EASTERN COUNTIES ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
ROAD RACE RISK ASSESSMENT GUIDANCE
Carrying out a risk assessment is an important part of reducing the risks to competitors, officials and others which may result from road races. Local Authorities, commercial organisations and other employers promoting road races have a statutory obligation to ensure that a risk assessment is carried out. This guidance is intended to be used with the associated checklist in order to identify potential risks and to minimise those risks by the implementation of relevant precautions.
1. RACE FACILITIES
1.1 Changing accommodation (preferably with showers) should be available for male and female competitors. Even where competitors are advised to come already changed, some form of shelter against bad weather must be available for competitors and race personnel.
1.2 Toilets for male & female competitors must be available fairly close to the course. A failure to provide toilets is likely to create a nuisance for local residents.
1.3 Adequate parking facilities should be available to avoid creating danger or disruption to traffic, nuisance to local residents or obstructions on the course.
1.4 A suitable point should be clearly established to deal with enquiries and entries/registration. (Precautions may be necessary if it expected that significant quantities of cash will be handled.)
1.5 The route from the race base to the course should be clearly evident. Potentially dangerous road crossings should be avoided or controlled by marshals.
1.6 Signs are likely to be necessary to indicate parking areas enquiries/registration the route to the course changing and toilet accommodation
2.1 The start should be of adequate width for the expected number of runners. At least the first 100 metres of the course should be straight. Preferably the start should be off road or allow competitors to assemble off road. (See also 3.6) There may be a need to protect or clearly mark street furniture e.g. signs, rubbish bins.
2.2 The finish should preferably be off road or at least on roads with low levels of traffic. Barriers and/or tape may be required to protect competitors and officials from passing traffic or to keep spectators clear. Competitors who have finished should be directed away from traffic and runners who are still finishing. (See also 2.10 and 3.6)
2.3 Courses on public roads should normally be anti-clockwise, thus allowing predominantly left hand turns. Aspects to try to avoid in course design are: right hand turns, especially across busy roads crossing major junctions crossing roundabouts crossing traffic lights very narrow roads level crossings bridges which swing or rise However, risks from these sources may be reduced to an acceptable level by the use of course marshals (see 3.5), the presence of police (see 3.2), temporary road closures, assurances from rail operators or other authorities re. level crossings or bridges. Possible risks from parked vehicles, bus stops etc. must also be considered.
2.4 The race surface should be of an acceptable standard, free from major potholes etc.,
2.5 A check should be made shortly before the race to ensure that there are no new risks e.g. from roadworks, flooding, snow or ice, or from other events taking place the same day.,
2.6 Warning signs may be necessary to indicate to drivers that runners are on the roads. These are likely to be required at major junctions, narrow sections of the course, blind corners or bridges or where runners enter a major road from a minor one.
2.7 Cones may be necessary to protect runners e.g. where turning left at busy corners.
Temporary No Parking signs or cones may be required on some sections of the course (See 3.2).
2.8 Diversions off the roads and onto footpaths may be necessary on narrow sections of the course or at tight corners.
2.9 UK Athletics Rules require drinks to be provided for races of 10km and above and sponge stations for marathons. Locations should be chosen which minimise risks from (and to) road traffic and provide clear visibility for runners.
2.10 Where scaffolding, barriers, temporary seating etc. are to be used, they must be erected by competent persons and careful thought given to their positioning. If scaffolding or banners are erected across roadways (even private ones) they must allow adequate height clearance for vehicles.
3. RACE PERSONNEL
3.1 Competent first aid staff must be on duty for all road races. Consideration should be given to whether they should be at a fixed location (on the course or at the race base) or follow runners round the course, or both. Larger races, particularly those over longer distances, may justify the provision of paramedics and/or doctors.
3.2 Police support may be necessary at high risk intersections (see 2.3) or to provide temporary No Parking signs or cones. The level of police involvement should be clarified prior to the race and appropriate arrangements made for them to liaise with race marshals on the day.
3.3 A vehicle with hazard warning lights on or a motor cyclist or cyclist in high visibility clothing should lead the runners round the course. Consideration must be given to where the lead vehicle will turn off or park at the finish.
3.4 A sweep up vehicle should be provided to collect runners who have dropped out on point to point or large circuit courses. Such a vehicle will usually carry any mobile first aid staff and may be used to collect course marshals whose duties are complete.
3.5 Course marshals wearing high visibility clothing should be provided where necessary to direct runners around the correct course to control and warn traffic at higher risk locations on the
course(see 2.3) to liaise with police present on the course Marshals must be provided with clear briefings and/or written instructions on their duties.
3.6 Additional marshals may be necessary to control competitors and spectators prior to and during the start (see 2.1) and at the finish (see 2.2). They too must be adequately briefed.
3.7 An adequate supply of technical officials (judges, timekeepers, recorders) should be appointed. However, the Race Referee is a key appointment as he/she must make the final decision as to whether it is safe for the race to proceed. Normally such decisions will be made after full consultation with the Race Director, other members of the race organisation, other technical officials and the police (if present).
REVIEW OF THE ASSESSMENT
The risk assessment should be reviewed prior to each holding of the race. Changes may have taken place on the course (e.g. new junction layouts, new supermarket buildings) and account must be taken of any problems encountered during the previous race.