ELD Association


How to Carry Out a Risk Assessment at a Venue: Preparing for a Safe Dance Class

Ensuring the safety of everyone involved in a dance class requires a precise and careful process known as risk assessment. Before the first steps are taken in a dance studio, instructors and venue managers must evaluate potential hazards to prevent accidents and ensure a secure environment. Risk assessment is not just a procedural formality; it is a legal obligation and a critical element of dance class preparation.


Carrying out a risk assessment involves a systematic examination of the venue where the dance class will take place. The process includes identifying possible risks, evaluating the likelihood and impact of those risks, and implementing effective measures to reduce or eliminate the potential for harm. By doing so, not only does it promote the well-being of the participants, but it also demonstrates due diligence and compliance with health and safety regulations.

Key Takeaways

  • Risk assessment is a critical and legal requirement for dance class safety.
  • It involves identifying, evaluating, and mitigating potential hazards in a venue.
  • Regular review and monitoring ensure ongoing safety and compliance with regulations.

Understanding Risk Assessment Fundamentals

Before diving into the process of risk assessment, it is critical to grasp its key components and the legalities that underscore its significance. Mastery of these fundamentals ensures not only compliance but also the safety and wellbeing of all participants in the dance class.

Definitions and Importance

Risk assessment is the systematic process used to identify potential hazards and analyse what could happen if a hazard occurs. It is a fundamental part of any health and safety management plan, specifically designed to manage the risks in a workplace or specific activity like a dance class. The primary aim here is to mitigate potential harm to individuals and reduce the likelihood of accidents or incidents.

Importance: Undertaking a risk assessment is not just about fulfilling legal duties; it is principally about protecting those involved in the activity and ensuring a safe environment. Properly conducted assessments pinpoint hazards and implement suitable controls, thereby ensuring a seamless and uninterrupted dance class experience.

Legal and Regulatory Framework

In the UK, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require every employer to assess risks to the health and safety of their employees while they're at work, which also extends to others who may be affected by their business. Similarly, self-employed individuals have a duty to assess risks emanating from their work.

Framework specifics: The law stipulates that risk assessments must be suitable and sufficient, meaning they should be appropriate to the nature of the work and remain valid over a reasonable period of time. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in legal consequences for the responsible parties, reinforcing the risk assessment as not only a good practice but a necessary legal obligation.

Planning the Risk Assessment

The success of a risk assessment relies on thorough preparation and a well-defined process. It must be comprehensive to ensure health and safety measures are aptly addressed.

Assembling the Team

The first step is to assemble a team with the necessary expertise to thoroughly carry out the risk assessment. It's imperative that this team includes individuals who are knowledgeable about the dance venue and the types of hazards that could arise. At least one member should have experience in risk management, and if possible, include a representative from the dance instructors to provide insight into the nuances of dance activities.

Defining the Scope

Defining the scope of the risk assessment is vital to maintain focus. This step involves specifying which areas of the venue will be assessed, the types of classes or activities that will take place, and the potential range of risks that need to be considered. For instance, they must consider the dance floor condition, sound system, ventilation, fire exits, and emergency response provisions. The scope will guide the team in what to look for during the assessment process.

Scheduling the Assessment

Scheduling the assessment entails choosing a date and time that will provide the team with the best opportunity to observe the venue under conditions similar to those expected during the dance class. The assessment could be timed to coincide with an actual class, or alternatively, when the venue is empty but set up for the class. The schedule must also allow enough time for any actions identified to be completed before the class takes place.

Conducting the On-site Risk Assessment

Before a dance class can begin, it's crucial to perform a thorough risk assessment at the venue. This process involves a careful examination to ensure everyone's health and safety.

Identifying Hazards

The first step is to systematically identify potential hazards in the venue that could pose a risk to the class participants or the instructor. One should walk through the premises, looking for any signs of uneven flooring, slippery surfaces, or obstructions that could lead to trips or falls. Electrical sockets, wires, and heating appliances should be checked to prevent electrical hazards. Adequate lighting and ventilation must also be assessed to avoid strain or discomfort.

Evaluating Risk Levels

After hazards have been identified, one must evaluate the risk levels associated with each potential hazard. This involves considering both the likelihood of the risk occurring and the severity of its consequences. For instance, a small spill on the dance floor may have a high probability of causing a slip, but with proper signage and prompt cleanup, the level of risk can be significantly reduced.

Hazard Likelihood Severity Risk Level
Spill on dance floor
Faulty electrical socket

Determining Preventive Measures

Lastly, one needs to determine the appropriate preventive measures to minimise or eliminate the identified risks. For a slippery floor, placing non-slip mats and having a 'wet floor' sign ready would be prudent. All electrical hazards should be rectified, and if necessary, a qualified electrician should be brought in to ensure all electrical equipment is safe to use. Emergency exits should be clearly marked, and first aid kits should be available and easily accessible.

By following these steps with due diligence, dance classes can be conducted with a greatly reduced risk of accident or injury.

Documenting and Reporting Findings

Once risks have been identified at a venue for a dance class, they must be meticulously documented and clearly reported to ensure understanding and compliance.

Recording Identified Risks

The first step in documenting is to record all identified risks. This includes detailing the nature of the risk, the potential impact, and the likelihood of occurrence. Effective documentation often utilises tables for clarity:

Risk Impact Level Likelihood
Slippery floor
Poor lighting
Electrical equipment placement

Each risk should be given a priority level based on its impact and likelihood.

Risk Assessment Report Writing

The risk assessment report serves as the official record that analyses and suggests measures to control or eliminate risks. It should be written clearly to be understood by all stakeholders. The report typically includes:

  • Executive summary of key findings.
  • Detailed enumeration of the hazards
  • Risk evaluations
  • Recommendations for risk mitigation

A risk assessment report proves that a thorough assessment was conducted and lays out a plan for ongoing safety management related to the dance venue.

Review and Monitoring


After completing a risk assessment for a dance class venue, it's crucial to periodically revisit the assessment and actively monitor the space to ensure continued safety.

Post-Assessment Review

Upon finalising a risk assessment, the responsible parties should schedule a thorough review of the mitigation strategies that have been implemented. This review typically involves checking that all control measures are in place and functioning as intended, as well as verifying if any new hazards have emerged. For instance, the Blue Moose Dance Company highlights the importance of preparing the space and keeping participants safe, which can be upheld by regular reviews.

Ongoing Monitoring Procedures

Ongoing monitoring procedures are essential for maintaining a controlled environment. They can include periodic walkthroughs of the venue to inspect the condition of the dance floor, sound equipment, and ventilation systems. Staff members should be assigned specific monitoring roles, such as observing changes in participant behaviour that might suggest risks that weren't previously identified. Protocol from sources like Halesowen Dance Academy underline the necessity for continuous observation to preclude incidents, accidents, and illnesses by identifying and controlling new risks timely.

Frequently Asked Questions


The following questions address vital considerations necessary for executing a meticulous risk assessment at a dance facility.

What steps are involved in performing a risk assessment for a dance studio?

One initiates a risk assessment by identifying potential hazards within the studio. Subsequently, they determine who might be harmed and how, evaluate the risks, decide on precautions, and record the findings. Regular review of the risk assessment is also a crucial step.

What are the common hazards to consider in a dance environment?

Common hazards in a dance environment include slippery floors, inadequate warming up, incorrect flooring, cluttered space, poor lighting, and malfunctioning equipment. One must also consider the risk of overexertion or physical strain on participants.

How do you evaluate potential risks for an advanced class?

To evaluate risks for an advanced class, one should examine the intensity of the workout, the fitness levels of participants, room temperature, floor condition, and space per participant. They should also assess the sound system's volume to ensure it does not pose a hearing risk.

Could you provide a template for conducting a risk assessment in a studio setting?

While every studio has unique needs, a basic risk assessment template should include the identified hazards, who might be harmed, the control measures in place, the risk level, and any additional actions required. This Example Dance Risk Assessment provides a useful reference. Members of the ELD Association are also able to download an HSE approved Risk Assessment template from the Member’s Area of the website.

What process should be followed to ensure a safe dance performance?

A safe dance performance necessitates thorough rehearsals, ensuring all performers understand the choreography and spacing. The condition of the stage, backstage safety, and crowd control measures must be scrutinised, with emergency procedures briefed to all involved.

How should I document the findings from a risk assessment of a dance venue?

Findings from a risk assessment should be formally documented in a report. It is essential to detail the hazards identified, assessed risks, control measures, and any further mitigations needed. Documentation should be accessible and reviewed regularly, particularly after any incident or significant changes at the venue.

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