The London 2012 Games are set to be a hugely important historical event for the UK, and if you are lucky enough to have a ticket, you will certainly want to make the most out of it. To make sure this is feasible, the organisers, with the help of the nation’s health services and security establishments are making sure that the games go ahead as smoothly as possible. With this in mind, the organisers, alongside the UK health system and police forces, have put in place measures to ensure that the Olympic events run smoothly and safely, allowing visitors from all around the world to fully enjoy the Games.
Ever since it was announced in 2005 that London would host the 2012 Olympics, the nation has been working overtime to take appropriate precautions. There is a reason for this. The threat level in the country will be labelled as severe as a precaution, due to the high number of visitors expected.
By the time the Games start, over nine million tickets will have been sold and on the busiest day it is estimated that 800,000 people will be using public transport to travel. So what exactly are the risks involved and what precautions and advice are being given?
Let’s break it down into health and safety.
According to a report by the Health and Safety Executive, there are a number of health-related problems that are more likely to occur at busy events, such as the Olympics.
One of these include airborne and communicable diseases which can be a real threat during mass gatherings, but accident and emergency departments have been informed as to which diseases are not prevalent in the UK that may be an issue. To avoid spreading germs, it is recommended that visitors carry hand sanitizer on them.
Another health concern is regarding heat. British weather is temperamental and it is difficult to predict whether you are more at risk of sun stroke or hypothermia. Visitors are advised to come equipped for all weather conditions. Staff will be on rotation to avoid long exposure to harsh weather for their own safety.
If you are travelling from outside of the UK, the National Health Service has compiled a list of what you may want to consider packing. These include: A valid European Health Insurance card if relevant, any prescribed medicine you may need, comfortable walking shoes, clothes for all weather,rainwear, sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15 and details of your travel insurance.
A lack of training and site orientation for volunteers was highlighted as something that could risk the management of crowd safety and emergency procedures. With this in mind, all volunteers will have attended at least three training courses. It will also be likely that many local businesses may allow employees to work from home temporarily to ease the strain on public transport and reduce crowd-related dangers.
To reduce any security risks, all venues will be searched, and many visitors will have their bag searched too. In fact, visitors are advised to pack light and travel as if you were flying: this includes no potential weaponry and a bag that would fit under your seat. No storage will be available for security purposes.
Up to 12,500 police officers from across the UK are being deployed for the London Games and a number of officers are expected to receive additional search training, as well as the use of specially trained dogs to aid in bag searches.
There has been a real emphasis on training this year to ensure that the focus can remain on the sports themselves and the historical event. Huge crowds can be difficult to manage without a clear plan of action and this is useless unless all staff and volunteers are made aware of it.