England's Medieval Festival
Siege and Battle Re-Enactment
Health And Safety Rules
It shall be the responsibility of each participant to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of themselves, fellow participants and the general public throughout the event.
Participants' attention is drawn to the following areas:
All groups and individuals taking part in the Festival must have insurance and show proof of such. Below are links to some useful PDF documents that could help you with this requirement.
The National Association of Re-enactment societies (www.nares.org.uk) recommends at least £5million (approx. €7.3m) Public Liability insurance to cover re-enactment activities in the United Kingdom.
Suitable Public liability insurance is now also a requirement to qualify as a re-enactor when using the legal defence for possessing an offensive weapon as per the exemption in the UK Violent Crime Reduction Bill 2005.
Public Liability Insurance covering re-enactment is available from various brokers including the following
Broker's Insurance Questionnaire
Click here to download the full battle safety rules as a PDF
Click here to download the MSS-Third-Party-Competence-form.pdf
Weapons for use in mock combat or for display during the event must be in good condition, fit for purpose and free from burrs or cracks. Individual participants are responsible for the condition of their own mock combat and demonstration weapons.
Weapons for use in mock combat shall conform to the following dimensions :
Swords and daggers shall have a minimum radius at the point of 9mm (5p piece)
Pole arms shall have a minimum radius at the point of 10mm (1p piece)
No weapons shall be less than 2mm thick at the tip
No person using powder/explosives or artillery pieces may do so without the agreement of the MSS Master Gunner
It is the responsibility of participants using powder/explosives or artillery pieces to ensure that they hold a valid licence for the use of these substances and/or equipment.
All artillery piece(s), pyrotechnics, siege engines and battlements must be positioned so as to minimise any risk to participants or members of the public. The person responsible for each piece will ensure that those participants using that piece are instructed in its correct use, and are aware of all safety procedures necessary for that piece of equipment.
No person using siege engines or deploying their own battlements may do so without the agreement of the MSS captain of Sappers.
No edged or pointed weapons shall be used in a re-enactment.
No mallet whose length exceeds 24 inches nor any flail weapon shall be used in a re enactment unless with the express permission of the Captain of Arms
The least amount of force must be used when bodily contact takes place. Regardless of armour the target area is between the knees and the sternum (breast bone). Only hit armour or padding.
Hold the haft of the weapon with both hands.
Do not slide the haft of the weapon through the leading hand.
Hooking the opponents' limbs and clothing is forbidden as it can easily pull people onto other equipment.
Do not stab or cut at fallen opponents.
All blows shall be applied with the minimum force with the safety of the adversary foremost.
No weapons will be thrown unless pre-arranged with the Captain of Arms.
Combatants shall not attack non-combatants unless pre-arranged with the Captain of Arms
On no account shall untrained or unauthorised persons touch any gun or siege engine
ARCHERY (Hand and Cross Bows)
It is the responsibility of all participating archers and crossbowmen to ensure that only blunt arrows and bolts are used.
THE PRACTICE OF PUSHING RUBBER BLUNTS OVER SHARP ARROWS IN AN ATTEMPT TO MAKE THEM SAFE IS SPECIFICALLY FORBIDDEN.
No archer or crossbowman will take any arrows or bolts onto the field. These will be surrendered to the Captains of Archers who will inspect them for safety before issuing them on the field.
Each archer and crossbowman shall examine for safety each projectile before they loose it.
Arrows and bolts will be loosed only on the commands of the opposing captains of archers and crossbowmen, who will endeavour to swap volleys.
No arrow or bolt shall be loosed below an angle of forty five degrees to the horizontal unless by prior arrangement and under the direction of the Captain of Archers or Captain of Crossbowmen as appropriate.
The position of the archers in relation to the target area shall be such as to ensure that arrows do not fall outside the designated target area. Should the angle of flight become critical to the safety of any participant or member of the public then the archers taking part in that particular loose must alter the direction or angle of flight such that there is no longer a hazard to participants or to members of the public.
All participants who take part in armed mock combat are advised to wear adequate protective clothing to ensure their safety. Each participant is fully responsible for their own safety when participating in armed mock combat.
Protective clothing should be worn, sufficient to minimise the effect of deflections or accidental blows. Particular care must be taken to minimise the risk of injury from missile weapons.
All armour must be well maintained and free from burrs or sharp edges. It should be constructed and maintained to offer minimum risk to the user and other parties.
All participants who do not wish to take part in armed mock combat but who must enter areas where mock combat is taking or will take place may wear a ribbon/sash available from the event organisers. On no account must any participant engage in mock combat a person wearing such a ribbon/sash or cause such a person to be engaged in mock combat.
All participants must ensure that they comply fully with all verbal or written instructions given by the event organisers or unit commanders.
The event organisers accept no liability for any unscheduled demonstrations or practices that are carried out by any participant(s) whilst at the event. Unscheduled demonstrations must not take place.
It is the responsibility of each person taking part in the event to ensure that they are well practiced, safe and competent in the use of all the equipment they will be using.
Participants must ensure that they do not do anything which may create the possibility of the outbreak of fire. In the event of a fire, the steps below must be followed :
A. Raise the alarm
B. Clear the immediate area
C. Arrange for the Fire Brigade to be called
D. If appropriate tackle the fire. If not await the arrival of the Fire Brigade. Do not put yourself at risk.
FITNESS FOR PARTICIPATION
Individuals must not participate in the event whilst under the influence of alcohol or any other substances that will affect their safe judgement.
Persons with relevant medical condition(s) shall notify the organisers prior to taking part.
A first aid box will be kept at the registration point prior to the event. During the performance this will be moved to a readily accessible point which will be notified to all participants. The site managers and/or the Medieval Siege Society Safety Officers will ensure that first aid facilities are available relevant to the needs of the numbers participating. In the event of first aid being required by a participant, they should be assisted to the boundary rope, and from there to the first aid point. Should it be felt that they should not be moved, then the unit commander must be informed immediately.
An incident log is maintained and updated by the Safety Officers. Any incident which results in injury, or the risk of injury is to be reported to the Safety Officers immediately who shall record and investigate it.
CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE
Parents/Guardians of Children and young persons under the age of 18 years of age must be fully aware of the type of re-enactment carried out by the Society and fully accept the safety risks and subsequent implications of allowing their children to take part in this re enactment. Parents/Guardians should attend at least one fight practice and/or one battle re enactment to ensure awareness.
Children and young persons under 16 years of age must be accompanied by their Parent/Guardian, or an adult designated by the Parent/Guardian in writing, who will accept full responsibility for their safety, care and behaviour for the duration of the whole event. This will include supervision throughout the day/night including sleeping arrangements where necessary. Lack of supervision will not be tolerated.
Children and young persons will wear an identification coloured red during mock combat.
Combatants aged 16 and 17 years of age - Red mantle/wreath.
Non combatants under 18 years of age - Red sash.
Children and young persons who are on the field only at times when mock combat is not taking place do not need to wear such red identification
Children under 13 years of age will not be allowed on the area designated for battle or take part in battle re enactment once mock combat has commenced. Safe areas for their use will be designated and made known to all taking part.
Children and young persons of
- 13, 14 and 15 years of age will not take part in hand to hand mock combat and will be designated non combatants.
- 13, 14 and 15 year olds can however take part as archers, banner bearers, drummers, sappers and water carriers.
- 14, 15 and 16 year olds can take part as supervised arbalists
provided that they are :
a) Not on or near the main battle lines.
b) Not on the defending or losing side
c) Safely to the rear of all mock combat
d) Under the clearly designated and responsible supervision of an adult
e) Clearly identified and made known to other re enactors
f) And do not handle black powder
Young persons of 16 and 17 years of age can be combatants but must be clearly identified and made known to other re enactors.
Young persons of 15 years may undergo controlled training in hand to hand mock combat in preparation for their 16th birthday. This training shall not form part of a mock battle.
Please note : the medieval siege society limited and their appointed safety officers will have the authority to make any final decisions on the enforcement of all matters covered by this document.
The safety officers will be made known to the participants prior to the comencement of mock combat.