Isle of Man TT introduce new safety measures ahead of 2022

Isle of Man TT event organisers have unveiled a new Safety Management System (SMS), designed to drive safety at the event

Isle of Man TT new safety measures announced

THE team behind the worlds biggest motorcycle road race have announced a raft of new safety measures to make the 2022 Isle of Man TT the safest ever.

The new system is called the Safety Management System (or SMS for short) and it encompasses organisational structure and policies, hazard identification and mitigation, third party assurance, and the promotion and communication of standards.

All areas of the Isle of Man TT races have been subjected to careful review under this new process, which is designed to ensure unnecessary risks are mitigated. TT organisers are claiming though that to fans watching worldwide and at the event, the SMS won’t always be noticeable. To teams, riders and those working on the event its introduction marks the beginning of a significant change in culture.

For 2022, changes will be put into place that will affect race management, race regulations and standards, accident response and investigation, marshalling and medical provision, and the 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. Speaking of the sweeping new changes he said:

“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.”

The SMS is a comprehensive process without an endpoint. Below is an overview of the most notable changes planned for TT 2022 and their benefits:

2022 Isle of Man TT Safety Management System announced

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

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