Call to Action: Safety Group, NCAA Work to Gather Venue Emergency Data

The Sports Production Safety Group is encouraging college sports venues and facilities to get involved with the SPSG Emergency Action Plan project, an important online database that offers all major networks relevant information while building production-specific EAPs. These plans help professionals working at sports venues easily find information on safe evacuation routes, refuge areas and shelters when preparing for fire, inclement weather or other emergencies.

“The number one issue for everyone involved is to reduce risk; using emergency action plans to prepare our crews before a fire or other emergency like a tornado or hurricane,” says Ron Partilla, CSP, Director of Production Safety for Fox. “Planning provides the safest workplace possible by limiting the number of people trying to learn the plan during the emergency.”

The NCAA and NACDA are collaborating with the SPSG as it attempts to have all universities and colleges fill out the online form (click here to access it), a step that has been accomplished for professional sports venues, PGA golf courses, NASCAR tracks, and more. The data is available to the Environmental Health and Safety professionals who work at networks like CBS, ESPN, Fox, NBC, NESN, and Turner Sports.

“The form takes no longer than 15 minutes to complete and it is stored in a secure database only accessible by SPSG personnel,” says Partilla. It includes information like the nearest hospital, fire and police department, and a point of contact at the venue for emergency planning information.

EAP requirements are described in OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1910.38, “Emergency Action Plans.” With this online form, athletic departments and sports information personnel can share relevant venue information to help meet these requirements.

“We need to team with the NCAA and its schools to be better prepared, developing emergency action plans for the production workers,” says Partilla. “If there is a tornado headed towards the venue we don’t want our crew outdoors in a mobile trailer.”

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