Arizona Region SCCA
Solo Event Safety Plan
(edited for the Arizona Region: 6/18/08)
Giving credit where credit is due, this safety plan was originally developed by the Washington DC Region of the SCCA. This is considered a fluid document, and changes will be made as needed in an effort of continuous improvement for the region.
- Non-Competing Participant Control
- Emergency Situation Support
- Incident Response
- The intent of the safety plan is to avoid incidents involving injury to personnel and property damage during AZ Region SCCA Solo events held at any of our venues. A copy of this plan will be available on our website as well as at any Solo event.
- This plan, and the safety requirements provided under the current SCCA Solo Rules, serve as a foundation for a proactive program of safety awareness and site safety supervision. Although specific personnel are assigned duties involving the enforcement of safety requirements, safety is the responsibility of every event official and participant attending the events.
The safety program supporting the AZ Region SCCA Solo events must walk a line between being too restrictive or too lax and becoming a factor that may allow an incident. Sound judgment, knowledge of the principles of safety and the Solo Rules, a strong vein of cautiousness, negotiation, coordination and, at times compromise, must be applied in order to support the successful completion of competition while reducing risk. Risk can be offset by a prevention based safety plan, executed cheerfully, but with a critical eye for those conditions that could lead to an incident. The mission is to interdict any chain of events that could lead to an incident, before the incident can occur.
- Anyone observing a safety problem or an incident will report the situation to the Event Chairman and / or Chief Safety Steward, (hereafter referred to as Chief SSS) or one of the assistant safety stewards as soon as possible. Anyone injured, or realizing property damage on the site will immediately report it to an event official. All incidents will be reported to the Chief SSS.
- A staff of qualified personnel, consisting of a Chief SSS or his/her designated assistant safety steward and at least one other assistant safety steward, will provide safety steward coverage for AZ Region SCCA Solo events. This level of staffing must be employed at all times during competition. Two stewards are minimal in order to allow each a “time off” to compete and still have at least one active steward.
- Role of the Chief SSS and designee Assistant Safety Steward:
- Verify that the insurance certificate has been issued for the event and is on site.
- Provide a proactive, user friendly, program of safe controls and standards leading to the reduction of risk, to an acceptable degree, for participants, course workers and event officials.
- Reviews and provides observations/recommendations on paddock, grid and course arrangement & control.
- Insures adequate Steward coverage for each heat of every Solo event held by the region, recruiting personnel as required.
- Brief assistant safety stewards on their duties and the standards they are expected to achieve.
- Hold periodic reviews of key safety issues with event officials.
- Respond to all incidents and supervise incident clearance and completion of required documentation.
- Ensure that provisions are in place supporting completion of waiver requirements.
- All Safety Stewards will wear SCCA Safety Steward approved apparel that immediately identifies their official status.
- A functional waiver program is the responsibility of the Event Chairman and the Waiver Chief. However, it is the responsibility of the Chief SSS to ensure that a functional waiver program is in place and fully operational. The safety steward staff will observe event participants to ensure they have completed the waiver requirements. Personnel observed without the event identification wristband should have the waiver rules explained to them and be directed to the Waiver table. Minors observed on site without a wristband will be escorted to the Waiver Table. Personnel at the Waiver Table will assist in gaining verification that the required minor release form has been filed with event registration, or assist in gaining completion of the required minor release form.
- The Chief SSS may issue formal warnings to any personnel on the site to correct safety related problems or issues. Should a formal warning not correct the problem, or should the problem be of such a severe nature as to require immediate and decisive action, the Chief SSS will coordinate with the Event Chairman to gain decisive corrective action. This action may include additional work assignments, termination of event entry, and/or removal from the site.
- Unlicensed (motorized or manual) non-competition wheeled vehicles (i.e. skateboards, roller blades, mini-bikes etc) are prohibited from use in all areas of the event site. Bicycles and medically necessary mobility vehicles are permitted. Bicycles are not permitted in the active grid and staging or on / near an active course. Should questions arise, the Chief SSS, following guidance from the Event Chairman, will make decisions to determine if they will be allowed.
- Photographers, film or video, desiring to enter the course area must gain clearance from an assigned SSS. All such personnel must have a knowledgeable spotter who is responsible for keeping the photographer from inadvertently becoming endangered by a competing car.
- Speeds in the event site areas outside of the course will be limited to 5 MPH.
- The consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs anywhere on the event site at any time is strictly prohibited. In order to prevent an ill-conceived perception, alcoholic beverages should not be visible anywhere on the site during competition. Smoking is prohibited at all times in the grid and course.
- Potentially dangerous techniques to clean or warm tires, test brakes or suspension systems are prohibited actions. The use of quick and/or frequent stop and go actions, the rapid and frequent application of brakes and/or gas, and/or other unusual driving techniques with the intent of cleaning or heating tires, testing brakes, etc., is prohibited throughout the event site. Cars moving between the paddock area and the general area of the grid or course will be moved in a slow (5 MPH), "steady," and safe manner.
- The Event Chairman and/or the Chief of Course Layout will communicate the general setup of the course, grid areas and paddock area to the Chief SSS. This input should include the positive barriers employed to provide site control, fences and roping and approved viewing areas as required at each separate site. The Chief SSS is responsible for insuring that all aspects of the event layout meet mandated requirements as called out for in the current year SCCA Solo Rule Book as well as any conditions required by the site owner.
- Vendors with materials or processes that involve flammable materials must provide and station functional fire fighting equipment for their operation. The Safety Steward will insure vendors are located away from any active areas of the site and away from vehicle travel lanes.
- Cars may not be in the air while in gear and the motor running for any reason. A special exemption may be received in advance from the Chief SSS for F440/500s, Karts etc.
- Personnel will not crawl under (partially or completely) any vehicle that is held up by jacking equipment. In the event it is necessary to "get under" a vehicle, serviceable jack stands will be employed to stabilize the vehicle.
- Children and pets are allowed on site. However, during competition, all grid and course areas are off limits for children who are not competing and pets. Pets must be on a retained leash at all times.
- Nitrous is not permitted at any time on the site.
- Assigned SSS’s should ensure adequate fire fighting equipment is in the administration area (i.e. near timing trailer/ registration table) to handle fuel, or other type fires.
- The disposal of hazardous materials is not authorized on the event site. The owner must remove oils, fuels, tires, batteries, etc., from the site. Oils and fuels will not be disposed of in the site drainage systems or garbage containers.
- A first aid kit (for minor injuries) will be provided at the Timing truck. The capability to summon emergency medical and fire assistance will be available at the site (cell phone).
- Tech Inspection: the Event Chairman and / or the Chief SSS will insure an adequately manned technical inspection station has been set up and is in operation and manned by the Chief of Tech and / or his appointed assistants. No vehicle can compete without passing tech inspection.
- It is the responsibility of the assigned SSS’s to ensure all safety rules are being met in grid. The organization of the grid area must provide for the safety of personnel and the easy movement of competing cars. This will require adequately marked grid lanes and grid parking areas that are wide enough to allow single turning movement entrance or exit. Organization of the grid area will consider the location of fixed objects, deep depressions (drain grates), and other fixtures that impact on the easy movement of competing cars into, or out of the gird. These conditions generate safety impacts that should be avoided.
- Fuel containers are forbidden in the grid area unless prior approval has been granted by the assigned SSS. It is recommended someone be standing watch with a fire extinguisher of at least 5BC rating and the car being fueled be removed a safe distance from other cars.
- Non-competing motorized vehicles are prohibited from entering and/or parking in the grid area. Competitors should be discouraged from stocking their grid space with large amounts of equipment. Grid areas must remain as clear as possible to support the safe movement of competing cars, competitors, and crews.
- Grid workers will be employed to control and direct the movement of competing cars and maintain order in the grid area. The grid workers should have access to fire extinguishers and absorbent materials for the containment and clean up of oil or fuel spills
- Movement from grid to the starting line will be at a steady pace, no tire spins to heat or clean tires will be allowed.
- While course design, set up and maintenance during the event are the responsibility of the Event Chairman and the Course Design Chief; it is also the responsibility of the Chief SSS to insure all rules are met.
- Design: Course design must meet the requirements established for the safety of competitors and spectators, and the avoidance of property damage as identified in the current edition of the SCCA SOLO RULES.
- Of key interest in the safety of course design are the requirements for a minimum of 25 feet clearance from a fixed object and 75 ft clearance from participants. These minimum distances must be extended when dealing with any portion of the course that may induce a competing car to spin or otherwise depart from the intended path of the course. Additional stand-off distance is prudent at all "pressure points" in the course.
- The finish should not lead a competing car toward any obstacle, barrier etc. Care must be given for sufficient run-off and brake area to allow all types of vehicles to reduce speed before reentering the grid area. Although the need is recognized for a tight turn, or other course feature to reduce speeds at the finish, care must be given to not upset the general balance of a car. Course design must avoid establishing conditions that lead to inadvertent departures from course.
- The course design must provide for event safety during all possible weather conditions that may be realized during the event.
- The Starter prior to releasing a car to the course should conduct a visual inspection. This check would include a visual inspection of the driver’s and passenger’s helmet, (on & secured), belts (on and secure), loose objects in driver/passenger compartment, technical inspection sticker (if any) or car number, doors/hood secured, and no obvious fluid leaks. This should be a quickly completed visual check and not hold up the process of releasing cars to the course.
- The Event Chairman or Worker Chief will clearly identify and instruct the starter on the release point that is to be reached by the car on course before the next car is released from the start line. This procedure is required to establish a safe separation distance for cars on course.
- Course workers
- Course worker stations will be located and clearly marked by the course designer, and approved by the Chief SSS. Course worker stations will be located away from pressure points or other threat producing elements of the course, provide adequate escape routes from competing cars that depart the course and an unobstructed vision of their area of course responsibility. Each course worker station will have a means of communication with the timing truck, a red flag, a serviceable fire extinguisher, and, if possible, drinking water.
- Course workers will be briefed on the following, either at the Driver Safety Meeting or prior to being dispatched to their workstations:
- Never turn their back on a car that is on course
- Remain standing while a car is on course
- Red flag to be kept in hand, ready for immediate deployment but kept out of sight until needed
- Risk of running to/from a pylon when a car is approaching
- Mention the average time between cars running on course
- Risk of burn from hot parts dropped on course
- Observing/reporting oil or other fluids on course
- Proper conditions for use of the red flag
- Proper method of radio communication
- Course workers will not take cameras onto the course area.
- Course workers shall not talk on a cell phone or text message while on course.
- Course workers must plan and be prepared for a lengthy exposure to sun/rain, wind, and heat/cold while on station.
- The line of sight between the timing truck and the start area must provide for unobstructed viewing of the starting area by timing and scoring officials.
6.Non-Competing Participant Control
By SCCA definition: everyone on site at a Solo event has signed the safety waiver and is considered a participant, but not all participants are competitors.
- Any personnel observing young children apparently unattended or not under direct control of an adult will notify an event official. That official will take immediate action to control the children until the adult escort can be located. Should the adult escort not be readily located the children will be escorted to the registration table or timing truck where they will be retained until the adult escort is found.
7. Emergency Situation Support
- The Registration Tent / Timing Trailer area will serve as a general clearing station and initial point of assistance for minor injuries (first aid and assistance in gaining follow-up medical care), and more serious situations requiring emergency response for medical or fire fighting assets.
- The Chief SSS should maintain a listing of emergency phone numbers for each region Solo site. This information should include contact telephone numbers for medical (ambulance) support, fire department and police. This information should be posted in a visible location inside the timing trailer. This procedure will allow rapid response to an incident occurring on the site. All situations requiring emergency support will be reported to the Chief SSS as soon as possible.
- Severe weather conditions.
- The Chief SSS will take note of weather conditions and insure course layout is safe for those conditions. Also the effect these weather conditions may have on the competitors and course workers needs to be considered and appropriate action taken as required. i.e. stop the event in cases of ground strike lightning or severe hail. Personnel must be directed to take shelter to avoid risk of serious injury.
- Although the inclination will be to continue the event, even through a thunder and lightning storm, the safety of all personnel on site must take a priority role. Solo is conducted in wide-open areas where we are at high risk during a thunderstorm.
- The event chairman will ensure that sufficient communications equipment and supporting power supplies are available for use to support course control, safety steward coordination and emergency situation response and support. All assigned safety stewards should have functional radio equipment supporting contact with the Chief SSS.
- The Registration Table / Timing Trailer usually serves as a central point of contact for personnel reporting incidents or problems, personnel manning this area must be able to communicate with the safety steward staff.
- Although primarily an administrative responsibility held by the event chairman and /or the Waiver Chief, the Chief SSS will ensure the waiver requirement is being met. All personnel entering the site will sign the waiver and be issued a wristband.
- The Chief SSS will ensure that the event chairman is aware of the long term filing of the waivers, per current SCCA requirements. It is recommended that the waivers be filed with a cover sheet identifying the key personnel involved in the design, set-up and control of the event, weather on race days, number of entries, a statement about anything unusual occurring during the event, and a copy or the event insurance certificate.
- Personnel manning the waiver workstation are required to be SCCA members and should be briefed on how to obtain signatures on the waivers, the necessity to witness each page, and how to obtain and/or review minor waivers.
10. Incident Response
- It is critical that incidents be rapidly cleared in order to avoid delay of critical event activities, and to return the site to a "normal status." Although the need for rapid action is fully recognized it is absolutely necessary to ensure that all needed data is gained and required documentation completed before the incident site is disturbed.
- The Chief SSS should maintain supplies and equipment supporting rapid documentation of an incident. It is recommended, but not required, that an incident kit be positioned in a drawer of the timing truck. An ideal kit would contain five sets of incident reporting forms, a clipboard, a pad of paper and ballpoint pen, a 100-foot tape measure, graph paper and even contain a small disposable 35mm camera.
The data and recommendations presented by this safety plan provide a foundation from which the safety stewards will implement a functional program of incident avoidance. This plan is not all inclusive and additional safety supporting procedures may be developed and implemented during the event. Where safety is concerned, there is no excuse for knowing something to be wrong, or risk generating, and ignoring the situation because it is not spelled out in writing somewhere. SOLO safety is not a game of rule bending or just following the guidelines. It must be a living program balancing the needs of a highly competitive motor sport, with the realities of safety and risk reduction. Any additions, corrections, or suggestions for continuous improvement of this plan are welcomed, and should be directed to the Solo Chair and/or a member of the steering committee.