Whether you are looking to improve your Athletic Facilities or invest in a new installation, you can use our health and safety checklist for running, landing and throwing areas so your students can enjoy their outdoor PE lessons and athletic competitions safely.

Running areas

  • Work areas for all running activities should be checked to see that they are level, free of potholes and litter, and non-slip, with sufficient space between participants to avoid collisions.
  • Running areas should include sufficient space to allow for “run-off” at the end of a practice or race, which means that walls and netting should not present obstacles. If necessary, the teacher should adjust the working space to ensure sufficient run-off distance is available.
  • Risk assessments should consider whether running activities should be adapted, limited or abandoned if the grass surface of a work area is wet.

Landing areas

  • Landing areas need to be sufficiently large to accommodate all abilities of the performer.
  • Sand areas in high jump are only suitable for horizontal and low-level jumping for height, involving feet-to-feet landing. In these cases, wooden or concrete surrounds should not present a danger. Where a sand area is not available, schools should consider a standing jump technique.
  • In the long jump, multiple take-off boards (i.e. set at different distances from the sand) are helpful to ensure that jumpers of different abilities can land safely in the sand area.
  • Sand levels should reach the top of the long-jump pit and be level with the runway. They need to be regularly checked for fouling and dangerous objects.
  • Non-caking sharp sand should be used and should be at least 30cm deep to prevent jarring on landing. A sand landing area should be regularly dug and raked during practical sessions to avoid compacted sections.
  • Digging and raking implements should be stored at least three meters from the landing pit

Throwing areas

Most schools will not have access to safety nets and cages that meet UK Athletics standards. These facilities are needed when any student is deploying a turn/rotational technique. Anything beyond a side-on-standing technique should not be practised without safety nets and cages. This applies to both discus and hammer activities and extracurricular competitions.

Field Athletics