Motorsport/Leisure Track Safety: trackside vehicle restraint barriers
Health and Safety Executive in conjunction with Fife Council - Safety notice
This safety notice is aimed at Motorsport/Leisure track owners, operators, event organisers and other persons with duties for the safety of activities on tracks/circuits. This notice is particularly relevant to leisure track/circuits (permanent and temporary).
There can be a lack of awareness and understanding of the difference between the design, specification, and use of vehicle restraint barriers, versus the design, specification, and use of generic directional segregation barriers. Inappropriate, untested and or unapproved barriers must not be used as vehicle restraint barriers on tracks and circuits.
Outline of problem
Research carried out in the Local Authority enforced sector led to a wider piece of work carried out by health and safety enforcement officers. This has identified that there is a potential lack of awareness and understanding regarding the correct application and use of products as vehicle restraint barriers.
Persons with duties to ensure safety at Motorsport/Leisure track/circuit/s or event/s must fully understand the significance of selecting and using the correct type of vehicle restraint barrier/s, for competitive and non-competitive activities.
You must ensure that you, and those you give duties to, relating to vehicle restraint barrier safety, understand:
- they should consult the manufacturer and or supplier of the barrier to confirm it is suitable for its intended use on your track/circuit
- that generic segregation barriers are not necessarily designed for use as vehicle restraint barriers. Purpose made vehicle restraint barriers are available for use within the Motorsport sector
- the required maintenance and life cycle of the vehicle restraint barriers in use
- that all dutyholder/s have responsibilities for ensuring they are confident that the vehicle restraint barriers in use are appropriate and suitably installed, and have documentation to evidence this
Governing Bodies may be a contact for advice about the correct selection and use of appropriate vehicle restraint barriers.
Risks in motorsport
Motorsport is inherently dangerous; risk control and mitigation measures can be put in place to reduce many of the risks. It is important that duty holders and event organisers fully understand that they must select and suitably install appropriate vehicle restraint barriers. Failure to use appropriate vehicle restraint barriers may lead to serious safety incidents.
Use of barriers at motorsport/leisure tracks/circuits
Barriers may look and feel the same, but each type of barrier may have design differences and customisations to make them suitable for specific tasks.
Some barriers may be properly tested and or approved for vehicle impact, while others will not have been tested and or approved for this purpose. It is important that vehicle restraint barriers are selected and installed to be suitable for all intended uses.
For example, use of generic plastic directional barriers, typically seen on construction sites, may not be designed to be used as vehicle restraint barriers on motorsport/leisure tracks/circuits.
Dutyholders must ensure that vehicle restraint barriers are appropriate and suitably installed for their intended uses at Motorsport/Leisure track/circuits – see figures 1 and 2 and action required.
If inappropriate and or unsuitably installed vehicle restraint barrier/s are identified in use at competition and or non-competition activities, the initial enforcement expectation is the service of a Prohibition Notice under The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
This information should be shared with anyone who may have an interest in Motorsport/ Leisure track/circuit and event safety decision making activities.
The key information about vehicle restraint barriers is applicable irrespective of whether you are a duty holder under The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.