How to complete a Risk Assessment

In line with EU law and other countries all events are required to complete a risk assessment for each exhibiting companies. All shell scheme constructions have to also complete the Simple Risk Assessments to exhibit.

Please see the guidelines below on how to complete a risk assessment and why you have too. The guidelines are very comprehensive and risk assessments are there to protect your own liability/insurance, not for the Organisers.

Step 1: Identify the hazard and who could be harmed

This is the hardest part as it involves predicting everything that could reasonably foreseeably go wrong. There are various approaches to this based on the type of hazard or the type of harm as follows:

Types of Harm

  • Hazards that cause injury, such as a broken bone
  • Hazards to health, such as noise

Type of Hazards

  • Physical e.g. a vehicle
  • Chemical e.g. carbon monoxide in exhaust fumes
  • Biological e.g. food poisoning
  • Social e.g. violence

It is important to consider the potential consequences and who could be harmed. For example with an electrical fault the consequences are both potential injury from the shock or a fire.

Step 2: Assess the Risk

It is necessary to asses both the potential likelihood of an incident or accident and potential severity if it does happen.

Likelihood Severity
1 Very Likely Minor/First Aid
2 Unlikely Injury causing 3 day absence from work
3 Likely Major injury
4 Very Likely Death or life changing injury to one person
5 Almost Inevitable Death or life changing to many persons

The template shows that we assess risk both before and after controls are put into place. Before controls we are assessing what would happen if there were no controls. It is important when considering severity to asses the most likely outcome.

Step 3: Develop Controls

Having determined what the hazards are, and to what extent they pose a risk these we now need to to do something about it, there are many models for risk control and this is a simple version.

  • Eliminate the risk at source. There is a point at which any operation is simply too risky and this should not be proceed with it.
  • Substitute for something safer
  • Control the Risk  – use qualified contractors to complete any specific jobs
  • Training – train staff to operate machinery
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are items such as hard hat and safety shoes. Note: They are only effective if something goes wrong. A hard hat is only of use if something falls on your head.

The example below shows the risk assessment of vehicle access. With no controls it is assessed to be 8, which is HIGH and unacceptable. After controls are put into place it is assessed to be 4, which is LOW and acceptable.

Hazard Consequence Who at Risk P S R Controls P S R
Access and egress of vehicles Impact Injuries Staff 2 4 8 Separate pedestrians and vehicles with barriers 1 1 4
Collision Exhibitors Employ competent traffic marshals to ensure even flow of traffic and marshalling of routes and cargo doors
Visitors Abide by house (venue) traffic rules
Members of the public


P – Probability or likelihood of incident occurring

S – Severity of incident if it did happen

R  – Risk

P,S and R should be calculated when there are no controls in place and then after the controls have been put in place.

Action Level

1-4 Low no further controls required

5-7 Medium – justify /review for each event day

8+ HIGH – immediate action/further controls needed.

Step Four – Implement Controls

This is the business of implementing controls on the event floor itself. Operations staff and floor managers are responsible for ensuring that the controls in the risk assessments are implemented and will be checking stands with the corresponding paperwork.

Step Five – Monitor and Review

It is important to monitor the event floor to ensure that prescribed controls are actually in place.

You also need a system of reviewing risk assessments. Event risk assessments have a natural review cycle in that a new assessment is required for each event. Other times when risk assessments need to be reviewed are:

  • When there has been an accident
  • When there is a significant change in personnel or process
  • When there is a change in law
  • When monitoring reveals problems

Risk Assessment and other safety documents that need to be completed for the event  are below; (only complete the document that is relevant to your stand; Complex stands are over 3.5m in height)




Fire Risk Assessment

Fire risk assessment is a very specific legal requirement for all European venues.

Typical aspects which would increase the fire risk would be:

  • Naked flame on stands (candles or gel burners)
  • Use of compressed or flammable gases on stands
  • Use of pyrotechnics, lasers and other stage effects
  • Cookery demonstrations
  • Exhibition of motor vehicles
  • Likelihood of illegal smoking in outfield areas or in built storage areas on stands
  • High levels of packaging waste
  • High numbers of complex structures.
  • Hot works during stand construction
  • Dressing of stock or Octonorm panels with untreated (non flame retardant) materials.

Rule Enforcement

  • Nexus Media Events Ltd is committed to ensuring these regulations are regularly updated and will be enforced onsite.
  • Any company breeching the rules and regulations will be given a warning to rectify the situation immediately on site and if the contractor/exhibiting company ignore this they will be asked to leave the exhibition and and further penalties will be enforced for the following year depending on the circumstances.