A new government document with direct relevance for triathlon events has been published. The Good Practice Safety Guide for Small and Sporting Events taking place on the highway, roads and public places was published by the Home Office on Friday 25 August 2006. Download it here
Following his report on the Hillsborough Disaster, Lord Justice Taylor stated that in the context of events, “safety transcends all other issues”. As the majority of public sporting events occur outside of stadiums and indoor facilities, his comments remain applicable to other events, including triathlon and duathlon.
To address the safety of events outside of stadiums or sports grounds and other regular public events, a working group was established to draw up event safety procedures. This working group was made up of representatives from the Home Office, Department for Transport, Department of Culture, Media and Sport, Health and Safety Executive, Local Government Association, Association of Chief Police Officers and UK Sport.
A guide has now been published by this group, in consultation with the Scottish Executive, the Welsh Assembly Government and COSLA on the planning and organisation of events. Alongside British Triathlon’s race organisation procedures, the guide gives general advice on the responsibilities of an organiser, the risk assessment procedure, the safety measures that are available, and a planning timescale. It contains specific advice on a range of activities including both triathlon and duathlon events (Section 15).
The Guide is not intended to take the place of a detailed Event Safety Code issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) but to act as an easily accessible tool to help plan and produce events.
Home Office Minister, Tony McNulty, said:
“It is absolutely vital that safety is paramount at all events where the public are gathered to enjoy a day. While there has been a range of information available for larger scale events, organisers of smaller events have often found it hard to access information relevant to them.
“In particular, those organising events on the highways – such as road running and cycle racing – will find this guide useful. I believe the Good Practice Safety Guide will be a valuable tool to help organisers ensure that recreational and sporting events are as safe as they are enjoyable.”
Although there has always been the need for triathlon and duathlon races to use public highways, this has always been seen as a difficult area to approach. British Triathlon fully backs the home office guidance which deals with both cycling and running on the highway as these will enable us to take more jurisdiction over our sport’s running at all participation levels.”