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Crowd Safety expert urges fresh approach to risk assessment

Crowd Safety expert urges fresh approach to risk assessment

Published:31 August 2017

Dr Aldo Raineri is preparing a presentation on Crowd Safety Analysis for a two-day Event Symposium in Caloundra.

Traditional crowd safety risk assessment techniques may fail to take into account the dynamics and behaviour of people in crowds.

That's according to CQUniversity's OHS Discipline Leader, Dr Aldo Raineri, who is preparing a major presentation on Crowd Safety Analysis for the Australian Event Awards Symposium, scheduled for Caloundra later this month (14-15 September).

Dr Raineri, an expert in the emerging discipline of crowd science, stresses that we live in an increasingly crowded world.

He warns that the potential for more frequent crowd disasters is increasing as global population, urbanisation and urban densification rise, increasing the number of crowded and complex buildings and facilities (stadiums, metros, etc) and the frequency of large events.

"As past tragedies have demonstrated, there is a very real risk of injury and fatalities at events and places where large crowds gather," he says.

"Planning for crowd presence, movement and behaviour are vital to a successful event.

"Crowd science integrates a consideration of crowd density, dynamics and behaviour in order to understand how individuals and crowds react, and behave, in places of private and public assembly and how the associated risks can be assessed and monitored.

"While traditional risk assessment techniques are generally adopted by event organisers and venue owners and operators, these techniques, which are better suited to industrial workplaces, fail to take into account the dynamics and behaviour of people in crowds.

“How and when your crowd reaches critical mass, and how the effects of design, information and management systems can influence your crowd’s behaviour are vital elements to understanding crowd safety and risk analysis at your event,” says Dr Raineri.

Presenters at the Australian Event Awards Symposium are experts in running concerts, light spectaculars, festivals and sporting events.

Details are via www.eventsymposium.com.au.