or potentially violent people, protests.

Stewards (Indoor Events)

Completion of the Event Safety Management Plan will aid in determining the number of Stewards required by the organiser, the main criteria considered will be the nature of the event and the expected numbers attending. Ideally, there should be two Stewards for every 100 attendees, except where there are particular risks. The following general requirements must be instituted:

  • Stewards must be adequately trained in their roles and responsibilities, particularly with respect to fire prevention and evacuation procedures, refer to the following link to organise training: https://www.tcd.ie/Buildings/Safety/safetytraining.php
  • Stewards must be readily identifiable (hi-visibility steward bib/jacket)
  • Depending on the size of the event, effective methods of communication (electronic) may be required, primarily to deal with emergency events.
  • Stewards have the following responsibilities:
    1. Knowledge of University emergency procedures.
      Ensure emergency routes and exits are clear and unobstructed.
      Check that fire doors are not wedged open.
      Fire exit signage is not obscured by any means and remains illuminated.
      Firefighting equipment is readily accessible.
      Ensure no overcrowding occurs.

Catering

  • Reference section 3 of the Events Permission Application Checklist for further details on catering arrangements.
  • Food and beverages are generally not permitted in University meeting/seminar/board rooms and lecture theatres. Seek advice from local administrators on where best to setup a food staging area, and be mindful of not blocking any emergency exit routes or impeding access to fire safety equipment.
  • If arrangements are in place for University catering staff to serve food and beverages, then they will also be responsible for cleaning up. However, in self-service situations where food and beverages are just delivered by University catering, then the event organisers must take responsibility for clearing-up afterwards in a prompt manner.
  • Reference University Food and Drink Regulations.
  • The use of plastic glasses at large events should be encouraged to mitigate the risk of glass breakage.

Outdoors

  • The selected area must be safe regardless of wet or windy weather.
  • Using the risk assessment section of the Event Safety Management Plan, the area must be surveyed to identify any trip/slip hazards and measures instituted to mitigate the risks.
  • Similarly, any other hazards identified must be dealt with appropriately and the process documented via the Event Safety Management Plan.
  • Provide enough identifiable stewards to cater for the size and nature of your event - review of the completed Event Safety Management Plan will aid in determining this number.
  • The selected event location must be situated away from any vehicular traffic. Where vehicle and pedestrian segregation is not possible, the area must be supervised by trained Stewards particularly where there is interaction between vehicular traffic and event participants.
  • Additional lighting must be considered if event takes place in the evening - contact the Safety Office for a lighting survey.

Marquees

Safe Use and Operation of Marquees and Temporary Structures

  • Marquees must be erected by a Specialist Contractor using a structurally validated system. All hired tentage fabric, internal linings and floor coverings are to meet the standards laid down by MUTA (Made-Up Textiles Association) Code of Public Safety and BS 7837:1996.
  • (a) Insurance: The contractor must provide evidence of insurance (see insurance section).
  • (b) Fabric Material and Internal Linings: Fire Rating - all external material and fabric linings are to be of inherently flame-retarded fabric or durably flame-retarded fabric when tested to BS 5438 Tests 2B with a 10 second flame application time. Rigid side wall materials will be Class 1 in accordance with BS 476 part 7.
  • (c) Floor Coverings: All floor coverings shall be designed and installed so as to provide floor surfaces, which are free of obstructions and substances liable to cause persons to slip.
  • (d) Means of Escape: Adequate means of escape will be provided in every structure so as to ensure that in the event of an outbreak of fire in any part of the structure each occupant should be able to reach safety, unaided and without being placed at hazard while doing so. Final exit doors (if provided) shall be capable of being opened from the inside at any time when the structure is occupied. Where the general public are present doors must be secured only in a manner which ensures they open immediately when subject to pressure from the inside. Final exit doors shall open in the direction of escape. Final exit doors (if provided) are to be fitted with appropriate exit signage in accordance with S.I. No. 299 (2007). Emergency lighting is to be in accordance with IS3217.
  • (e) Fire Fighting Equipment: All fire fighting equipment will be sited so that it cannot be vandalised or interfered with by spectators but so that it is readily accessible to stewards. Particular attention is to be given to the provision of adequate fire extinguishers and fire blankets in the catering areas.
  • (f) Fire Alarm: In accordance with the Guide to Fire Precautions in Existing Places of Entertainment and Like Premises the Stage PA and Stewards can be used for warning in the case of fire. A fire alarm system can be impracticable due to the noise generated by the entertainment and smoke effects may activate any kind of detection systems.
  • (g) Safety Procedures: When in use all floors, passageways, gangways and steps shall be kept clear of rubbish, dirt or articles or substances liable to cause persons to slip or trip. No flammable materials may be stored or kept in the structures. No fire exits shall be blocked, either by waste material or by having any display stand or equipment placed in front of them. No person shall interfere with or misuse any plant, equipment or substance provided for use in temporary accommodation.