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HVM Risk Assessment: Special Events



This article will outline different items you should consider when doing a HVM risk assessment. Compiling all this information will lead you to understand whether HVM barriers are required and where they should be located during your event. Following these criteria will ensure no threat is missed and all possibilities have been reviewed. Risk assessments similar to this one are critical to event safety and should not be overlooked.


Evaluate the Events Overall Risk


Anticipated Crowd Size & Density

Predicting crowd numbers can be a crucial element to a risk assessment. Event planners should research data of past events and forecast the number of attendees. With this information you can then understand the scale of the event and the ratio of event goers to event grounds. The closer the ratio infers there will be greater risk during the event. Crowd density can also be calculated by dividing the maximum number of attendees by the event grounds in square meters. Any number greater than 5 pupils per square meter is considered over capacity and comfort levels.


Event Duration

When planning the event keep in mind the longer the event endures the greater risk it cautiones. Forecast the peaks and valleys of attendance during the event, as peak attendance will be your most vulnerable time. Thus, developing a strict starting and ending time proves to be beneficial in event safety.


Media Attention & Stakeholder Impact

In the past events tend to be targeted when there is a large media presence, such as news outlets compiling stories or high social media buzz. There can also be concern when historically targeted minority groups are involved in the event, which may pose greater risk.


Participant Vulnerability

Understanding the events demographic will contribute to conducting a risk assessment. Parties who have a lower ability promptly respond to hazards; children or seniors can increase your events risk significantly. This also includes any external factors that the event might cause, including but not limited to loud music impairing attendees hearing. Make sure that your egress points are clearly marked, identified, and accessible to all.


Evaluate Vehicular Access Risk


Straight Length Distance to Site

Greater straight approaches into event grounds allows for higher acceleration speed, increasing the likelihood of a vehicle penetrating the barriers. This is something that can be avoided before event barriers are installed by moving the event to a safer and less accessible area. If the geographics of the event will not accommodate moving, then proper traffic calming measures need to be in place to reduce approaching speed and access.


Roadway Width

Similar to straight lengthy roads, wider roads allow for higher acceleration. Roads that have curbside parking, speed bumps or barriers, and one lane present a lesser threat as drivers are more cautious and drive at a slower speed.


Posted Speed Limit

Posted speed limits can give you an insight to speed levels a hostile vehicle could reach on the roadway. The higher posted speed limit indicates a possibility of an increasingly greater collision speed.


Distance to Signalized Intersection

Signalized intersections act as a barrier between the event and the hostile vehicle, as the driver is forced to stop causing a loss of speed. These intersections are creating an extra barrier for your event but are also indicating greater traffic in the roads near.


Stand-Off Distance

The stand-off distance is the distance between the HVM barriers and the event grounds. This distance will indicate the level of safety measure that needs to be taken. Check with the manufacture to confirm their tested certification rating, so the product has the appropriate spacing and distance to travel.


Overall Risk Level


After considering these items you should be able to predict the level of risk your event might experience. The next steps would be looking at different HVM products and finding one that fits the risk level of your event.

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