SGSA Safety at Sports Grounds Maintaining Vigilance in Safety

An images taken from the 2018 SGSA Safety at Sports Grounds Maintaining Vigilance in Safety Conference

The home of Premier League Champions, Manchester City played host to the 2018 SGSA Safety at Sports Grounds Maintaining Vigilance in Safety conference on 19 April.

The event attracted it’s biggest audience yet, with over 300 professionals from across the sports grounds safety community coming together to share good practice and discuss the key issues affecting safety.

The conference tackled some of the biggest issues concerning safety today, from protecting people from terrorist activity and understanding hostile reconnaissance, to fire safety, persistent standing in football and stress and absenteeism in the workplace.

The opening panel discussion on Manchester was a powerful demonstration of what can be achieved when everyone works together. The panel shared their experiences of the aftermath of the Manchester Arena attack and discussed the community response and the implications for sports grounds safety.

The Sports Grounds Safety Authority gave an update on the changes to the forthcoming 6th edition of the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds. Focusing on the key areas of Counter-terrorism, Zone Ex, Fire safety, Seating, Barriers and Emergency evacuation the guidance will be published later in 2018 and will be available in digital or print format for £95.

We heard about the arrow incident at the Kia Oval resulting in evacuation of the ground in 2017 and discussed the need to consider moving people in and out and around venues in exceptional circumstances.

The final session looked to the future and we heard from FIFA about the plans to build capacity in football around the world and the work they are doing in Africa to improve safety at grounds across the continent. We also heard about the future of sport, which is eSport according to Professor Andy Miah, as he shared his views about this fast-growing sport and the need for safety professionals to consider the challenges this sport will bring.

Attendees enjoyed a tour of the impressive Etihad Stadium, put on by the Manchester City safety team, and a first for the event this year, was the industry solutions area. Attendees were able to meet some of the leading suppliers of products and services to enhance the safety operation and discuss their safety challenges.