Brussels, 25 July 2012 - As the world’s attention turns to London for the opening of the Olympic Games, the organisers of major sporting events are more aware than ever of the need to ensure the safety of competitors and spectators as well as the accessibility of venues and facilities, whilst also showing respect for the environment. European Standards provide practical solutions for achieving these goals and facilitating compliance with relevant regulations and legislation.
Major sporting events are being judged not only on the quality of the competition and entertainment that they provide, but also on aspects such as the safety of competitors and spectators, the accessibility of venues, and environmental sustainability. These objectives can only be reached if facilities, processes and services have been designed, constructed and managed in a safe, accessible and environmentally friendly way. European standards developed by CEN and CENELEC can help to make this happen!
How can European Standards contribute to ensuring the safety and security of competitors and spectators at major sporting events?
Ensuring the safety and security of users is one of the basic principles of standardization. European Standards developed by CEN and CENELEC define and prescribe safety requirements for stadiums, sport halls, racing tracks and swimming pools. The safety of participants is being addressed by standards for sports equipment and personal protective equipment. There are European Standards for gymnastic equipment, bicycles and roller skates, as well as helmets, knee and elbow protectors. Meanwhile, the European Standard for synthetic surfaces relates to the safety of outdoor playing fields.
At major sporting events such as the Olympic Games, the safety of spectators is of paramount importance. CEN and CENELEC have produced standards in relation to fire safety and alarm systems, security services, transport safety, as well as the hygiene and storage of food and beverages. Work is currently underway to develop new European Standards in relation to a range of public safety and security issues. These standards will help the organisers of major public events to prevent and manage various kinds of risks.
How can European Standards support the goals of accessible sporting events?
Achieving 'accessibility' means making sure that products, systems, services, environments and facilities can be used by as many people as possible - including older persons and those with disabilities. It requires the identification, prevention and removal of barriers that might prevent people from enjoying equal participation in events and activities.
The European Commission has entrusted CEN and CENELEC with the task of developing accessibility standards for the built environment. Meanwhile, CEN is making standards in relation to the accessibility of spectator facilities for sports and multi-purpose venues, including the layout of facilities (spacing, barriers, etc.). The European Standards Organisations are also developing procedures to ensure that in future, all European Standards will respect the principles of 'Design for All'.
How can European Standards support the goals of sustainable sporting events?
Major international sporting events such as the Olympic Games require the construction and management of new buildings and infrastructures, including state-of-the-art facilities for competitors. Efficient transport systems are necessary to enable thousands of spectators to arrive at venues in comfort and safety. European Standards provide a means to reduce negative impacts on the environment by defining acceptable energy-use levels, waste management procedures, and environmental protection measures.
CEN and CENELEC have been working to develop European Standards for the sustainability of construction works and the energy performance of buildings. These standards help architects and contractors to ensure that construction projects comply with all of the relevant regulations and legislation adopted by the European Union.
Standards can facilitate and accelerate the adoption of 'green' technologies by opening-up markets, reducing costs and boosting the confidence of consumers. In recent years, CEN and CENELEC have developed European Standards in relation to water management, renewable energy facilities (for solar, wind and geothermal power), bio-fuels, smart meters and the measurement of energy savings – just to mention a few examples.
PHOTO: The Olympic Stadium in London (© Getty Images - London 2012)
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