Kerry London News

Health and Safety: Stadia and Arenas

Tuesday 21st November
Health and Safety: Stadia and Arenas

The UK is home to a number of prominent stadiums and arenas. Many play host to year round events from football, rugby and cricket matches to music concerts and festivals.

Regardless of the event, the priority of a stadium or arena is the health and safety of attendees and staff. Events in the past, such as the tragic 1989 Hillsborough Stadium disaster in Sheffield, have brought to light in the past the need for rigorous stadium health and safety to ensure the risk to attendees and staff alike is managed at all times.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled an introductory stadium health and safety checklist.

Safety hazards

  • Structural failure: Ensure that roofing, railings or similar structural elements are secure and won’t lead to injuries such as crushing.
  • Adverse weather: If weather such as snow and heavy rain is expected, stairways should be kept clear and dry. Also be aware that additional crowd traffic may occur when people look for cover.
  • Loss of services: Have electricity and water facilities checked regularly to prevent injuries or distress.
  • Inadequate safety management or stewarding: There must be sufficient staff during an event to ensure the safety of the attendees.
  • Systems failure: Systems such as radio and entry counting systems support the management of crowd safety and must be functioning properly.
  • Crowd incidents: Overcrowding and surging can lead to multiple injuries and should be prevented.
  • Blocked exits: Exits must be clear and available so that people are not trapped in an emergency.
  • Tripping hazards: All paths through the stadium or arena should be kept clear to avoid falls and injuries.
  • Critical incidents: Gas leaks or explosions can result in burns and blast injuries. Management and response to such hazards must be in place.
  • Pyrotechnics: The proper precautions and having a professional in attendance can reduce the risk of exposing people to burns, toxic products and respiratory distress.
  • Persistent standing in seated areas: This is a safety hazard at angles of rake above 34° because of the risk of progressive crowd collapse.

Security hazards

  • Public order
    • ‘Risk’ fans: Have responses in place for supporters who pose a possible risk to public order, whether planned or spontaneous.
    • Pitch invasion: This can threaten the participants or officials as well as rival supporter groups.
    • Alcohol problems: Alcohol can contribute to spontaneous disorder.
  • Protest: There may be demonstrations against the stadium or arena.
  • Criminal activity: This can include selling or producing counterfeit tickets or the sale or use of illegal drugs on the grounds.
  • Terrorism: Bomb threats, bombings and other attacks can result in multiple fatalities. Regular checks and response must be in place.

Service hazards

  • Ticketing/seating problems: When people visit a venue for the first time they may have trouble finding the correct seat, which may lead to misunderstandings with other attendees.
  • Broken seats: A customer may be left without a seat if an event is sold out.
  • Inadequate facilities: Unsanitary toilets or dirty food outlets can impact on the health of attendees and should be suitably policed.
  • Long queues: Attendees can be left waiting for prolonged periods, leading to frustration or distress.


Here are the principal relevant provisions that make up the health and safety framework for stadiums and arenas.

  • Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Safety at Sports Grounds Act 1975
  • Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987
  • Football Spectators Act 1989
  • Licensing Act 2003

Above are some of the areas of concern for stadia and arena management but unfortunately this isn’t an exhaustive list. Speak to a member of our team, to understand the risks that your club/stadium/arena could be exposed to and how Kerry London can support you in protecting against these potential exposures.

If you have any questions about Health and Safety and ensuring your stadium or arena is covered, please get in touch with our team on 01923 211 290.

Categories: Sport,