How To Secure Crowd’s Safety During Big Sporting Events In Victoria.

Sherwood - How To Secure Crowd’s Safety During Big Sporting Events In Victoria


Melbourne is also known as the “Ultimate Sports City” in Australia.


Melbourne was recently crowned SportBusiness Ultimate Sport City of the Decade at the 10 Year Anniversary Awards in Switzerland. (Sports Victoria)


The city won the gong for World Ultimate Sports City three consecutive times (2006, 2008 and 2010), and came second to Olympic host city London in 2012 and 2013. It was also named the best sports city in the ‘large city category’ in each of those years and received awards for best event strategy and best sports infrastructure.


They had been hosting major sporting events and provide an opportunity for Victoria to put itself on the world stage and create a lasting legacy for the people of Victoria.


Melbourne winning the title as the world’s ‘Best Sports City’ comes from hosting numerous highly successful events over recent years. Events such as the 2010 UCI Road Cycling World Championships, the 2011 President’s Cup Golf, the 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, 2014 World Cup of Golf, the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, and the International Champions Cup (football) have all strengthened Melbourne’s reputation as the best location in the world for hosting major sporting events. (Sports Victoria)


Victoria also has a strong track record for hosting well known annual major sporting events including the Spring Racing Carnival, FORMULA 1 Australian Grand Prix, MotoGP and the Australian Tennis Open. (Sports Victoria)


With these infallible facts mentioned above, security related matters are of major consideration to avoid chaos.


Sporting events invite big crowd, and managing a crowd implies so many risks. There are so many factors to consider too when it comes to avoiding and resolving them.


Worksafe Victoria drafted a guideline as to how to manage crowded venues such as Docklands Stadium, Flemington Race Course, Melbourne Cricket Ground, and Olympic Park Stadium where major sporting events usually held.


Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (the OHS Act); this guide has been developed to support and assist crowd control agencies and host employers (venues and events) who use crowd control staff to understand and fulfill their responsibilities. This guide identifies common safety problems and suggests solutions to ensure crowd 11control work is conducted as safely and as reasonably as it can be. It also provides numerous recommendations and tools to effectively secure the health, safety and welfare of crowd control staff, as well as other staff and patrons, when:

  • controlling entry into venues or events;
  • monitoring and communicating on crowd and individual behaviour;
  • dealing with potentially aggressive, abusive or violent behaviour;
  • physically managing aggressive, abusive or violent behaviour;
  • administering and coordinating ‘first response’ first aid or critical care; or
  • coordinating emergency evacuation of a venue or event.


Fundamentally, risk management during major sporting events such as Cricket or Tennis tournaments involves the following four key steps.

  1. Identify and list the hazards that have the potential to cause an injury.This involves using information and input from all resources, including employees, HSR’s, previous incident records, publications (such as this Guide), industry experts and, most importantly, your own eyes and ears (look at what’s going on in your workplace and listen to what people are saying). In ‘OHS speak’ this is called ‘identifying hazards’. Work together with employees and ask them what they believe could cause an injury. This should produce a large list of hazards. Don’t dismiss any ideas. (Work Safe Victoria, 2007)
  2. Assess the risks. During step one, you identified a whole range of hazards and now it’s time to work out whether each hazard could be the cause of a genuine safety problem. Many people make mistakes at this point because they fail to really appreciate the ‘source’ or primary reason why the risk exists in the first place. It’s important that when you’re assessing the source of a risk you ask yourself the ‘why’ question. Asking ‘why?’ often enough will progressively break down a risk scenario to the actual ‘source’ itself. You then have a better chance of implementing a control that will more effectively manage the risk.Consider this simple example that illustrates the basic process of assessing a risk:
    • Q. What is the risk?
    • A. Being hit by cars.
    • Q. Why?
    • A. Because we have to stand on the road.
    • Q. Why do you stand on the road?
    • A. Because we have to direct patrons to stay off the road after they come out of the venue.
    • Q. Why do they go on to the road?
    • A. Because when they leave there is not enough space for them and those trying to get in.
    • Q. Why is there not enough room?
    • A. Because the other entrance is blocked by speaker stacks and we can’t use that door.
    • Solution: Implement a potentially expensive traffic management plan; or simply relocate the speaker stacks, open the second entrance and eliminate the risk. (Work Safe Victoria, 2007)
  3. Prioritising the risks. Once risks have been assessed, the next step is to prioritise them for remedial action. You may post questions such as;
    • What is the likelihood of the risk occurring?
    • What would be the consequence should the risk occur?

    Regardless of the priority ranking given to each identified and assessed risk, it’s important to remember that all risks should be controlled in the shortest possible timeframe

  4. Control the risks. This is the most important part of the entire process. Risk can be controlled in a number of ways, but the first objective should be to eliminate the risk entirely. If this is not possible, exposure to risk should be reduced as much as is ‘reasonably practicable’. The process often used to assist in this is known as the ‘hierarchy of control’. When choosing a control, start at the top of the hierarchy (i.e. elimination of the risk altogether) and if that’s not practicable, move to the next level (i.e. ‘substitution’). The higher up the hierarchy you are when implementing a control, the more effective the control will be in reducing the risks.(Work Safe Victoria, 2007)

However, learning crowd control skills and managing risks in crowded places need specialised and formal security training in Victoria and not just learned by merely reading relevant articles like this. There are courses under VET (Vocational Education and Training) such as Cert II in Security Operations that offers crowd control units.