Crowd Management and Using Crowd Control Barriers, Fencing, Staging

When it comes to event organisers planning for a safe and enjoyable event experience, there are several precautionary measures that can be put into place to prevent unnecessary injuries during the event. It’s up to you to as an event organiser to make sure that the event goes off without a hitch.

We’re going to explore what you can do with crowd management and a variety of crowd control barriers to ensure the safety of all who have come to an event.

Crowd control management and crowd control barriers

Crowd Management

As an event organiser, you must ensure the safety of all crowds who are visiting for your event. It is true that certain aspects of crowd safety can be passed onto contractors to take care of, but as the overall event organiser, it will be your duty to ensure the safety of any and all crowds.

Hazards include tripping due to poor lighting or poorly maintained floors as well as the building up of rubbish, moving vehicles being made to share the same route as pedestrians, collapse of a structure or fence which falls on the crowd, people being pushed onto objects, such stalls causing congestion during a busy period by being parked in the middle of a route for pedestrians, queueing at bars obstructing crowd movement, cross flows whenever people cut through crowds to get to places such as the toilet, failure of equipment like turnstiles, and sources of fire that might come from cooking equipment, electrical equipment and the like.

Assessing risk, putting controls into place.

Assessing risk arising from crowd movement as the people arrive, during the event, and when they leave. The circumstances will largely dictate whether routes that are going to and from the venue will fall under health and safety law, so it’s important that you consult with the proper authorities at all times when working one of these events.

If crowd management health and safety does apply, then it is the legal duty of the organiser to ensure the safety of people on these routes, depending on the extent of control that they have. Since this can change so easily depending on the individual circumstances, this will be determined on a case by case basis. These duties will most likely be shared by a variety of individuals all pertaining to the event and the overall safety and security of said event.

Barriers at events will serve a number of purposes when it comes to ensuring the safety of crowds at events. Include managing and influencing the behaviour of the crowds, to line routes, and to prevent people from climbing on top of structures and potentially falling and injuring themselves, to prevent overcrowding and relieve the actual buildup of an audience’s pressure, to provide security, such as with an outdoor fence, and to help shield people from hazards.

If you do decide to use barriers, they should all be assessed for risk. This will help to prevent the potential danger of having barriers put in place that are themselves not safe. The last thing we want as event organisers is to put a system into place, only for that system to break down and cause undue harm to any individuals at the event.

Depending on the nature of the risk factor when it comes to the barriers, you may need a set of competent advice to aid you in setting this risk back in order. This could be done in any number of ways, including consulting with experts in the field who will have a greater understanding of the risks than you might have.

The factors you need to take into account include the planned use of barriers, the layout of the event, conditions on the ground as well as topography of the event area, underground services such as water pipes and electric cables that could prevent or else restrict the use of pins to secure the barriers, the weather that you’re dealing with on that day, the load that’s being put on the barrier, including wind and crowd pressure, and audience numbers and overall behaviour.

Installing simple barriers like a rope and posts could be managed in-house, choosing more complex fencing barriers, such as for the protection of the stage area, is much more difficult and requires the help of a trained and professional contractor.

Deployment of barriers with properly trained stewards will ensure the overall success of your crowd management strategy.

Stage barriers.

Stage barriers are used in both a stage setting as well as settings where there is a heavy crowd buildup, such as at bars or other similar locations. Basically, wherever there’s expected to be a great level of crowd density.

The stage barriers are commonly going to be built around a basic A frame that’s meant to be load-bearing. This means that the more the crowd pushes against the barrier, the more it’s able to hold and contain the crowd. This allows for the control of crowd behaviour from an elemental level that takes into account crowd location as well as the direction of crowd movement. Focusing on these things will ensure that both the crowd will be safe and the barrier will stand up to the crowd. Both situations which are inherently necessary to the safe and productive success of the program.

Design features.

Most stage barriers will be made out of steel or aluminium and be fully welded. These barriers shouldn’t be welded in parts, nor should they consist of soft materials which will compromise the structural integrity of the barrier and make for an inefficient and unsafe barrier system for the populace at large.

Stage barrier will also have a footplate that the audience stands on. It seems counterintuitive to have the audience standing on the very barriers that are meant to keep them safe, but this actually works to help and stabilise the overall system.

It will also have a top horizontal rail that will be rounded, smooth, and line up flush with the vertical front fascia on the side of the audience. This will ensure that the audience can’t climb over the barrier and will allow the barrier to not impede the actual experience of the concert or whatever other event might be going on at the time.

The barrier should also have a step on the side of the stage so that personnel can offer water to the people in the audience or grab people from the audience.

A stage barrier is only as strong as its weakest link, so you must be sure that all systems that are put into place with the stage barrier are strong and effectively constructed. The joining systems that are put into place with the stage barrier will be the weakest link by far, so you must ensure that all bolts are secured in an effective and efficient manner.

The barrier should have smooth lines, have no sort of rust or other type of disfigurement, have all of its rivets in place and not be rotating, have very smooth welds without any type of fracture, be stable, with all bolts correctly placed and no chance of entrapment present, and have no type of access gate on the sections that are pressured.
See: Guide to Crowd Control Barriers