At USA Triathlon, safety is our top priority and we take the reporting of incidents and injuries at sanctioned events very seriously.
As a race director, it's essential that you understand your responsibilities when it comes to reporting incidents at your events. We're committed to working with you to ensure the safety and well-being of all athletes at USAT sanctioned events and appreciate your cooperation in this critical effort.
You should have incident reports on hand either digitally or hard copy (or both) and easily accessible for your medical team to fill out.
An incident report MUST be filled out for every athlete that comes into medical.
Regardless of how minor the injury may be, any athlete that crashes or gets injured on course in any way should be required to go to medical to get checked out and have an incident report completed.
When filling out the incident report form, it is important to:
- Collect as much athlete contact information as possible
- Ensure your medical team is being detailed when they fill out the description of the injury
- Be very detailed in recording the cause of the incident
Note: Some medical staff may be apprehensive of sharing the personal information on the incident report due HIPAA laws, but as they are a hired contractor at your event and are working for you, they are allowed to share that information with you. Additionally, the athlete was participating at your event and signed your waiver so you have a right to that information in order to protect yourself and USAT.
If athletes are hesitant to go to medical, you can let them know that an incident form is required for them to use the USAT Participant Accident coverage provided by their membership/license with USA Triathlon.
We hope you never need to use this procedure, but the unfortunate reality is athletes do end up in the hospital on a regular basis due to circumstances out of anyone’s control. We want you to know that we are here for you in the event of a serious injury or athlete death at your event, should one of these situations arise.
Please take the following steps in order:
- Contact Certified Race Official (CRO), if one was requested for your event. If there is no CRO, call USAT directly.
- Primary Contact: Brad Hildebrandt – email@example.com | 402.578.7039
- Secondary Contact: Camellia Noriega - firstname.lastname@example.org | 202.257.5761
- Membership Hotline: 719.725.2209
- While CRO is contacting the Commissioner and USAT, inform the athlete’s emergency contact of the situation (if you haven’t already) and encourage them to head to the hospital.
- Begin collecting witness statements from police, first responders, lifeguards, etc. - anyone that was involved with the incident. These can be written or recorded in the interest of time.
- Have an incident report filled out as soon as reasonably possible with as much information as you can gather.
- Wait to release a statement until you speak with USAT as we have a communications team that can help to craft a proper statement that speaks to the incident and maintains appropriate athlete privacy.
- If you are unable to get ahold of USAT and are being pressured by media to release a statement, review the Crisis Communication Best Practices guide.
After the event is over, the best way to show support to the athlete and/or their family is to let them know you are there to help or answer any questions they might have.
- Make sure they know how to get ahold of you.
- Be timely in your responses.
They may or may not take you up on this but making the gesture is the most important part and can help to make any future interactions go much more smoothly.
If there is an athlete death, USA Triathlon will reach out to the emergency contact person and inform them of the Accidental Death Insurance Policy that is available to the family. To be sensitive to the situation, we usually wait a few days after the event before letting them know of the policy.
Finally, we recommend that you continue to gather any witness statements, collect the police report number (most police reports take a few weeks to be released) and submit the incident report to USAT as quickly as possible.