Client Spotlight: Formula E

The first in a series of client spotlights, this month we’re chatting to Richard Bate, HSE Lead at Formula E about their health & safety culture, the exciting projects they work on and how the Event Safety Plan software supports their teams

ESP: Hi Richard! First things first, can you tell us a little about your role and background?

Richard: I am Head of HSE with responsibilities across all races, activations, logistics, offices and warehouses globally. I joined the FE team in 2016 at the beginning of Season 2. I manage a small group of 17 dedicated global HSE professionals all of whom have detailed knowledge of our business and event operations.

Formula E is the only FIA electrical single seater world championship series. While the racing part of our business is obvious, less obvious is our circuits are built within city centres making us a global construction company for 90% of our event operations. The HSE Team also supports our E Sports Virtual Racing Series, multiple testing and event activations, supporting live events and concerts also TV and broadcast commitments globally. 

ESP: That sounds like an exciting area to be working in… please tell us a bit about the safety culture and safety commitments at Formula E.

Richard: Formula E has developed its HSE Management System incrementally from 2016 with specific focus on business as usual and race event operations. We hold ISO20121 and have recently successfully completed a series of audits and reviews to test our HSE preparedness against ISO45001. The commitment from our C Suite through local operators globally is absolute – the creation and adoption of Formula E Minimum HSE Standards is an indication of this commitment.

ESP: And how have you found that Event Safety Plan has support your journey to this consistent management system and framework?

Richard: The ESP software allows us flexibility in safety documentation creation not available within other platforms available on the market.

Having created safety plans and construction phase plans manually for many years, moving to the ESP platform as revolutionised our process, allowing us to produce world class safety documentation in a time saving, cost effective and accessible software platform.

Having created your standard document portfolio within the ESP software platform they key selling point for Formula E was the collaborative document creation capability between multiple users, often in several different locations globally.

We have used the software for the whole season 6 (2019 – 2020). As we move into season 7 races we will increase the scope of the software use to capture all of our event support activations. We will also use the ESP software to create our risk assessments in 2021, we have previously used a standard Formula E proforma but we now realise that the ESP platform will support individual risk assessments created within the software. 

I think the best testimonial we have received since we began using the ESP platform came from Newham Council SAG during the planning for our London 2020 event. Their feedback was truly humbling – “The information shared with SAG by Formula E is the best we have ever received from any organiser bearing in mind that the 2012 Olympic Games took place within the Borough”.  While this feedback was incredible, I also want to congratulate ESP for their unwavering support in guiding the Formula E HSE Team through the implementation and continuous integration of the software into our HSE Management System. 

Practice pit stop for Nick Cassidy (NZL) Envision Virgin Racing, Audi e-tron FE07