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Dalton Community Association




RISK ASSESSMENT POLICY

Dalton Community Association
21 Nelson Street
Dalton in Furness
Cumbria
LA15 8AF

1.POLICY STATEMENT
It is extremely important that safety aspects are considered whilst ventures are still in their planning stages.
This will involve undertaking a Risk Assessment which is the systematic process of identifying hazards,
evaluating the risk they may pose and developing strategies to safeguard participants.

Factors that need to be assessed in order to establish acceptable risk levels are likely to include

1.Hazard factors.

2.The employees competence experience and qualifications.

3.The degree of adequate planning essential for safety.

4.The size of group and ratio of leaders.

5.Group members age, competence, experience, fitness, willingness, temperament etc.

6.The process and extent of preparation, briefing and training of participants.

7.The timing of the venture and the environment in which it takes place.

8.The types of activities to be undertaken and their technical difficulty.

9.The equipment and resources available.

10.The likelihood of an accident occurring.

11.The probable injury in the event of an accident.

12.The proximity of emergency services.

13.The ability to alter plans as circumstances change.

The above list is not comprehensive but will provide a framework, the aim of which must always be to contain risks to acceptable levels.

It should be noted that there is a significant difference between the DEGREE OF RISK as perceived by the group member and the
ACTUAL RISK involved in a particular activity.

For example, the first-time people practice a capsize drill in a closed cockpit of a kayak they perceive a high degree of risk.
In a well-structured session where the above factors are evaluated by an experienced kayak coach, the actual risk is very small indeed.
It is often the difference between the perceived and the actual risk which accounts for the popularity of many such activities.
Sound evaluation should take place constantly so that the actual risk is minimized without reducing the value of the experience.

What may be appropriate for one group may be deemed inappropriate for another.

A visit, which on one day is assessed as involving acceptable risk factor, may involve an unacceptable degree of risk on another because of,
for example, significant different weather conditions. In such a case the visit would be altered to better serve the needs of the group.

2.PROCEDURE

2.1 Assessing the Risk
Each individual event/activity needs to be analysed in order to establish the level of potential risk for participants.

To assess the risk on a particular activity, each event/activity needs to be given a risk factor of Low, Medium or High.
If an activity is given a high-risk factor it does not mean that it is dangerous but rather, that a higher degree of potential risk is evident.
If an activity is deemed to have a high-risk factor, this activity should only be carried out with, for example,
a higher than normal staff ratio, staff with specialist qualification, an increase in equipment levels,
in good weather conditions or at certain times in the year or with certain participants who have already undergone a degree of training.

2.2 Near Misses
Near Misses must be reported the same as if an accident had occurred.
They must then be incorporated in to the risk assessment for the particular activity the next time it is to take place.

2.3 The Group
All individuals who jointly constitute a group will have a variety of needs and abilities.
Careful planning and organisation is therefore required to ensure that no person is inadvertently discriminated against.
What may be a Low Risk activity for many individuals could well be a High-Risk activity for others.

It is important that detailed information about the needs of group members are identified early on in the planning stage.

Do any individual members

1.Have any disabilities?

2.Have any special dietary requirements?

3.Have conditions which prevent them or cause them difficulty in taking part in certain activities?

4.Have a medical condition and/or require medical clearance?

5.Take regular medication?

6.Need individual support or supervision?

A WRITTEN ASSESSMENT MUST BE PRODUCED PRIOR TO ANY ACTIVITY TAKING PLACE.

THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR UNDERTAKING A RISK ASSESSMENT IS DOWN TO THE INDIVIDUAL/INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE RUNNING THE ACTIVITY/COURSE.

RISK ASSESSMENTS MUST BE RETAINED BY THE INDIVIDUAL/INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE COMPILED THEM FOR EVIDENCE SHOULD IT BE NEEDED.

RISK ASSESSMENTS FOR THE COMMUNITY CENTRE MUST BE REDONE EVERY 3 MONTHS THE PLACE MAY NOT CHANGE BUT INDIVIDUALS DO.

RISK ASSESSMENTS FOR THE COMMUNITY CENTRE MUST BE RETAINED FOR EVIDENCE SHOULD IT BE NEEDED.