Questions and answers about the Games

HSE's role

How will HSE approach its role as regulator of Glasgow 2014 Games?

HSE is committed to acting as an enabling and proportionate regulator for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and supporting the Local Authorities to achieve this aim. We have set objectives and made our expectations clear, via high-level intervention strategies for Glasgow 2014. We have pursued a strategy of early intervention to advise and seek assurance, coupled with targeted inspection of high-risk activities to ensure that standards are being met.

What is the scope of HSE's regulatory role in relation to the Games?

  • Construction activities, including the erection and dismantling of temporary demountable structures like stages and grandstand seating that fall within Schedule 2 (4) of the Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority) Regulations 1998
  • TV, film and radio broadcasting of the Games, including broadcasting in venues where the Local Authority is the lead regulator
  • Logistic centres including the delivery and removal of items from the venues when no sporting activity is under way.
  • Certain aspects of workplace transport
  • HSE enforced COMAH sites adjacent to Games venues
  • Games related events organised and controlled by local authorities (eg Live Sites)
  • The open road part of The Queen's Baton Relay - HSE regulates work activities on the public highway.  This includes dressing public buildings and public places to provide the 'Look' for the Games, as well as setting out cones, barriers etc prior to events.  Any impact on the safety of the public arising out of these work activities comes within the remit of HSE.

What is HSE's role during the competition events ('Games time')?

Local authorities are the lead health and safety regulators for most Games-related activity during the competition events. HSE does not intend to conduct proactive inspections at venues and sites during the Games. We will keep in close touch with local authority colleagues, to provide advice and support as required. We will also be ready to respond in the event of a work-related incident or emergency affecting the smooth running of the Games.

Local Authority role

What is the local authorities' role in relation to health and safety for the Games?

Local authorities are the enforcing authority for occupational health and safety legislation in relation to those activities allocated to them under the Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority) Regulations 1998. This includes most of the activities at sporting venues during the competition events ('Games time'), as well as catering and hospitality.

Some local authorities will also be duty holders in relation to the Games – eg as hosts of the Queen's Baton Relay, organisers of Live Sites. In these cases, HSE is the health and safety regulator.

Public safety

How is public safety regulated at sports grounds?

Public safety at a sports ground is primarily covered by the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 and the Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987. Local Authorities administer this primary legislation in Scotland. More information can be obtained by contacting the relevant local authority.

The Green Guide  published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) provides detailed guidance to ground management, technical specialists such as architects and engineers and all relevant authorities to assist them in assessing how many spectators can be safely accommodated within a sports ground.

It sets out good practice in the design and management of new grounds or newly constructed sections of grounds.  As well as suggesting how to calculate safe capacity, the Guide includes sections on various aspects of management including of structures and installations, of spectator accommodation in temporary demountable structures, of crowd movements, communications and fire safety.

DCMS and the Sports Grounds Safety Authority state that the advice in the Green Guide is intended to apply to the safety of spectators at all sports grounds where sports or other competitive activity takes place in the open air, and where accommodation has been provided for spectators. The Guide is the benchmark against which all stadiums will be measured.

With regard to fire safety at events, an employer (and/or building owner or occupier) is required to carry out and maintain a fire safety risk assessment. Fire and Rescue Authorities are normally responsible for enforcing this legislation. At sports grounds covered by a safety certificate, the local authority will enforce this legislation.

What is the local authorities' role in regulating public safety at the Games?

Local authorities are responsible for enforcing the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA) at most of the Games-related entertainment, sports and leisure activities. Section 3 of the Act covers safety of spectators and visitors where they are affected by a work activity. Local authorities also ensure public safety through their administration of the licensing regime, which is part of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982

Section 89 (LA approval for the safety of platforms etc. to members of the public) of the Civil Government (Scotland) Act 1982 also applies to Temporary Demountable Structures (TDS) - and provides primary assurance in addition to relevant matters under HSWA.

What is HSE's role in regulating public safety at the Games?

HSE has the operational policy lead for health and safety in the entertainment and leisure industry. This includes events and associated public safety. Only where an event is organised by a local authority will HSE be responsible for enforcement.

Who regulates public safety in relation to waterways at Games venues?

The relevant local authority regulates public safety including risks arising from proximity to open water. 

Who is responsible for public safety along the route of the road races during competition events?

Glasgow 2014, as event organiser.

Construction and temporary demountable structures

What are temporary demountable structures (TDS)?

TDS include things like temporary buildings, seating stands, stages, large video screens and lighting towers. TDS are required for the Games at venues and Games-related sites.

Who is responsible for the safe erection and dismantling of temporary demountable structures (TDS) at the Games venues and sites?

For competition venues and certain non-competition venues, ultimate responsibility lies with Glasgow 2014 as the client procuring the TDS. The contractors erecting/dismantling the TDS, the construction management contractor and others who are checking the design and build of the TDS also have duty holder responsibilities.

What is HSE's regulatory role in relation to temporary demountable structures (TDS) at Games venues and sites?

Construction activities, including the erection and dismantling of temporary demountable structures like stages and grandstand seating that fall within the definition of Schedule 2 (4) of the Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority) Regulations 1998.

What is HSE doing to help ensure the safe erection/dismantling of temporary demountable structures (TDS) at Games venues and sites?

HSE has engaged early with Glasgow 2014, to make clear our expectations in relation to the safe construction and dismantling of temporary demountable structures. We have produced an Intervention Plan to assist inspectors in seeking assurances that key risks have been identified and appropriate management systems put in place.

Who regulates the safe use of completed temporary demountable structures (TDS) at Games venues and sites?

Local authorities regulate the in-use risks associated with TDS at Games venues and sites.

How many RIDDOR-reportable injury accidents have occurred during the construction of the Glasgow 2014 Games?

HSE does not hold statistically reliable data on the number of RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995) reports relating to the construction of the Games. There are many projects and businesses involved in work that could be considered Games-related, and there is nothing within the Regulations which requires the dutyholder to declare that the incident they are reporting is Games-related.

Volunteers, workers and athletes  

What health and safety legislation covers the activities of volunteers involved in the Games?

For the purposes of health and safety law, volunteer staff are not employees.  However, the HSW Act still requires employers and the self-employed to protect their volunteer staff from risks to their health and safety arising out of, or in connection with, their work activities.

Who is responsible for the health and safety of volunteers involved in the Games?

Responsibility for the health and safety of individual volunteers rests with the organisation in control of their work. In most cases this will be Glasgow 2014.

Do volunteers have any responsibilities under occupational health and safety law?

The job of volunteering generally doesn't fall within the scope of health and safety law unless it is done through an organisation that is an employer. For example, a group of local residents who come together to organise a community event do not have duties under health and safety law. Similarly, a volunteer working for an event organiser will not have duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 other than the duty not to misuse or interfere with items provided for health and safety reasons.

I am a volunteer organiser. Where can I find guidance about running local community events to celebrate the Games?

The Cabinet Office has produced a 'Can Do' guide for volunteers organising community events.

How is HSE regulating worker safety throughout the Glasgow 2014 project?

HSE has an intervention strategy for engagement with Glasgow 2014. This strategy is underpinned by individual intervention plans examining specific projects or topics eg temporary structures. Worker involvement forms part of the core agenda of the intervention plans.

What happens if a worker has an accident?

If the accident is reportable under RIDDOR, it should be reported in the usual way by the dutyholder to the relevant enforcing authority.

Who is responsible for the health and safety of agency workers?

When a business uses an agency worker, the business and the agency have a shared duty to protect the health and safety of the agency worker.

Will athletes at the Glasgow 2014 Games be protected by UK health and safety law?

Yes. Whilst athletes are not employees, the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (the Act), Section 3, applies where risk to the athlete arises from staging the Games. For example, the organisers will ensure that the condition of premises are safe to use.

The provisions of the Act do not cover safety matters arising out of the sport or activity itself eg damaging a wrist during a boxing match. Instead, athletes whilst taking part in competition and/or training, are generally subject to the rules set down by the sports National Governing Bodies. Some of these rules and procedures may go beyond the requirements of workplace health and safety legislation.

Who regulates the health and safety of police, fire and ambulance service personnel involved in the Games?



What is HSE doing to seek assurances from dutyholders regarding potential risk to the Games from legionella?

HSE has organised a range of interventions for 2013/14, focussing on securing compliance with the legislation and on promoting good practice. We will deliver a targeted programme of inspections to premises with cooling towers located in the vicinity of Games venues.


Does HSE regulate welfare provision for workers at Games venues?

No. The relevant local authority is the regulator for sports events, except  for workers engaged in broadcasting and some construction activities, which are regulated by HSE.

Is there a requirement to provide welfare facilities for workers at Games venues?

Yes. The venues are workplaces so the Workplace (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations apply. So far as is reasonably practicable, workers should be provided with washing, toilet, rest and changing facilities, and somewhere clean to eat and drink during breaks.

Does HSE regulate welfare provisions for Games spectators?

No. At events, such as watching sport or attending Live Sites, the provision of welfare for spectators falls outside of HSE's regulatory responsibility.

Does welfare provisions under health and safety law apply to Games spectators?

There is no requirement under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for dutyholders to provide for the welfare of non-employees. This means there is no requirement to provide facilities to protect people from things like extreme weather conditions.


Who regulates fire safety at Games venues and sites?

General fire precautions at entertainment and leisure premises are covered by the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 as amended, and the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006. This legislation is enforced by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. The Scottish Government have produced a guidance document titled 'Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Places of Entertainment and Assembly'.  The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service can be contacted for further information.

The Local Authorities are responsible for enforcement of process fire precautions. These are the special fire precautions required in any workplace in connection with the work processes carried out there (including the storage of articles, substances and materials relating to those work processes). Use of LPG at an event is an example of a process fire safety risk.

What about licensing, permissions for road closures, food safety and insurances?

The phrase 'health and safety' is commonly used to refer to a number of topics that are not covered by workplace health and safety laws eg licensing, permissions for road closures and insurance. For guidance on these matters go to the Scottish Government website. For guidance about food safety and hygiene go to the Food Standards Agency website.

Where can I get help determining whether decisions taken in the name of health and safety are legitimate and proportionate?

If you think a decision or advice that you have been given in the name of health and safety is wrong, or disproportionate to what you are doing, you can complain to HSE myth buster challenge panel. It will investigate and publish its findings on the HSE website.