This report describes the application of risk management techniques to the management and maintenance of footways and cycle tracks, essentially to address the physical risk of accidents to pedestrians and cyclists resulting from the construction and maintenance of footway and cycle track surfaces.
The background to the current safety management culture is considered in the context of footway and cycle track maintenance, with risk measured as the number of injury accidents per km walked or cycled. Detailed advice on risk management is given in relation to policy and categorisation, and on strategic, tactical and operational issues.
From records of third party claims the probability of a person injuring themselves on a defect of given height is derived. The cost of these accidents and the number of accidents resulting in claims is also examined.
Medical literature on aspects of walking, tripping and obstacle clearance is discussed as are the factors which influence whether a person fails to notice a defect, then trips or slips on that defect, then falls, and then injures themselves.
A risk assessment model for footways is developed to calculate the number of accidents on a highway authority’s network. The model is based on deriving the probability that a person walking over a given defect will fall and be injured, and on the assumption that the numbers of defects on the network will be a dynamic balance between the rate at which they appear and the rate at which they are repaired. A software tool containing this model is under development.

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