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Does your committee ensure all club activity is safe?

It may not be the most exciting part of running an athletics and running club, but adhering to health and safety regulations is vital.

As set out in Club Standards, c lubs have a duty of care towards their members and are responsible for ensuring all club activity is safe. Club committees must ensure that they manage any significant potential risks and help others to develop knowledge and awareness of basic safety requirements.

The planning and implementation of any activities in any situation should take the safety requirements into account to ensure the organisers’ and participants’ safety.

Anyone (including volunteers) that is a coach or leader, with control of a facility (e.g. clubhouse, athletics track), or an event (e.g. road/fell/trail/XC race), has a duty to see that premises, equipment and activities are safe for all participants, officials, spectators, etc. From recreational running to the highest level of track and field, safety should be an integral part of athletics disciplines at all levels.

Benefits

  • Ensure members are accessing club activity safely, protecting them from harm, incidents, and accidents.
  • Give your members confidence they can take part in athletics and running safely​
  • Ensure members have a positive experience​
  • Ensure members know what to do if an accident or incident happens​
  • Provide volunteers will clear processes to follow for club activity or if an incident happens thereby giving volunteer confidence to carry out their role​
  • Save volunteer time down the line​

Key ideas

  • Good health and safety should not stop club activity. Clubs should document a health and safety policy that is relevant to their activities and carry out the required risk assessments. 

  • Clubs could consider appointing a health and safety coordinator or a group of volunteers who oversee health and safety tasks. It’s important to note that actions can be delegated but overall responsibility still lies with the committee.  

  • New club committee members should receive an induction that includes responsibilities regarding health and safety and the associated policies and procedures.

  • Club committee meetings could include a regular agenda item on health and safety to review any policies and risk assessments and discuss any incident, accidents and fatalities.

  • If based at a facility (track and field stadium, leisure centre, pub car park etc.) liaise with the owners on their policy and risk assessments. This shouldn’t replace a club policy or risk assessments.

  • Both the policy and risk assessments should be written down, accepted by the committee and visible to all members

Questions

Yes No
In relation to health and safety, does your club committee understand their role in ensuring club activity is safe?
Great. The committee plays a key role ensuring club activity is safe. It’s important to lead by example and help communicate key messages to club members.
It’s important that the whole club committee understand their responsibility towards health and safety. Consider carrying out a health and safety specific session to ensure all club committee members are up to date.
Does your club have a health and safety policy in place?
Well done. Ensuring this policy is visible to all club members will help everyone understand how to take part in the sport safely.
A great first step for all clubs is to review the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Guidance on Health and Safety for Sport and Leisure activities. The guidance is designed to act as a one-stop-shop for sports clubs. It includes checklists and advice to help those running sports clubs to comply with health and safety law.
Does your club have all the required risk assessments in place?
Great. Ensuring that this is visible to all club members will help everyone understand how to take part in the sport safely.
It’s a risk to your club not carrying out risk assessments as you won’t have any plans to mitigate risk. Your club should have a risk assessment for the venue, activity, leader and coach specific assessments.
Does your club committee know how to manage and report an accident or incident?
Great! Keeping a record of incidents and accidents will help you identify any specific issues or trends that could be prevented.
It’s important that managing an accident or incident is covered in the club health and safety policy. Having a clear process will enable a consistent approach to this. All accidents, incidents and fatalities should be reported to UK Athletics
Does your club committee communicate health and safety policies and risk assessments to club members?
Great. Keeping everyone informed will minimise risk and ensure all are behaving in a safe and responsible way.
To ensure that club activity is safe, policies and procedures should be available for all club members. Any specific risks need to be highlighted to all members. A coach should ensure risks are assessed for each session.

UKA provides a health and safety helpline, supported by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. If you need help  producing a policy or risk assessments, you can call 0121 248 2235 or email athleticsafety@RoSPA.com

Bitesize videos

Play Video

Importance of club health and safety

01:56
Play Video

What clubs should have in place for health and safety?

02:56
Play Video

Reporting incident and accidents

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Related resources

Type Resource Last Updated
Club Health & Safety Webinar
Health and Safety Executive policy templates
UK Athletics risk assessment templates
Club Template - Health and Safety coordinator role description

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