Overall canoeing has a good track record for safety management at events; however there have been a number of serious accidents which has demonstrated that more could be done to improve this.
In order to support clubs and canoeing activity at all levels British Canoeing has developed a workshop that highlights ‘duty of care’ issues* and offers simple and effective solutions to manage safety.
The focus of the workshop is to raise awareness of safety management and duty of care issues as they effect clubs and committees, both in their normal everyday activities and also when they may run events.
The workshop provides guidance and support to mitigate responsibilities using the concept of an ‘activity/event span of control’ to bring simple well organised solutions that people can understand and apply during even the most complex process.
We have also introduced a number of measures to standardise practices and with effect from January 2016 events (see event definitions below) must be authorised by the appropriate committee with the following actions undertaken:
- All clubs running club events (as described below) must appoint a safety officer and put in place procedures to ensure the management of event safety appropriate to the level of events that they run.
- Discipline committees and Regional Development Team (where applicable) must appoint two Safety Officers.
- Discipline Committee events must be authorised by the relevant Discipline committee appointed Safety officers.
- All Safety Officers outlined above are required to attend event safety workshop where the event is run under British Canoeing insurance.
*Duty of Care
Anyone promoting and offering sporting and adventure training opportunities have a duty of care to look after all persons involved - whether they are participants, instructors, support staff, volunteers or observers and to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, their health safety and welfare.
This duty encompasses all persons who might be associated with activities whether sport or social related, such as participants, spectators, coaches, instructors, volunteers, contractors, visitors and guests and also members of the public. It is important to note that associated activities, such as socials, fundraising events, prize giving’s are also covered by a duty of care.