Olympic Safety Under Review

08 August by Miriam Heale


I've never known an Olympics to have so many serious accidents in the first opening days.

The horrendous cycling crash which saw Dutch cyclist, Annemiek van Vleuten fly over her handle bars and land her in intensive care (she later tweeted that she was OK) she suffered spinal fractures and concussion.

The men’s cycling where four medal contenders came to grief on the descent of the Vista Chinesa.  The narrow road and high kerbs wiped out Geraint Thomas (GB), Sergio Henao (Colombia), Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) and Richie Porte (Aus) who all took bad falls, and left Nibali with a fractured collarbone.

Not to mention that awful leg break of the French gymnast Samir Ait Said, which I can only imagine, as I haven’t been able to watch it!

This has raised questions as to the safety of the games in Rio.

British former Olympic champion Chris Boardman, has said that he deems the cycling course to be unsafe and dangerous; "I'm actually quite angry because I looked at the road furniture and thought nobody can crash here and get up," he said. "This was way past technical, this was dangerous."

According to reports from the BBC, cycling's governing body, the UCI, defended the course, saying it "was carefully designed and extensively tested.  It added: "We do our utmost to design safe, challenging courses but unfortunately crashes do sometimes occur due to a combination of factors."

Whatever the causes, be it accidental, bad design or gross oversite, these Olympic accidents have highlighted, on the big stage, what can go wrong when risk assessment and safety checks aren't comprehensive and thorough.  

This serves as a strark reminder to everyone to flag-up hazards at work, so as to avoid the potential for serious injury.

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