SROC Event Safety Checklists

Event & Date:                                                                     Organiser:


These checklists take a holistic view of the risks of an event, and are a supplement to the safety assessments undertaken by the Planner/Controller in preparing the courses. The aim is help the Organiser to identify the overall probability of safety problems arising and enable them to be dealt with promptly and effectively. They should be used in conjunction with other safety guidance.  (Note: many of the risks & measures identified here may not apply to your event, particularly if it is a small event in non-hazardous terrain. IF YOU ARE UNCERTAIN AS TO THE APPROPRIATENESS TO YOUR EVENT OF ISSUES IN THE CHECKLIST SEEK ADVICE FROM AN EXPERIENCED ORGANISER, VIA THE VOLUNTEER MANAGER. )


Section 1: Assessing the risks

Complete the table to identify the likelihood and nature of safety issues:

General Risk Factors


General Implications

Exposed terrain


Hypothermia/hyperthermia risks increased. Prompt action needed if competitors injured or missing.

Terrain likely to cause injuries


First Aid provision (incl. hypothermia kit) more substantial.

Limited daylight after courses close


Premium placed on prompt identification & response in case of injured or missing competitors.

Competition area difficult to access by emergency services


Premium placed on action by SROC in interim to locate and stabilise casualties.

Competition area remote from Registration/Download


Competitors should be adequately prepared for long walks. Robust communication systems required. First aid provision must be appropriately located for speedy response. Need to reduce delay in identifying missing competitors.

High percentage of inexperienced competitors


Competitors require more thorough briefing to ensure that they are adequately prepared. Increased likelihood of missing competitors or failures to report to Download.

Unusually demanding competition


Increased likelihood of retirements, injuries &/or hypo/hyperthermia.

Night event


Operating in the dark complicates all activities.

Urban environment


Different hazards such as crossing roads, railways, steps, slippery pavements, blind corners.  Safety of pedestrians & other road users must be considered. Road crossings may need Marshals, ‘Runners in Road’ signs &/or other measures.

High percentage of children


Increased likelihood of missing competitors & failures to report to Download. Child protection.

Large numbers


More people = more potential problems

For all risks of event, consider the impact of adverse weather conditions on the safety problems arising and the event’s ability to respond to them.

For major &/or high risk events appointment of a Safety Officer is advised. SO would consider safety aspects in the preparations for the event, and manage any safety-related problems that arose on the day.  Frees the Organiser to focus on other tasks.



Section 2: Checklists to help in planning safety provision

The systems & processes set up must reflect the nature and severity of the risk factors identified in Section 1. These checklists are not comprehensive: adapt as appropriate to your specific event &/or add other measures. Note: damage, accidents, injuries etc may require BO Incident Report forms to be completed.


Actions & measures in bold essential for all events. Spaces for notes at bottom of page.





Event registered with BO


Check done by SROC Fixtures Sec, for insurance cover.

Review Guidance


BO rules & guidance appropriate to type of event (website)


BO safety guidance (website)


SROC guidance (e.g. website, Volunteer Manager)



Risk Assessment (Start early. Can use previous RA as template, but appraise critically. Completed by Organiser in liaison with Planner and others. Approval by Controller.)


BO Risk Assessment Form.


BO Risk Assessment Form - Urban/Street/Sprint Events


Actions in Risk Assessment(s) implemented.



Arrange First Aid provision

(Which & how much? Be prepared for more than one casualty.)


First aid kit(s) (+ note “No qualified first aider is available - this kit is for individual use” if this is the sole provision) (Check well stocked.)


First aid sign.


Appropriate location(s) identified. (Usually Enquiries, but consider Finish, especially if remote, or points on course.)


Address, phone number & directions to nearest A&E available.


SROC first aiders


SROC medics


Hypothermia kit(s)


St John (Discuss capabilities)




Competitors appropriately briefed about nature of event & safety issues

(Be alert to requirements of different ages and fitness levels, and the specific characteristics of the event.)




Level of briefing appropriate to the experience of the competitors.


Courses close time well advertised.


Long &/or steep walks to/from competition area. (Clothing dump/transfer?)


Unusual hazards on courses.


Hazards of unfamiliar types of terrain.


Road crossings.


Health risks such as ticks, adders, e-coli, barbed wire.


Appropriate clothing &/or footwear for terrain and expected conditions.


Policy on whistles established and publicised (if “compulsory” need arrangements for checking & preventing competitor from starting)


Policy on cagoules established and publicised (if “compulsory” need arrangements for checking & preventing competitor from starting)


Conflict between pedestrians & traffic (e.g. car park gates).


Clear signage, in effective locations.


Safety bearing.


Emergency phone number  provided to competitors.



System in place for ensuring competitors report back


Appropriate location for Download or report back point. (Best: locate at Finish. Next best: on direct route back to Assembly.)


Notices &/or reminder in event details.


Signs, Tapes, Marshals.


Remote Finish - collect competitor info & communicate with Download to reduce delays at end of event.


Special arrangements needed for helpers?




Prepare to deal with casualties in competition area


Address & postcode, grid refs & directions available for summoning emergency services.


Access points onto competition area for emergency services identified & any gate keys acquired.


All controls maps &/or course maps available for those going into competition area,


Finish manned (with comms & first aid) if remote.


Landing area for air ambulance identified.


Liaison with Mountain Rescue (Major &/or high risk events, otherwise call out on day via Police.)


SROC first aiders appropriately provisioned and prepared for task (with comms and in contact with Organiser or Safety Officer).



System(s) in place for identifying missing/injured competitors

 (Note: BO insurance requirement to collect & retain details of all participants.) 


Competitor contact info available for emergency.  (e.g. SROC registration form). (Note BO database & on-line pre-entry systems may not allow access to info.).


SI check box(es) interrogated  (+ clear & start if possibility not all checked).


Vehicle keys (identifiable, but – to discourage theft – not obviously linked to car reg.)


Buddy system.


Vehicle check of car park.


Check off against start list (needs to be meticulous & weather-proof).


System for recording & collating information & details of actions taken.




Search procedures established

(Be prepared for more than one missing person.)


All controls & course maps available.     


Establish when to call in emergency services.


Co-ordinator nominated.


Search teams identified (must be fit & well prepared, have communications and with torches if necessary).


Use of control collectors.


Systems for gathering info (& monitoring actions).


Search procedures identified in advance.


Sunset time established.



Safety of event helpers


Thoroughly prepared & briefed, especially novices.


Names & contact info available (e.g. SROC membership list) (List of helpers must be retained for BO insurance).


Jobs allocated according to capabilities and experience.


Reasonable shift lengths.


No-one single-handed at isolated stations.


Able to summon help & provided with comms as necessary.


Provision of shelter.


High visibility vests for anyone car parking or marshalling roads. (Under 16s should not be allowed to do these jobs.)


Control collectors &/or search teams fit, well prepared & with comms.


Off-road use of helpers’ vehicles needs careful thought.


Marshals on road crossings thoroughly briefed (should act as a visual alert. Must not try to influence decisions and actions of traffic or competitors.)


System for checking all helpers, including control collectors, are off the competition area.




Child safety


Compliance with any BO rules/guidance on minimum age for type of event (e.g. under 16s should not cross public roads)


Minimum age imposed because of nature of event (e.g. demanding courses)


Parental consent.


Patrols (clearly identified).


Taping on courses.


Child-friendly signing.


Familiarity with BO’s O Safe Policy.


Advice from SROC Welfare Officer. 



Contingency planning for adverse weather


Monitor general weather forecast &/or request specific forecast.


Competitors warned to be clothed appropriately for current and anticipated weather conditions.


Shortened courses.


Shelter for helpers.


Shelter for competitors.


Clothing dump/transfer.


Punching start to minimise waiting time.


Consider impact on parking & how to deal with resulting problems safely.


First aid implications. 


Excessively hot weather - advise to carry drinks; drinks (bottles only) at Finish (& on courses?).


Identify conditions in which event would be cancelled or postponed.




Communications arranged & tested


Radios (ensure charged)


Helpers‘ mobile phones (must be topped up, well charged & switched on) 


Signals checked.


Contact details exchanged.


Specialist provision (major &/or high risk events).



Liaison with Police (Usually more major events only or urban events involving road crossings.)


Travel routes and signing to car park.


Walking on road.


Road crossings.



Measures for dealing with darkness at night events




Locate Car Park/Reg./Start & Finish as close together as practical


Check visibility of signs & tapes.


Helpers’ torches well charged & spares available. 


Helpers in high visibility vests.


Car parking marshalled (conflict between pedestrians & traffic assumes greater importance).


Set up robust communication system, especially if Registration/Start/Finish/Car Park not co-located.