Isle Of Man TT: New Safety Management Program Designed

Isle Of Man TT: New Safety Management Program Designed

© 2021, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By Isle of Man TT Press Office:


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

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