Risk Management Update from Speedway Australia

14/08/13…Pam Franz

Latest Risk Management Update from Speedway Australia – everyone needs to have a read of this information to understand their responsibilities.

August 2013

Hello to you all,
As part of our Risk Management Strategy, it is important that Speedway Australia continues to update you with the latest information of interest to you and your venue.

Topics included in this edition are:
• Practice Days
• Registration of Cars
• Contractors Cover
• Recognised Divisions
• Seat Belt Ruling
• Head and Neck Restraints
• Safety Standards Compliance
• QBE Track Grants
• New Competitors to Speedway

A safety quote to share with you that you need to observe at all times:

“If you don’t invest in risk management, it doesn’t matter what business you’re in, it’s a risky business”
It is that time of the year for most venues (excluding the far North) where the Speedway season is not far away so people are looking at running practice days to get their cars ready for the upcoming season. So it’s timely to remind everyone that all activities carried out at a Speedway Australia venue must have a ‘Permit’ issued for that to take place, so you must notify Nicole in the Speedway Australia office so a permit can be issued to the venue. The cost of Practice Permits is ‘FREE OF CHARGE’ so it’s just an acknowledgement of cover for the venue and it then triggers the Personal Accident Cover for all the licence holders on the day advised.
All people wishing to take part in practice days MUST be a current licence holder and have an adequate Personal Accident Cover to be involved. All vehicles competing must also have been daylighted, scrutineered and passed as compliant to the recognised divisions allowed under Speedway Australia’s policy. All safety standards for competitors must be adhered to and we ask that tracks and clubs manage their divisions adequately when putting cars into groups on the tracks. (Learners in groups of 2 only etc and not with competent experienced racers)
All information on practice days is available in the Speedway Australia Track Operators Manual if you need further assistance.
All cars that compete and or practice at a Speedway Australia Insured venue must be registered to the club that is affiliated and recognised with the National Body. Any car that is not registered and has no affiliation may not be covered and this could have ramifications for the track and division competing.
Cars must be registered and must compete under the specifications and regulations administered by the division in which it is competing.
Please make sure the clubs that participate at your track are aware of this and have procedures in place to confirm that this is not taking place. Not only is this an insurance issue but under the new WH & S laws this would mean that a track promoter and or committee could be held negligent if correct procedures are not followed.
A lot of venues around the country install contractors to either carry out work for the club at the facility or even carry out their own business interests at venues. It is important to understand that while contractors are at the venue they still are under the guidance of the clubs policies and procedures. Responsibility CANNOT be handballed away; you must always make sure they are working in a safe environment under work place safety conditions you have accepted and enforce.
It is also a requirement to make sure they have proof of cover and that can be provided to the venue. The cover should be for a minimum of $10,000,000.

If at any time you are unsure about a division that wishes to come and race at your track, there is a list available on the Speedway Australia website or you can call the office anytime to get the correct information.
It is only accepted by our Insurer that Speedway Australia tracks run divisions and clubs that are affiliated and accepted by Speedway Australia. There is then also an element of control in standards and rules in place that we know will protect all parties at all times under this policy.

Speedway Australia has in recent times been communicating and trying to come to a resolution regarding new standards that SFI have processed about the life of seatbelts. We understand that this ruling will receive some different feedback, but we must continue to maintain standards advised to us by organisations that are specialists in this field.
This new standard will be notified in the new Racing Rule Book to be issued in coming months. In the meantime current specification standards apply.
SFI is an internationally recognised authoritative testing body for motorsport safety equipment. Speedway Australia, like many other motorsport peak bodies around the world, recognises SFI’s standards and policies in relation to many areas of motorsport safety.
Recently the SFI updated their 16.1 Seatbelt standard and it is important that all competitors, clubs and associations are aware of these changes and ensure they comply to meet the new standards.
Most notably, the standard requires that seatbelts must be either replaced or re-webbed every 2 years from the manufacturing date, which is stamped on the belts.
SFI also advises of changes to their date stamping policy, which allows the belts to be stamped 90 days forward of the manufacturing date to allow for shipping time and shelf life.
The link below comprehensively explains SFI’s testing of seatbelts and the reasons behind their updated standards.


Recently the Sprintcar Control Council (SCCA) issued a press release advising their members of an existing SFI requirement.
SFI, who certify the HANS device and many other Head & Neck devices under SFI 38.1, require the purchaser to send their device back to the original manufacturer for assessment after 5 years from the manufacture date, to be checked and re-certified.
The HANS device however, is also certified by the FIA, who do not have this requirement in place.
As a result of Speedway Australia requiring all head and neck restraints to meet the requirements of at least one certification (either SFI or FIA – see Australian Racing Rules and Regulations Annexure D, Section 1) any device that is certified and marked by the FIA do not need to fulfil this requirement.

If you do have a Hans Device that has only the SFI standard on it, you can now get these devices recertified from Revolution Racegear here in Australia. Contact your nearest agent if you need and they will be able to help you out.


We are unfortunately still hearing stories regarding competitors not complying with safety standards both with vehicle specifications and safety equipment. This is obviously a concern, and we all need to understand the consequences of this taking place. There is the obvious danger of self-harm and injuries being received by competitors or even worse the volunteer officials trying to help an injured competitor.
We also need clubs and venues to understand that it is the responsibility of EVERYONE to make sure those competitors are complying and that we cannot turn a blind eye and blame another party. A club conducting business under tracks authority is still a tracks responsibility so therefore in the event of an incident or an injury may occur a club president or the committee could potentially be challenged to provide procedures on how this may have happened.
If procedures have been enforced (checked off scrutineering etc) and then they were not followed, the club could then be found responsible, so it’s really important that we all work together in making sure all required compliance is being enforced on to all the competitors by all parties. 


Thanks again with the support of our Insurer QBE London, Speedway Australia is proud to be offering all affiliated tracks the opportunity to be involved in $50,000 funding through a track safety grant. The application process has only just recently closed and there is another group of eager tracks in this country about to receive some good news on funding going their way to make there venues safer for everyone involved. This takes the total to $230,000 that has been distributed to venues over the past 5 years to keep making our venues safer.


It’s that time of the year again when new and young people are about to launch into what is there “Racing Career” as they step into the speedway ranks for the first time. It’s is an important reminder to all tracks and divisions who may know the new members to the sport and make sure we don’t just “EXPECT” that they know what they are doing.

If venues and clubs could maybe run through a small induction program with them and use the following as guidelines: (feel free to add more as required)

• Visual inspection of the Safety Equipment the driver may have purchased and is going to wear
• Watch them correctly put all that equipment on
• Check them getting into the car and inspect correct nature of harness and restraint systems being applied
• Visually watch the driver exit the car in a practice ‘panic situation’, advise and keep practicing until competent in doing so. (we take this for granted until it’s an emergency)
• Take the driver and crew to the track arena and visually show them where the track Fire crew is situated on the infield in case there needed.
• Visually Notify the driver where the Light trees are situated around the track
• Visually show the pit area hot zone and the drivers requirements when returning to pit area
• Introduce them to your Pit Marshall, who they may need to seek if they need any assistance
• Ask to see there Rule book (all licence holders receive one) – Show in the rear of the book where the Pit Policies and Procedures section is and must be followed. (advise of any of your track’s policies)

“We need to be proactive in preventing these people being injured or their concerns about the sport, rather than being reactive and handing them claim forms and saying sorry afterwards.”

Take Care….
Shane Collins
Risk Management Officer
Speedway Australia
Ph – 08 8139 0777 


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.