Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds

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1 Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds improving the quality of life for all

2 Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds Fifth edition

3 Published with the permission of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty s Stationery Office. Crown Copyright 2008 Football Licensing Authority 2008 All rights reserved. Copyright in the typographical arrangement and design is vested in the Crown. Applications for reproduction should be made in writing to the Copyright Unit, Her Majesty s Stationery Office, St Clements House, 2-16 Colegate, Norwich NR3 1BQ. Fifth edition: First published 2008 ISBN Printed in the United Kingdom for The Stationery Office.

4 Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds 1 Contents SECTION HEADINGS 2 DIAGRAMS AND TABLES PREFACE How to use this Guide Calculating the safe capacity of a sports ground Management responsibility and planning for safety Management stewarding Management structures, installations and components Circulation general Circulation ingress Circulation vertical circulation Circulation concourses and vomitories Circulation egress and emergency evacuation Barriers Spectator accommodation seating Spectator accommodation standing Spectator accommodation temporary demountable structures Fire safety Communications Electrical and mechanical services Medical and first aid provision for spectators Media provision Alternative uses at sports grounds 186 ANNEX A: ASSESSMENT OF CAPACITY WORKED EXAMPLES ANNEX B: GLOSSARY ANNEX C: BIBLIOGRAPHY AND FURTHER REFERENCES 213 ANNEX D: SUMMARY OF NEW GUIDANCE 220 INDEX 223

5 2 Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds Section headings 1.0 HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE Status Scope Objective and realistic aims Management responsibility Achieving a balance New construction Deviating from the Guide Revisions to the Guide CALCULATING THE SAFE CAPACITY OF A SPORTS GROUND The importance of calculating a safe capacity Applying the capacity calculation Factors to be considered The (P) and (S) factors Carrying out (P) and (S) factor assessments Seated accommodation calculating the holding capacity Standing accommodation calculation process Step 1 calculating the available viewing area Step 2 calculating the appropriate density Step 3 calculating the holding capacity Establishing the final capacity Overall capacities MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITY AND PLANNING FOR SAFETY Management responsibility for safety Demonstrating that responsibility Meeting that responsibility Safety management and the (S) factor Health and safety at work legislation Fire safety legislation Disability Discrimination Act Written spectator safety policy Drawing up a spectator safety policy document Chain of command Appointing a safety officer Requirements of a safety officer Deputising 30

6 Section headings Staffing risk assessment Stewarding plan Responsibility for training & competence Contingency plans Suggested headings for contingency plans Counter-terrorism Emergency plan Safety audit Keeping records for each event Policing Statement of intent Accommodating visiting supporters Segregation Ejection and detention Safety in the wider management context Ticketing Sale of refreshments Alcohol Commercial or non-sporting activities Pre-event activities Other management responsibilities Notifying the local authority MANAGEMENT STEWARDING The need for stewards Agreement on responsibilities Definition of a steward Security personnel Appointment of stewards Stewards status and remuneration Duties of stewards Training Contract or agency stewards Code of conduct for stewards Control and communication Identification Visiting stewards Briefing De-briefing Stewards documentation safety handbook Stewards documentation checklist Training exercises Keeping records Stewarding and the (S) factor 45

7 4 Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds 5.0 MANAGEMENT STRUCTURES, INSTALLATIONS AND COMPONENTS Definitions Maintenance and the (P) factor Good housekeeping Structures Structural dynamics for permanent structures Construction work at existing grounds Anti-vandalism The importance of inspections and tests Inspections and tests 24 hours before an event Inspections and tests before an event Inspections during the event Inspections after the event Annual inspection Structural appraisal Keeping records Plans and specifications CIRCULATION GENERAL Planning and management of circulation Creating a balanced system Multi-functional circulation areas Zoning of circulation routes Design of circulation routes and areas Management of circulation routes Management policies and circulation Access and egress for emergency vehicles CIRCULATION INGRESS The need to count Counting on entry Computerised monitoring Entry capacity Factors affecting the entry capacity Calculating the entry capacity Providing a sufficient number of turnstiles or entry points Design and management of entrances and entry routes Providing clear information Admission policies Crowd build-up CIRCULATION VERTICAL CIRCULATION Introduction Stairways and gangways Design of stairways Flights of stairways Dimensions of stairways Barriers and handrails definitions 68

8 Section headings Barriers on stairways Handrails for stairways and ramps Controlling the flow at the head of stairways Discharge from exit stairways Ramps Passenger lifts Escalators CIRCULATION CONCOURSES AND VOMITORIES Concourses and vomitories Concourses and safety Concourses and fire safety Size of concourses Circulation on concourses Design of concourses and related facilities Management of concourses Prevention of overcrowding Vomitories CIRCULATION EGRESS AND EMERGENCY EVACUATION Safety issues Basic design principles Factors in design and management Exit route widths and reservoir areas Rates of passage method of calculation Recommended rates of passage Egress time Design and management of exit systems Emergency evacuation time Design of emergency evacuation routes Management of emergency evacuation routes Management of evacuation of spectators with disabilities Use of the pitch or area of activity for emergency evacuation Provision of gates or openings in a pitch perimeter barrier Discounting an exit route for calculation purposes Exit doors and gates Electronic securing systems BARRIERS Definition and categories of barriers Barrier design and loading Barrier fixings Barrier heights Barriers and sightline considerations Crush barriers main design criteria Crush barriers factors determining the horizontal imposed load Crush barriers continuous crush barrier configuration 98

9 6 Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds 11.9 Crush barriers non-continuous crush barrier configuration Crush barriers height and positioning Crush barriers construction and strengthening Crush barriers factors affecting the holding capacity Barriers in spectator galleries Pitch and activity area perimeter barriers Pitch and activity area perimeter barriers and standing areas Temporary barriers Other load-bearing barriers Barriers and risk assessment Barrier tests personnel and equipment Barrier tests records Barrier tests methodology Barrier tests bedding-in cycle Barrier tests proof cycle Barrier tests further considerations Barrier tests resulting in failure SPECTATOR ACCOMMODATION SEATING The provision of seated accommodation Viewing standards Sightlines Sightlines for wheelchair users Elevation of wheelchair viewing areas Restricted viewing Management strategies towards restricted viewing Provision of cover Gangways in seated areas general requirements Lateral gangways in seated areas Radial gangways in seated areas The importance of seat dimensions Seat widths and seating row depths Clearways Useful seat depths Number of seats in rows Seat design Design of wheelchair spaces Assessment of (P) factors for seated areas Assessment of (S) factors for seated areas SPECTATOR ACCOMMODATION STANDING The provision of standing accommodation The importance of good design Viewing conditions for standing spectators Gangways in standing areas general requirements Lateral gangways in standing areas 126

10 Section headings Radial gangways in standing areas Crush barriers Design of terrace steps Dimensions of terrace steps Viewing standards Sightlines Restricted viewing Management strategies towards restricted viewing Provision of cover Division of standing accommodation Allowing free-movement of spectators between divisions Segregation of standing accommodation Viewing slopes Level standing accommodation Combined standing and circulation areas Spectator galleries Standing accommodation and disabled spectators Assessment of (P) factors for standing areas Assessment of (S) factors for standing areas Conversion of terraces to seating SPECTATOR ACCOMMODATION TEMPORARY DEMOUNTABLE STRUCTURES Responsibility for safety Need to meet standards Independent design check Design performance and suitability Consultation Management of temporary demountable structures Telescopic stands Other temporary demountable structures FIRE SAFETY Fire safety legislation Achieving safety from fire Fire risk assessment Levels of risk Categorisation of low fire risk Categorisation of normal fire risk Categorisation of high fire risk New or refurbished stands or structural alterations Recording, monitoring and reviewing the fire risk assessment Minimising fire risk Restriction of fire growth/spread Fire resistance in existing constructions Fire warning and fire detection systems Automatic fire extinguishing systems 152

11 8 Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds Fire fighting facilities and equipment Emergency evacuation and places of safety Emergency evacuation of spectators with disabilities Staff awareness and training Other fire safety considerations COMMUNICATIONS Management responsibility Lines of communication Means of communication Provision of a control point Functions of a control point Location of control points Command of control points Design of control points Secondary control point Equipment of control points Radio communications Telephone communications internal Telephone communications external Public address systems guidance and specifications Public address systems operation Closed circuit television provision CCTV assessment of need CCTV risk assessment CCTV operational requirement and tendering CCTV operation Monitoring the number of spectators entering the ground Fire warning systems Scoreboards and other display boards Electronic securing systems Auxiliary power Displayed communications within the control point Documentation to be stored in the control point Signs forms and categories Signs general provision and maintenance Tickets and programmes Inter-personal communications ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL SERVICES Introduction Importance of maintenance Inspections and tests Event-day staffing Anti-vandalism Electrical installations 172

12 Section headings Circuit diagrams Protection of cables Lightning protection Lighting Provision of auxiliary power Auxiliary power equipment Emergency lighting Passenger lifts and escalators Gas fired installations Boilers and other heating devices Oil storage and supply Ventilation, air conditioning and smoke control systems FIRST AID AND MEDICAL PROVISION Management responsibility and consultation Medical and first aid risk assessment Medical plan First aid room Medical and first aid equipment and storage Upkeep and inspection of the first aid room Provision of competent medical services Crowd doctor Ambulance provision Numbers of first aiders Role of first aiders Communication Major incident plan Inspections and records MEDIA PROVISION Management responsibility Pre-event planning and briefing Pre-event inspections Roving media personnel Identification New construction ALTERNATIVE USES FOR SPORTS GROUNDS Introduction Viewing standards Provision for spectator accommodation Profile of likely spectators or audience Briefing of event personnel Staging of concerts Firework displays Designing for alternative uses Ancillary activities 189

13 10 Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds Diagrams and tables Diagram 2.1 Calculating the capacity of seated accommodation 23 Diagram 2.2 Calculating the capacity of standing accommodation 24 Diagram 6.1 New construction zonal planning 57 Diagram 8.1 Barriers and handrails on stairways 70 Diagram 8.2 Approaches to the head of stairways 72 Diagram 11.1 Barrier design loads, heights and positions 94 Diagram 11.2 Barriers in front of and behind seating 95 Diagram 11.3 Continuous crush barrier configuration 99 Diagram 11.4 Positioning and height of crush barriers 101 Diagram 11.5 Crush barrier strengthening 102 Diagram 12.1 Sightlines for seated spectators 109 Diagram 12.2 Effect of sightlines of spectators standing in seated areas 110 Diagram 12.3 Sightlines for wheelchair users 112 Diagram 12.4 Seat and seating row dimensions 118 Diagram 13.1 Conversion of terracing to seated accommodation 139 Diagram 15.1 Steps of fire safety risk assessment 145 Table 11.1 Horizontal imposed loads for barriers 92 Table 11.2 Horizontal imposed loads for crush barriers 92 Table 11.3 Horizontal imposed loads for barriers in spectator galleries 93 Table 18.1 Ambulance provision according to anticipated attendance 181

14 Preface 11 Preface This new edition of the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds updates the fourth edition which was published in 1997 following a detailed review that went back to first principles. That document has generally stood the test of time. Indeed it is regarded as authoritative in many other countries. However, the past few years have seen a growing emphasis on the use of risk assessment by sports ground management to enable it to identify and implement the measures necessary to ensure the reasonable safety of spectators. This is reflected in the new edition. While there have been no significant safety failures resulting in the deaths of spectators at any ground in the United Kingdom since the publication of the previous edition, the potential for disaster remains. Tragedies continue to occur in other parts of the world. As many sports become ever more commercially driven, it is timely to remind ground management and its advisors of the danger of complacency and of the need for continual vigilance.

15 12 Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds 1: How to use this Guide 1.1 Status The Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds is an advisory document for use by competent persons. It is the distillation of many years of research and experience of the safety management and design of sports grounds. The Guide has no statutory force but many of its recommendations will be made statutory at individual grounds by their inclusion in safety certificates issued under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 or the Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sport Act For guidance on safety certification see the Bibliography. The advice given in this Guide is without prejudice to the application of the appropriate Building Regulations, the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and any other relevant legislation. The information in this Guide is intended to provide useful guidance, but it is not a definitive statement applicable in all circumstances. Independent professional advice should be obtained before taking any action or refraining from taking any action on the basis of this information. 1.2 Scope The Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 defines a sports ground as: A place where sports or other competitive activities take place in the open air, and where accommodation has been provided for spectators, consisting of artificial structures or of natural structures artificially modified for the purpose. The Guide applies to the safety of spectators at all sports grounds which meet the above definition, whether or not a safety certificate is in force. The management of these grounds has a primary responsibility for the safety of spectators, and should therefore apply the recommendations in the Guide in order to achieve safe conditions. Grounds to which the Guide applies are likely to include those which stage the following sports. This list is not intended to be comprehensive: American Football Athletics Cricket Equestrian events Football Golf Greyhound Racing Hockey Horse Racing Lacrosse Motor Racing Polo Rugby (Union & League) Speedway Racing Tennis

16 How to use this Guide Objective and realistic aims The objective of the Guide is to provide guidance to ground management, technical specialists such as architects and engineers, and representatives of all relevant authorities, in order to assist them in the assessment of how many spectators can be safely accommodated within a sports ground. The document also provides guidance on measures intended to improve safety at existing grounds, in terms both of their design and safety management, while taking into account the constraints and difficulties which may exist at these grounds. In addition, as explained in Section 1.6 below, the Guide offers guidance on how to apply good practice in the design and management of new grounds or newly constructed sections of grounds. When applying the guidance and recommendations in the Guide, it should be remembered that the principal objective is to secure reasonable safety at the sports ground when it is in use for the specified activity (as stated in section 2(1) of the Safety of Sports Ground Act 1975). Furthermore, in all assessments, a flexible approach should be maintained to take account of the individual type, function and layout of grounds. The requirements of spectators at horse or greyhound racing tracks, for example, are in many instances fundamentally different from those attending grounds used for football or rugby. Whatever the sport, it should also be recognised that safety concerns are often directly related to the nature of specific events and the number of spectators attending. It should also be remembered that the greatest risk to safety is complacency. 1.4 Management responsibility Responsibility for the safety of spectators lies at all times with the ground management. The management will normally be either the owner or lessee of the ground, who may not necessarily be the promoter of the event. In discharging its responsibility, the management needs to recognise that safety should not be seen as a set of rules or conditions imposed by others, but rather as standards set from within which reflect a safety culture at the sports ground. A positive attitude demonstrated by the management is therefore crucial in ensuring that safety policies are carried out effectively and willingly. These policies should take into consideration the safety of all spectators, including, for example, those with disabilities, the elderly, families and children. Representatives of management cannot, however, be reasonably expected to possess all the technical knowledge and skills required to assess and apply every recommendation in the Guide. Management should therefore, whenever required, seek guidance from competent persons who have the relevant qualifications, skills and experience. (For a definition of competent see Glossary.) Representatives of the local authority with the relevant training and experience, together with police, fire and ambulance officers, will advise management on how to discharge its responsibility, and, in certain circumstances, may require measures to be taken in order to achieve reasonable safety standards. This does not, however, exonerate the ground management from its responsibility for the safety of spectators. Although the Guide is not specifically aimed at risks to spectators from the sport itself, management also has a responsibility to take all necessary precautions to safeguard

17 14 Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds spectators against the effects of accidents in, or originating from, the activity on the pitch, track, or area of activity. Particular care is needed when the sport entails the use and storage of flammable fuels. 1.5 Achieving a balance Safety at sports grounds is achieved by establishing a balance between good management and good design. In this respect, safety at sports grounds cannot be achieved simply by ensuring that individual components of a ground such as stairways, gangways, seated areas or terraces are satisfactory in themselves. The inter-relation of these and other components is critical. None can be treated in isolation without consideration of the effect its design and management has upon the other components. They should all be compatible and combine to form a balanced unit. Good management will not necessarily compensate for poor design and vice versa. Designers should involve the people who will manage the sports ground to ensure that designs are fit for purpose. For this reason it is recommended that readers of the Guide familiarise themselves with all sections of the document, including those which may strictly be beyond their personal remit. 1.6 New construction Although not a definitive design guide, it will be noted that this document offers guidance on how to apply good practice in the design and management of new grounds or newly constructed sections of grounds. Such guidance is highlighted throughout the Guide under the following heading: For new construction: The guidance is intended to ensure that new construction leads to a higher standard of safety and amenity than can be achieved at grounds already built. In addition, unless the Guide recommends a higher standard, new construction should conform to the current, appropriate Building Regulations. New construction should also, whenever possible and wherever specified, take into account current British Standards and the recommendations of other relevant advisory documents; for example, the series of Sports Grounds and Stadia Guides. These and other relevant documents are referred to in the appropriate sections, and are further listed in the Bibliography. Although it is also recommended that, wherever possible, the refurbishment of existing structures should also seek to meet higher standards, it is recognised that this may not always be achievable. However, all refurbishment work should at least meet the standards set in the Guide.

18 How to use this Guide Deviating from the Guide The Guide seeks to encourage the meeting of achievable standards, particularly for new construction, but does not attempt to provide a universal minimum standard for existing sports grounds. It may therefore be possible to deviate from individual guidelines without detracting from the overall safety of a sports ground. However, it is stressed that the recommendations within the Guide are based upon research and experience. Deviations from the Guide should therefore only be acceptable when considered to be necessary and reasonable. An accumulation of deviations which result in the application of lower standards in relation to any part of the ground or any aspect of its management should be regarded as unacceptable. It is the responsibility of ground management to ensure that any decision to deviate from the Guide should be recorded, with supporting written evidence, including the details of a risk assessment. If the deviation is then approved (by management and, where a safety certificate is in force, by the local authority), the action taken should strictly adhere to the contents of the written evidence. It is further stressed that, unless it can be demonstrated that the alternative measures to be taken are able to achieve an equal or greater degree of safety than those recommended in the Guide, a capacity lower than the one which would otherwise be permitted will be required. The extent of such a reduction may be severe. 1.8 Revisions to the Guide Annex D contains a brief summary of the key amendments and new guidance since the Fourth (1997) Edition.

19 16 Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds 2: Calculating the safe capacity of a sports ground 2.1 The importance of calculating a safe capacity As stated in Chapter 1, the principal objective of the Guide is to provide guidance on the assessment of how many spectators can be safely accommodated within the viewing accommodation of a sports ground used for a sporting event. This assessment is the most important step towards the achievement of reasonable safety. The purpose of this chapter is to outline the main factors which must be considered in making an assessment, leading to a calculation of the final safe capacity of each section of the ground. Clearly the assessments made will differ according to the individual ground and to the type of spectator accommodation being assessed; primarily whether it is for seated or standing accommodation. But the factors to be applied in each case are the same for every ground, regardless of the sport being staged. Diagrams 2.1 and 2.2 summarise the factors to be assessed for both seated and standing accommodation. To further illustrate the methods of assessment and calculation, worked examples are also provided in Annex A. However, the details of each step can only be fully understood by a thorough reading of the whole Guide. The assessment and calculation process will require properly detailed plans of the ground, where practical drawn to a scale of 1:200. Wherever possible the physical dimensions should be verified on site. At the majority of sports grounds, the capacities of each section will be added to establish the final capacity of the ground as a whole. However, as explained in Section 2.12, there are certain grounds including, for example, those staging horse racing or golfing events where it may be difficult to calculate the overall capacity of the whole ground. In such cases, however, the final capacities of individual sections of viewing accommodation must still be calculated and occupation levels of all areas determined so that, where necessary, numbers are controlled to ensure they do not exceed a safe occupancy level. Management must undertake a series of risk assessments (see Sections 3.3e, 3.6, 15.3 and 18.2). These must be taken into account when assessing the (P) and (S) factors (see Section 2.4).

20 Calculating the safe capacity of a sports ground Applying the capacity calculation Once the final capacity of a section or of the whole ground is determined (as explained in Section 2.3), under no circumstances should a larger number of spectators be admitted. If the final capacity is lower than the level management ideally requires, it can only be raised after the necessary remedial work has been completed, and/or the quality of safety management improved, and the area in question then re-assessed. Similarly, if part of the ground is required to be closed, this must be done. It must not be re-opened for spectator viewing for any reason until the necessary remedial work has been completed to remove the deficiencies which led to its closure, and not before these measures have been approved by the relevant authority. 2.3 Factors to be considered The common factors which apply to both seated and standing accommodation can be summarised as follows. a. The entry capacity of the section The entry capacity is the number of people who can pass through all the turnstiles and other entry points serving the section, within a period of one hour. b. The holding capacity of the section This is the number of people that can be safely accommodated in each section. In the case of seats, this will be determined by the actual number of seats, less any that cannot be used safely owing to seriously restricted views (see Section 12.6) or their inadequate condition (see Chapter 5), and an assessment of the (P) and (S) factors. (P) and (S) factors are explained in Section 2.4. In the case of a standing area, this will be determined by a number of features, including crush barrier strengths and layouts (see Chapter 11), areas which offer restricted views, and a further assessment of both the (P) and (S) factors. c. The exit capacity of the section This is the number of people that can safely exit from the viewing area of the section under normal conditions (see Chapter 10). d. The emergency evacuation capacity This is determined by the emergency evacuation time, which is based largely on the level of risk of the section and its associated emergency evacuation routes (see Chapter 15). The emergency evacuation capacity is the number of people that can safely negotiate the emergency evacuation routes and reach a place of safety within that set time (see Chapter 10). e. The final capacity Having established all the above figures, the final capacity of the section, and thence of the whole ground, will be determined by whichever is the lowest figure arrived at for (a), (b), (c) or (d). Diagrams 2.1 and 2.2 summarise the main steps outlined above.

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