Testing and Inspections


02 min. reading time

This section deals with the regular testing and inspection required in a stadium. The initial opening and commissioning of the stadium are dealt with in Section 4.6, including the certification required prior to opening.

Testing, inspecting and certification are important procedures to assess whether all stadium structures, installations, components and/or equipment items meet a minimum set of requirements, most notably safety requirements, and whether they are fit for purpose for their intended use.

The objectives of testing, inspecting and certification are:

• ensuring that statutory requirements are met;
• warranting compliance with the safety policy;
• ensuring reliability and business continuity;
• providing input for (updating) maintenance plans and procedures; and
• meeting warranty and/or insurance cover requirements.

As part of the stadium safety and security management policy and plan, the following inspections and tests should be carried out in relation to each match or event:

1. Pre-match and matchday inspections and tests

A series of inspections and tests should be executed during the 48 hours leading up to and on the event day itself. It is important that these inspections and tests are performed in such a way that remedial action, if and when required, can be taken prior to the stadium opening to the public. If critical systems cannot be restored, the event could be cancelled in time as part of the stadium’s contingency plan for such a scenario.

Inspections and tests should cover, as a minimum:

• All stadium structures
• Circulation routes
• Venue Operations Centre (VOC)
• (Life) safety systems & installations, including PA system, CCTV, and other systems used for emergency messaging and evacuation
• Turnstiles and systems monitoring crowd flows
• Other installations essential for the match to take place (e.g. floodlights)
• Power sources and back-up power sources for critical installations
• Materials and surfaces (e.g. absence of litter, combustible materials and potential missiles)
• Components (seats, fixtures & fittings, signage)
• Temporary installations and components
• External areas and routes

2. Inspections during the event to ensure that litter and waste have not accumulated, that materials are not blocking circulation, exit or emergency exit routes, and that all gangways, exit and emergency exit routes are kept clear

3. Inspections after the event: a general inspection to identify damages or deformations which could cause a danger, to ensure that combustible waste and litter are removed, and to make sure that outstanding matters of concern are documented for remedial action before the next event

In addition to the event-specific tests and inspections, an annual inspection should be carried out by competent and qualified persons to:

• ensure that all surfaces, seats, stairs, ramps, doors, gates, boundary walls, fences and claddings are fit for their intended purpose;
• ensure that load-bearing elements are capable of withstanding the loads to which they are likely to be subjected;
• assess which barriers should be subjected to a load-bearing test;
• ensure that all mechanical and electrical installations, including life-safety and backup systems, are in good order;
• confirm that water (storage) and air-conditioning systems have been tested for legionella;
• assess the overall condition of the asset in order to establish the annual maintenance plan (see Sub-Section 4.2.3).

Structural appraisals should be undertaken on a periodic basis (usually 6-10 years) in accordance with local regulations in order to assess whether the stadium structure still meets the load requirements for which it was designed.

It is important that comprehensive and accurate records are kept of all tests and inspections. These records might be inspected by the relevant authorities.

Further details on pre-event and matchday testing regimes can be found in the SGSA’s Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds (6th Edition) and the SGSA’s Safety Management guide.

In addition to this regular testing carried out by the stadium management, further inspections might be undertaken by the local licensing authority and could be part of the regular validation of the stadium safety certification described in Section 4.6.

Depending on local statutory requirements, other regular certification of installations, equipment and/or components of the stadium may be required. These could include the following:

• Fire-detection and prevention systems
• Firefighting installations and equipment, such as dry risers, sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers
• Fire doors and fire stopping between the various fire compartments
• Emergency power and backup systems
• Lifts
• Electrical distribution systems
• Photovoltaic (PV) panels
• Water supply systems, including Jacuzzis and pools
• Fall protection systems
• Catering equipment