New Stewarding Standard, BS 8406, Specified by BSI

Press release: 11 December 2003

From party-goers at music festivals to families attending Christmas events, all will benefit from the much needed new Standard in stewarding and crowd safety thanks to BSI Group's British Standards division. This is a benchmark of good practice and the first of its kind for the industry.

This British Standard, called Event Stewarding and Crowd Safety Services (BS 8406), is in line with all health and safety legislation and will assist Local Authorities and event organisers to work with greater assurance in terms of avoiding potential accidents and injuries. It also aims to tackle the frustrating chaos that attendees can suffer from organisers who pay little attention to crowd control. The hope is that Local Authorities make it a requirement when granting a Private Entertainment Licence for large events.

BS 8406 covers a broad range of public gatherings from a Royal parade down The Mall to a city's New Year festival. Importantly, the Standard is not draconian and makes provision for those smaller, charity events where compliance might over burden tight budgets.

What are the benefits of BS 8406?

The Standard provides recommendations for the infrastructure, staffing, operation and management of organisations providing stewarding and safety personnel at either indoor or outdoor events. It also specifies, for companies who provide stewards, the systematic planning for, and supervision of, the orderly movement and assembly of people within any organised gathering of the public, whether on payment or otherwise, in the open-air, or under cover.

Ian Brewer of BSI Business Information, says: "Many local authorities and other event organisers use reputable companies to ensure that health and safety is a top priority when stewarding and managing crowds generally. These are the companies that have really set the standard. However, there are also many companies that don't practice in such a responsible manner, and they will need to comply as the benchmark grows in recognition and importance."

Jon Corbishley, of the UK Crowd Management Association, says:" My organisation represents those practitioners who supply stewards and I am delighted that this Standard has finally been introduced. For many years those reputable and diligent event organisers who have wanted to prove their competence and professionalism can now do so.

"BS 8406 will help the industry because clients will have greater confidence and, hopefully, insurance companies might look upon compliant companies more favourably."