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Safety at sports grounds and sporting events

The Safety at Sports Grounds Act 1975 and the subsequent Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987 are two pieces of legislation of which few people are aware.

Building Control are responsible for enforcing the recommendations contained in the "Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds" published by The Stationery Office and often known as the Green Guide. The Guide lays down detailed advice related to such matters as adequate structure, provisions of gangways, fire escapes, crash barrier design and engineering services, all necessary to comply with the Acts. When all matters related to Safety are in place a Safety Certificate can be issued.

The Building Control section is responsible for providing advice and guidance on Safety at Sports Grounds, in relation to:

  • Crowd control
  • Means of escape
  • Structural stability
  • Access for disabled

Stadia in the London Borough of Richmond

To ensure compliance with any conditions of the Certificate regular inspections are carried out on match days.

Building Control works to protect public safety, and co-ordinates the Safety Advisory Group which includes other agencies:

  • The Police Service
  • The Fire Service,
  • The Ambulance Service,
  • St John Ambulance Association

Sports grounds can be divided into three categories which can be outlined as:

  1. Designated sports stadia with a capacity for 10,000 spectators.  
  2. Sports grounds with one or more regulated stands, with a capacity of 500 spectators.  
  3. Sports grounds which do not have regulated stands.  

The Building Control Team can review the following items during an inspection and comment on:

  1. Safe Capacity
  2. Safety Management
  3. Stewarding
  4. Structures and Components
  5. Circulation General
  6. Exit routes unobstructed
  7. Controlled Ingress
  8. Stairs / Ramps
  9. Concourses & Vomitories
  10. Emergency Procedures
  11. Barriers
  12. Seating Accommodation
  13. Standing Accommodation
  14. Disabled Facilities / Areas
  15. Fire Safety
  16. Communications
  17. Electrical / Mechanical
  18. Medical Provision, First Aid
  19. Media Provision
  20. Tidiness

The Sports Ground Management Team must ensure public safety is maintained and that defective infrastructure does not place crowd safety at risk.


Updated: 22 January 2024

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