The clocks have gone forward; the weather is warming up and many people have started thinking about this summer’s music festivals.
It’s a time of year when many fields, farms and open spaces across the British landscape are transformed into tiny cities – but accidents can and do happen at festivals, just as they do in cities.
No win, No fee solicitors such as Claims Direct help many people who suffer personal injuries through no fault of their own claim the compensation they need and deserve.
Unfortunately, some injuries can occur at festivals where organisers have failed to make adequate health and safety provisions. Last year, overcrowding caused a stampede at Germany’s Love Parade festival and in the ensuing panic there were 19 deaths and 342 injured spectators.
Luckily, this incident seems to be a fairly isolated one as, in general, health and safety enforcement at festivals has improved radically since the days when security was so lax that organisations like the Hell’s Angels used to provide the security.
For instance, during the 2009 Glastonbury Festival, a workforce of 25,000 looked after a festival audience of 175,000; ensuring that there were just four reportable injuries.
Tim Roberts, head of health and safety at the annual music extravaganza, told Safety & Health Practitioner. “Our role is to make craziness happen safely and reliably.”
Tim looks after areas such as traffic management, fire safety and structural safety (some of Glastonbury’s structures are built out of yak’s wool and spit!)
But he can’t look after everything and festival goers should take sensible precautions to manage their own safety when the festival season kicks off.
Below is a list of some festival survival tips. You can find out more by visiting websites run by the NHS, the BBC, the Times Online and many others!
Festival survival tips
1.Get your bearings – Before you try to locate where the John Peel stage or the colonic irrigation wigwam is, find out where the medical centre is. Pick an easy-to-find meeting spot with your friends so that you can meet up if you get separated.
2.Medication – first aiders aren’t allowed to dispense medication like the people in white coats at the chemists can; they can give you over-the counter products like paracetamol. Bring any prescribed medication with you and make sure that you have enough to see you through the festival.
3.Feet – trench foot didn’t die out when the last shot was fired in World War II – it’s alive and well and living in a festival near you. Bring a pair of waterproof Wellingtons and have some dry socks in your kit bag. Flip flops and crocs are, it must be said, not great waterproof shoes.
4.Clothes - a waterproof mac or anorak is a practical must whatever the fashion look is at a festival. A wide-brimmed hat can protect you from the sun’s rays; a straw hat or a floppy Stone Roses-style hat is easy to pack and it doesn’t matter too much if they get squashed or lost.
5.Sex and alcohol - a summer of free love at festivals can lead to a lifetime of regret. Contraception should be available from the medical centre to help you avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases but don’t leave it to chance – pack your own. Alcohol can easily lead to dehydration so alternate alcohol with healthy swigs of water.
6.Ears – try to avoid standing too close to the speakers at music festivals when bands like Motorhead take to the stage. Ear plugs are also advisable; you can get moulded ones these days so there’s no excuse not to protect your hearing. Giving your ears plenty of rest can help you avoid tinnitus.
7.Sun Cream – slap on something with a factor higher than 30 so that you don’t end up with that festival Rock Lobster look. Spending most of your working week in an office does not prepare you for three days of listening to music at a festival.
With a bit of common sense there is no reason why you can’t have a safe time watching exciting festival acts!