Safety on a mass scale – managing risk and safety at epic events
Sentry Business Resilience Solutions
Presentation package now available (members only)
How do you manage safety for a crowd of 500,000 out for a good night? Members heard how it is done from Steve Goss, the man behind safety, risk and emergency planning for the 2015 White Night festival in Melbourne’s CBD with his lunchtime presentation on August 11, 2015.
Following significant challenges experienced at the first White Night in 2013, where debrief comments included “from a crowd safety and risk management perspective, it is the worst event witnessed”, Steve was brought in to make radical improvements to the safety approach.
Steve explained that many of the 2103 problems were foreseeable and, when he joined the organisation, he tackled the main issues of communication and crowd control. He outlined crowd dynamics as well as how safety was improved through design. An installation risk assessment includes specifics for every item of plant, and he also developed a decision matrix for adverse weather conditions to use when considering cancelling events or specific activities.
Importantly, his system involves briefing and liaising with all relevant stakeholders such as security agencies, emergency services and transport and traffic management bodies.
The extensive planning and constant vigilance led to a very successful event in 2015 with the number of incidents significantly reduced in number and severity.
Originally a Senior Sergeant in the Victoria Police, Steve Goss then worked as a safety regulator in the upstream oil, gas and mining and quarrying industries, followed by senior executive roles in safety & risk management at both the Melbourne Racing Club and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation.
Steve set up his company Sentry Business Resilience Solutions (Sentry) in 2009, and his clients include businesses, not-for-profit organisations, sporting bodies and local and State government agencies.