Ibiza, Magaluf, Ayia Napa, London – In every major party capital throughout the world, there are guaranteed to be nightclubs holding foam parties. But as the sun sets on this years summer season, it is worth being aware of the legal and moral obligations of holding a foam party at Christmas or in the future.
Do’s and Don’ts:
- The operator must ensure they have sufficient EL and PL insurance in place which specifically covers foam parties – this means speaking to your Broker BEFORE an event takes place.
- Contract the organisation of the event to a reputable company, checking they have full public liability insurance. As a result, any consequential accidents from the event planning are likely to be their responsibility.
- Use British Standard foam generators. The temptation may be to purchase cheaper versions but this can be a false economy and risks safety.
- Conduct a specific risk assessment for the use of foam in the particular venue, highlighting the risks and appropriate control measures. This should be done by or in conjunction with someone who has experience of operating such events.
- Prepare a method statement to confirm how the event is to be run and managed by staff, including crowd dispersal and evacuation.
- Obtain the Safety Data Sheet for the chemical composition of the foam to be used and carry out a COSHH assessment for using the product.
- Depending on the chemicals, special handling procedures and PPE may be necessary for employees coming in to contact with the raw materials.
- Bring product data information to the attention of all visitors – consider a ticket-only event where the information can be given to attendees before the day, or a pre-party briefing. Visitors should be told to report to staff at the first sign of injury or symptoms.
- Each participant should be asked to sign a medical form, indicating if they have any conditions such as asthma, respiratory problems, skin allergies etc. If so, participation should be prohibited.
- A public address system should be utilised to make safety announcements at the start of the night and throughout the event.
- Bring any risks of damage to clothing or irritation to skin etc. to the attention of party-goers before the event. Ideally get them to sign that they understand and accept the risks undertaken.
- Consider whether the floors will become slippery with foam residue – if so, install secure non-slip matting.
- All floor surfaces should be flat or gently sloping wherever possible and sudden drops should be cordoned off and clearly highlighted.
- Ensure the party room is well ventilated and lit. Emergency exits should be clearly visible and accessible at all times.
- Electrical points and speakers likely to come in to contact with the foam need to be isolated.
- First aid facilities should be available including saline eye wash, and de-foaming chemicals.
- Access to the area being subjected to foam should be tightly controlled, with staff on the door to restrict access where staff feel that the attendees display inappropriate behavior or are under the influence of alcohol to the extent that they may constitute a danger to themselves or others.
- The layout of the rest of the bar should be considered, not just the room where the foam party is taking place. An ante-room between the public areas and the party is useful in case foam spills out and matting/towels should be used to enable party-goers to wipe off foam residue before accessing other areas.
- Staff will require training to prevent obstacles/glass being taken in the foam area, to monitor for dangerous behaviour whilst avoiding confrontation and to deal with emergencies. This will also include how to tackle basic problems, as well as danger signs which may, if tackled, avert more serious issues.
- Party operators should liaise with their local authority/office for environmental protection with the appropriate documents above to obtain approval to the arrangements.
- Following the party, environmental issues also need to be considered. Beyond small amounts, it is not possible to use the sewerage system directly, but the chemicals should be absorbed and treated.
For further information on the above, to speak to an expert or to arrange a confidential face to face review call 0844 488 9205.