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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


For more information please contact the Isle of Man TT Press Office

T: +44 (0) 1525 270100

30-11-2021, 11:04 AM
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