If you’ve ever been involved in organising a large event – a music festival is one example – then you’ll know the importance of proper crowd control. Crowd control barriers help to manage crowd flow, direct foot traffic, keep attendees or members of the public from accessing restricted areas and, most importantly, ensure the safety of all participants.
There are a few things to consider when choosing and setting up your crowd control barriers. In this blog, we run through a checklist for effective use of crowd control barriers at your events.
Have a Plan
Good crowd control is all about planning. In order to make solid plans for your event, you will need to know in advance roughly how many people will be attending, the size and attributes of the venue, how you will communicate with attendees and your own personnel, and what possible complications might arise that you will need to make preparations for. All event organisers, staff, and security should be properly trained and familiar with the plan.
You should also work into your plan not only the approximate size of the crowd, but also their demographic make-up. If this is a large music festival, for instance, you will likely be dealing predominantly with a younger demographic, and if there is going to be alcohol involved then you will need to have extra precautions in place to deal with the increased hazards.
Choosing the Right Barriers
As with any piece of equipment, you want to make sure that you choose the safety barriers that are best suited to the particular requirements of the job at hand. You will probably find that your event requires two or more different kinds of barriers for the different zones of the venue.
Retractable barriers consist of a retractable belt suspended between two poles. These are most commonly used in situations where you need to form a queue, and you will typically see them outside a club or a movie venue. They are light and easily reconfigured to allow for changes in the configuration of the event, but they are probably not suitable for events with large groups of people, especially when there is a potential for boisterous behaviour.
Steel barriers are stronger and more durable and are better for controlling large crowds. Their strong, interlocking mechanism means they are difficult for crowds to move or tamper with. They are not as easily moved as retractable barriers, and as much as possible, you should plan not to move them during the course of the event.
If your event is taking place near a road or other area where cars will be passing through, traffic barriers are the best solution for safe control of traffic flow. Made from strong plastic, traffic barriers create a clear visual pathway and provide some protection for pedestrians from smaller collisions.
As we’ve tried to emphasise throughout this article, planning and communication is key to a well-controlled crowd at any event. Organisers, security, and other staff should all be on the same page, and you should decide on the crowd control barriers and other safety equipment you will use in advance. To speak to someone about choosing the right safety barriers for your event, contact Workplace Pedestrian Safety today.