The safety of players, officials and spectators is of paramount importance to all club officials. The practical planning and implementation of a safe environment is split between William Calder, Club Secretary and Martin Brown, Club Safety Officer.
The Secretary leads on pre-match planning – including liaison with opponents, stewards and police.
The Safety Officer leads on ensuring a safe environment on the day of the match. Club officials, stewards and police are briefed by the Secretary as part of any pre-match planning and liaise with or respond to the Safety Officer on the day of the match unless there is a need for the police to take direct control of any specific incident.
Club officials appointed to ensure a safe environment on match days are easily visible wearing hi-vis vests with the club logo on the front and “Club Official” on the back.
2. MATCH MANAGEMENT
There are five turnstiles at Prestonfield to facilitate spectator entry – three at the car park end and two at the school end. Additionally, there is disabled access including step free terracing access for wheelchair users from the club car park.
The club encourages supporters (via social media) to arrive at the ground in good time for kick off where a large crowd is expected. Where stewards and/or police are required to support match management, they will support queue management and ensure that there are no breaches of the club’s policy on bringing alcohol or pyrotechnic into the stadium.
All turnstiles are staffed by club officials. They will implement any instructions given by the Safety Officer.
Padlocks will be removed by club officials between 45 minutes and one hour before the start of the match.
Players and officials arriving at Prestonfield normally enter through the turnstiles from the club car park. In the event of a large crowd however, they may be directed to enter through the gate at the rear of the social club.
During the match
Club officials will staff those turnstiles which remain open throughout the game to ensure that those who need to exit for whatever reason can do so and to monitor who comes into the stadium whilst the match is in progress. Where stewards and/or police are required to support match management, they will support the management of exit from or entry to the stadium throughout the match.
All turnstiles remain open at the end of each match to allow spectators to leave easily. Where stewards and/or police are required to support our match management, they will help ensure an orderly exit.
3. EMERGENCY VEHICLE ACCESS
Emergency vehicle access is via the gate behind the social club. There is direct access from there to the playing area or changing rooms. The Safety Officer ensures that there are no impediments to any emergency vehicle which needs access to the playing area.
4. ASSEMBLY POINTS
In the event of a fire or other incident, there are 4 Assembly Points – one at each corner of the ground – clearly signposted - Emergency Assembly Points.
5. TEA HUT
In the event of an incident at the tea hut, supporters will move to the nearest Assembly Area which does not involve them walking past the tea hut. If there is an explosion in the Tea Hut supporters should cross the wall and go on to the pitch.
6. COVERED ENCLOSURE
There are signs which go out on match days pointing to the Assembly Areas.
The seating capacity in the stand is 308. The stand is accessed from both the east and west ends. In the event of an emergency and/or other reason to evacuate the stand, a fire horn will sound. At this point, spectators will exit the stand via the stairway closest to them (in the event that both are accessible) and make their way to the nearest Assembly Area. Club officials on duty in the stand will support spectators who need assistance to evacuate. A club official – identified by their hi-vis vest – is on duty at all times.
8. HOSPITALITY SUITE
In the event of a fire or other incident, those using the hospitality suite should evacuate quickly and safely to the nearest Assembly Area or directly onto the pitch if necessary.
In the event of an incident in the pavilion, all players and officials should evacuate the building through either of the 2 exits and move out onto the pitch or nearest Assembly Area.
If it is safe to do so, the LRFC kit man will check both dressing rooms, the referee’s room, toilets and showers. It is the responsibility of both managers to account for all of their players and staff.
Prior to the start of every game the match announcer asks spectators to listen to the following announcement:
In the event of a fire or other incident, a horn will be sounded and spectators asked to make their way to the nearest Assembly Point. The announcer then sounds the horn.
On arrival at the Assembly Area await further instructions from a club official.
The defibrillator is located in the social club so it can be accessed in an emergency by the local community. It is brought over to the First Aid room on match days for use if required for all in attendance at the game. A number of club officials have been trained to operate the defibrillator.
13. FIRST AID
In addition to the club physio, Linlithgow Rose has three members of the committee who have attended and secured NSFA Sports First Aid certificates.
14. PLAYERS/OFFICIALS ACCESS TO/FROM DRESSING ROOMS TO PITCH
It is standard practice at Linlithgow to use crush barriers to create a safe access route to and from the pitch for players and officials before, during and after the match. The barriers are managed by a club official.
15. CLUB DOCTOR
The club does not have a doctor in attendance as a matter of routine but endeavours to do so for all home William Hill Scottish Cup matches. The Secretary organises the attendance of a doctor for these matches as part of the planning process. The doctor and safety officer work together on the day of the match to ensure the doctor can move easily around the ground. The doctor will have a seat allocated to them within the stand and be available to assist either team physiotherapist in the event of an accident or injury to a player.
16. HANDLING OF PYROTECHNIC DEVICES
Linlithgow Rose complies with Section 15.10c of the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds which advises that ground management must adopt and enforce a clear policy to prevent/prohibit spectators from taking flares or fireworks into Prestonfield.
Club officials and stewards are instructed to monitor/search spectators for evidence of pyrotechnics as part of their wider role of ensuring spectator safety. The Safety Officer will lead the management of any incident involving pyrotechnic devices.
The following notice is placed outside entrances to Prestonfield:
“THE SPORTING EVENTS CONTROL OF ALCOHOL ACT 1985 (1985 ACT) (as amended by the Public Order Act 1986)
It is an offence for a person to have in their possession any firework/flare/smoke bomb etc whilst attempting to enter or whilst in any part of PRESTONFIELD which is in sight of the pitch, and provides police with the power to search people and to arrest persons committing offences under the Act.”
Club officials are aware of the following issues with pyrotechnic devices:
A flare can become unstable and react in a different way to that intended
Hand flares and rockets can readily ignite and cause fires and/or burns to people
Any burns caused by a flare are likely to be severe
Smoke bombs generate “cold smoke” but the chemical reaction which creates the smoke generates heat likely to cause burns to people attempting to move them
The discharging of a smoke bomb etc may cause crowd disruption due to people quickly trying to get away from the immediate area
Smoke from flares etc can cause breathing problems
Once a flare has been set off they cannot be easily extinguished and will burn for between 30 – 60 seconds following which it will no longer discharge any light or smoke
Handling of flares, smoke bombs or fireworks
Provided there is no immediate threat of escalation or injury, it is safer to allow the flare to burn out before any action is taken
If a burning flare is dropped on the floor, clear the area and cover the flare with sand. The flare may continue to burn through the sand and therefore further sand may need to be poured on top to minimize the effect of the flare. Once light ceases, use a welder’s glove or similar to remove the remains by the handle and place in a metal bucket of water for at least half and hour
Use one of the buckets of sand spread round Prestonfield to place the smoke bomb in and then cover with more sand
As smoke from a device discharged in Prestonfield may become visible to supporters in other parts of the ground the Safety Officer MUST announce a prepared PA Announcement which reassures people.
LAST UPDATE April 2018