If you’ve ever been to
a large scale music or sporting event you’re likely to have come
across individuals dressed in Hi-Visibility vests. These are crowd
controllers. Their main job is to minimise the risks to spectators or
festival goers who are placed in a crowded environment. So how do
they manage that risk?

Fundamentally crowd
control risk management involves 3 key aspects. Let’s take a closer

Identifying hazards

Being able to identify
the hazards that may cause risk of injury are key. The problem is
that they’re not always obvious and identifiable. As such they can
sometimes be overlooked. For this reason a simple question and answer
session can be used to good effect, Here’s an example.

Q: What’s the risk?  

 A: Being hit by moving


Q: Why? 

 A: Because we need to
stand on the road to direct patrons off the road when they come out
of the venue

Q: Why are they on the

A: Because when they
exit, there isn’t sufficient space between them and those trying to

Q: Why isn’t there
enough room?
A: Because the area of
movement is restricted by speaker stacks

Solution: Do you
implement an expensive and time consuming traffic flow redirection
plan or do you simply move the speaker stacks and open up the area?

The point of this
exercise is that by not asking ‘why‘ it can lead to
complicated and often expensive controls being implemented where
often simpler options are the answer.

Prioritising risks

Once all risks have
been assessed they need to be prioritised. So ask yourself two

 Question 1 – What is
the likelihood of this risk occurring?

 Question 2 – What will
the consequences be if it does?

The hazards that may
cause moderate to major and through to catastrophic damage need to be
dealt with first, in the order of priority. Do remember however that
even those with a rare risk rate and that may cause even a low level
of damage do need to be dealt with, but in ascending order.

Implementing risk

This is undoubtedly the
most important factor in the whole process. It’s worth noting that
risk can be controlled in a number of ways, with the first objective
to be the complete removal of that risk. However in some cases this
isn’t always possible and instead, exposure to that risk needs to be
reduced as much as practically possible.

As an example, a risk of a
crowd bottleneck may occur when hoards of people are entering a
venue. The risk of stampedes and crushing are great, however you
mightn’t be able to eliminate the problem completely because thorough
security checks will still need to be implemented. However by opening
up as many entry lanes as possible, and by training security staff to
be thorough and
quick, that risk is hopefully reduced.

At MA Security we’ve
supplied fully-trained and highly-experienced crowd controllers for
some of the largest and busiest events in Melbourne. If you’re
planning an event and need crowd controllers, or simply need some
advice, then contact us on 1300 020 406 and talk to our
vastly experienced team who can help.

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