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TT Races Return with New Safety Management System Designed to Drive Safety Performance

Tuesday November 30, 2021 at 1:47pm
TT Races Return with New Safety Management System Designed to Drive Safety Performance

The Isle of Man TT Races will return in six months’ time and, ahead of the resumption of racing on the world-famous TT Mountain Course, event organisers have unveiled the first details of a new Safety Management System (SMS), designed to drive safety performance, and thus safeguard the future sustainability of the iconic event.

The SMS ushers in a new, systematic approach to managing risk, encompassing: organisational structure and policies; hazard identification and mitigation; third party assurance; and the promotion and communication of standards.

All areas of the event have been subjected to careful review under this new process, which is designed to ensure unnecessary risks are mitigated. To fans watching worldwide the SMS won’t always be noticeable, but to teams, riders and those working on the event its introduction marks the beginning of a significant change in culture.
 
A range of new initiatives resulting from the SMS will be rolled out in time for TT 2022. Changes will be delivered across much of the organisational structure, bringing numerous benefits and further investment to a number of areas, including race management; regulations and standards; accident response and investigation; marshalling; medical provision; and paddock infrastructure.
 
TT Production Manager, Nige Crennell, has led the SMS project. Nige joined the TT organisation in 2018 after a career in the RAF, first as a Tornado pilot and more latterly in aviation risk management. Working with a range of stakeholders across Isle of Man Government and the wider TT organisational network, Nige took full advantage of the two-year hiatus to start the journey and ensure that when the TT resumes in 2022, it does so from a much stronger position.

“For the TT to be sustainable in the long term we have to be able to manage effectively the risks associated with the event and protect against reputational damage. This isn’t about making sure that everyone is wearing the right kind of hi-vis jacket. It’s about clearly defining roles and responsibilities. We want to be confident that everyone involved is doing their job to the best of their ability and has all of the tools and training required to do so.”
 
Fellow Manxman, Doctor Gareth Davies, has also played a significant role. Doctor Davies is one of the Chief Medical Officers for the TT and, until very recently, was head of London’s Air Ambulance, leading teams in the response to London’s major incidents: the Paddington, Southall and Potters Bar rail disasters, the 7/7 bombings, and the terrorist attacks at Westminster and London Bridge. Whilst Doctor Davies will continue with the TT’s own Air-Med provision, his decades working in Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM) have helped to shape much of the project.
 
“It’s been an incredible process and one I’m proud to be part of. There may be some mourning for some of the more outdated and makeshift elements of the TT, but you can’t apply professional excellence without making changes ­– and that’s the business we’re in. There’ll be new generations of TT fan who will embrace what we’re doing and will support it wholeheartedly. I’ll be proud to hand over this new version of the TT to the next custodians, which is all we are.”
 
The SMS is a comprehensive process without an end point. Below is an overview of the most notable changes planned for TT 2022 and their benefits:
 
Organisational Structure
At a Glance:

  • Greater clarity between Promoter, Race Organiser and Governing Body
  • Greater clarity around all roles and responsibilities
  • Greater oversight throughout the new structure
  • Greater consultation and collaboration across the entirety of ‘Team TT’
  • Establishing more effective communication channels between all parties and volunteers
  • Up-scaling the organisational team to mitigate key person risks
  •  
    Course Oversight
    At a Glance:

  • Race Control redesigned and rebuilt for TT 2022
  • Installation of electronic red flag system, partnering with F1 and MotoGP supplier
  • Bespoke GPS tracking system (Tested at TT 2022, mandatory for TT 2023)
  • Installation of CCTV, giving race control more oversight of the TT Course
     
  • Marshalling the Mountain
    At a Glance:

  • Root-and-branch review conducted of role and scope of marshal organisation
  • Closer working relationship with the Race Organiser
  • Ensuring common standards with assets in the UK and Isle of Man
  • New-look marshal training designed and created with key personnel
  • Investment in marshal training, including two new online modules
  • Investment in IMC training tools, including two sidecar fabrications
  • Largest-ever marshal training programme to roll out ahead TT 2022
  •  
    Equipment for Marshals and Medics
    At a Glance:

  • Investment in Air-Med provision, fitting out helicopters with latest equipment
  • Investment in Air-Med welfare, with provision of new welfare unit
  • Investment in medical response with acquisition of a fast-response vehicle
  • Investment in 60+ marshalling posts, upgrading and replacing equipment
  • Investment in marshal PPE, including essential fire safety gear
  •  
    Accident Response
    At a Glance:

  • Race Control to gain complete oversight of TT Course
  • Digital red flag system and GPS tracking to aid accident response
  • Air-Med helicopters fitted out for improved medical fit
  • Availability of a fast-response vehicle
  • New common standards applied for marshals training
  •  
    Accident investigation
    At a Glance:

  • Comprehensive change in culture to accident investigation
  • Improved response to any external enquiry
  • Introduction of a proactive accident reporting process
  • Introduction of an incident lessons timeline (6hrs / 12hrs / 24hrs)
  • Inclusion of pre-accident factors in investigations
  • Analysis of accident timeline and chain of events to drive decision-making
  • Analysis of accident and near-miss data to drive decision-making
  • Collected organisational intelligence to drive decision-making
  • Use of CCTV, in-car cameras and body cams to supplement evidence
  •  
    Rider PPE (Personal Protection Equipment)
    At a Glance:

  • Increased PPE standards for leathers, boots, gloves and body armour
  • Introduction of FIM helmet homologation standard for TT racing
  • Creation of a technical team, trained for oversight of standards
  •  
    Race Regulations
    At a Glance:

  • Reduction of starters in each race (50 in 1000cc classes, 60 elsewhere)
  • More exclusive field to drive higher standards and professionalism
  • Change to single start (no longer pairs) for Qualifying
  • Longer afternoon session to open Qualifying, easing pressure on teams
  • Final qualifying moved to the afternoon, ensuring longer preparation and recovery time
  • Single-lap warm-up on race days to give riders feel for course conditions
  •  
    On-Site Care
    At a Glance:

  • Acquisition of a new, state-of-the-art, medical centre to be located on-site
  • Beginning the journey to establish an event-specific medical code
  • New drug and alcohol protocols (zero tolerance) and testing programme
  • Sports-science research project initiated with University College Isle of Man
  •  
    Rider Welfare
    At a Glance:

  • New protocols to care for the mental health of riders
  • Introduction of ‘chill-out’ zone, gifting riders time and space
  • Access to trained occupational therapists
  •  
    Pit-lane Operation
    At a Glance:

  • Larger pit boxes, accommodating four-person crew
  • Fire safety cover for all teams
  • Alterations to pit entry and exit with wireless timing system
  • New railings to assist with the filling of fuel dispensers
  •  
    Paddock Infrastructure
    At a Glance:

  • Extensive maintenance programme
  • Parc Ferme doubles in size
  • Digital information screens
  • New time-keepers’ units
  • Redesigned winners’ enclosure
  • To find out more about the SMS the following articles provide further information: 

    1. SMS to Drive Safety Performance
    2. Better Safe Than Sorry

    » Categories: Club News, Home Page, Road Race
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