8 ways to prevent accidents at fundraising events
Throughout the year, there are numerous opportunities to hold fundraising events; whether it is a gift wrapping in the winter, a fun run in the summer or a timeless event such as a coffee morning, the additional funds raised are welcome for charities of all sizes.
Unfortunately, events don't always go as planned and accidents can taint what was an otherwise successful event. Luckily, there are a number of simple steps you can take to ensure your charity fundraising event runs accident-free.
Identify problem areas
Once you've decided on the type of event you are going to run, think about the problem areas. Will visitors have to walk up or down steep stairs? Will floors become slippy if visitors bring in wet shoes? Are there any trip hazards? Identifying risks is not as straightforward as it may first seem – the Charity Commission has produced a useful risk assessment checklist which can help you carry out the process.
A lack of communication can often see tasks get overlooked, which can in turn lead to accidents. Ensure all employees and volunteers understand their role at the event and know who to speak to if there is a problem or incident.
Keep floors dry
Slips are amongst the most common accidents at charity fundraisers. Wet weather during festive fundraising events can see visitors bring wet shoes inside, which can make hard surfaces slippy and dangerous. Make sure there is an entrance mat for people to wipe their feet, and have a mop and cleaning towels to hand to keep floors dry. Consider putting up a hazard sign to warn guests who are just arriving that the floor is slippy.
Ensure wires are tucked away
Tripping over wires can cause serious injury to visitors, particularly the aged. Try to keep wires tucked under desks to protect both guests and charity staff. If it's unavoidable for the wires to run across a high-traffic area, arrange for special mats to be put over them to minimise the chances of someone catching their foot.
Grit icy steps
During the winter months, steps in and out of community buildings are very dangerous when icy, and it can be easy for even able bodied people to slip. Apply plenty of rock salt (available at most garden centres) to the steps and any paths leading up to your event venue, and encourage visitors to stay on the gritted paths to minimise the chances of an accident occurring.
Consider using battery powered candles
Candles are hugely popular during festive and evening events, but pose a very real fire risk if they get knocked over. Battery powered LED candles remove the risks associated with the fire without compromising on the presentation. They are relatively inexpensive and can be re-used at future events.
Keep hot liquid containers away from visitors
Serving hot tea, coffee and soup at events is a great way to attract supporters and raise funds for your cause. Containers or kettles can get knocked over and scold visitors, ruining an otherwise enjoyable event. Accidents in these areas often happen due to overcrowding around the area dispensing the drinks/soup, so kindly ask guests to keep their distance, and keep the hot dispensers away from the edge of serving tables.
Check first aid kits
If the worst does happen, first aid kits can minimise the severity of an accident. Check all wipes, dressings and plasters are in date and in plentiful supply, and ensure there are trained first aiders as part of your charity's event team.
For more tips on managing risk at charity events, read our 7 steps to a successful fundraising event.
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