Health and Safety – who’s in control?

Now whilst I don’t pretend to be an expert in health and safety, I have been around clubs for long enough to know the importance of paying heed to our responsibilities in terms of health and safety*.  So today’s post concentrates on just some of the things your club could be doing to minimise your risks.

I would suggest that the first port of call should always be your sports National Governing Body (NGB).  Affiliation is key and depending upon your sport may carry the benefits of public liability insurance cover, guidance on health and safety procedures, advice on suitable equipment and rule changes, access to officials, coaching resources and training. However never assume the scope of the benefits received as part of affiliation, check what is and isn’t included with NGB affiliation on an annual basis.

Secondly consider your duty of care,  this covers more than just providing your sport at your venue to your members and should cover activities such as:

  • Loaning equipment to others
  • Fundraising activities (sponsored runs, walks etc)
  • Hosting fixtures, tournaments and competitions
  • Selling food at events
  • Having spectators at matches and tournaments

It is a given that the club committee should provide a safe environment for all Club activities from the normal training and match day activity to social events and tours. The Committee should ensure that your safety policy, procedures and codes of practice are up to date and that this information is communicated effectively to members. You should also ensure that the risks associated with all Club activities have been considered, reported and are reviewed annually.

Now whilst this sounds like a lot of hard work, once the initial assessment is made and the club procedure written, it just requires someone to sense check and review on a regular basis.

Consider who holds responsibility for each of the following areas:

  • Club Safety Policy
  • Risk Assessments
  • Code of Conduct
  • Accident Reporting
  • Training
  • Management of Activities
  • Equipment safety
  • Travel policy
  • Child Welfare policy

It is well worth convening a meeting of those responsible to check that all is up to date so that you have the security of moving forwards knowing your club is compliant and a safe place for your members to be.

*Please do take further advice from your NGB and / or independent health and safety experts who can help you ensure you are compliant with all legislation,

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Posted in management, Sports Clubs

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