In a recent interview with tillr, we asked Stephen Flounders, the Head of Health and Safety at System Concepts, for some insight into how to effectively manage operations in stadia and mitigate risks. We partnered with System Concepts who are a leading Health and Safety Consultancy in the UK for companies looking for expert advice and market-leading audits and inspections software to boot. Here’s what Stephen had to say:
People’s perception of safety in sports stadiums is often focussed on the time immediately before and after an event and, of course, during the event itself. And whilst ensuring safety during an event is critical, it is important not to neglect the business as usual operations of the stadium, where routine tasks play a key role in preparing the stadium for “game day”.
When a stadium hosts an event, a range of stakeholders will be involved to ensure it runs safely and smoothly. But once the lights have gone off, safety often becomes a part of routine facilities management and is left to a smaller team, who may not have much health and safety knowledge, to maintain standards when the stadium is not being used.
Here are four tips to help you to manage health and safety as part of your routine operations.
1. Implement a thorough inspection programme
Identifying a problem on the day of an event is probably too late. Conducting regular inspections when the stadium is not in use will help you identify issues and ensure they are rectified. Focus on safety critical features, such as barriers and railings, but don’t neglect other areas as you never know where the problems will be.
2. Review your arrangements for accessibility
It is important to regularly review your arrangements for accessibility so that disabled people are not at a disadvantage. Make sure physical accessibility features, such as ramps and enclosures, are in good order and ensure that you have suitable procedures to help with access, such as trained staff.
3. Identify, assess and control your risks
Risk assessment should not be limited to the event itself. You should have a range of risk assessments so you know what your significant hazards are and how to manage them. This will also help when it comes to planning an event. You’ll need a general risk assessment of the stadium and a fire risk assessment, as well as specific assessments for tasks carried out by staff.
4. Record what you’re doing
It is important to record what you’re doing, particularly inspections and risk assessments. Recording things will help you communicate and manage the risks in your stadium, and makes it easier to review things later. Recording what you’re doing doesn’t need to be a big exercise, and an online tool can be an effective way of keeping things simple.