RISK MANAGEMENT (reproduced/modified from the BARLA Health and Safety Document)
Effectively there are two types of RISK in sport including Rugby League. These are;
Which are those considered to be ‘part and parcel’ of the game. They are inevitable and acceptable, resulting from a player’s decision to participate.

Those that is not inherent to the sport.

All those that take part in sport, including officers, coaches, medics, equipment suppliers, administrators and the players themselves, must be able to recognise and understand their legal responsibilities, to safeguard the well-being of those with who they are taking part.

The fundamental aim of Risk Management is to maintain the highest reduction of injury possible.

Not all injuries can be avoided, but for those that are preventable the unacceptable risks, must be eliminated.

RISK Management Practice Checklist
The following procedure can greatly reduce the liability of those associated with sporting events;

1. Inspect training and playing venues periodically and thoroughly to ensure that there are no potentially dangerous defects present.
2. Place warning or other protective devices at the site of any hazard and make sure that such warnings are understood.
3. Explain the inherent risks involved in participation in Rugby League to the players so that they are aware of the dangers.
4. Inform the players of the potential liability should they flagrantly violate a rule and injure as a result.
5. Never instruct a player to commit an act which is outside the scope of rules and customs of the game.
6. Guarantee our coaches are qualified to perform their duties by reviewing their qualifications and providing continuing education opportunities.
7. Make sure our players receive proper instructions regarding equipment used for Rugby League.
8. Have a QUALIFIED Coach supervise all training and matches as stated in the Coach Education Programme and BARLA guidelines.
9. Provide a SAFE transportation when travelling to and from matches.
10. Clearly outline medical procedures and rules to be observed should an accident occur and have a QUALIFIED Person on hand at matches.
11. Thoroughly inspect all equipment used on a regular basis and make sure that it complies with all safety standards.
12. The Club must have mandatory Public Liability and Personal Accident Insurance.

To help examine the potential RISKS that can exist within the Club a Risk Assessment procedure must be carried out.

The 5 steps below are taken from the Health and Safety Executive booklet (INDG163) and are used as the basis of the Risk Assessment Checklist;

STEP One Look for the Hazards

The Club Member who is undertaking the risk assessment should walk around the area under examination and look at what could reasonably be expected to cause harm. Concentrate on significant hazards, which could result in serious harm or affect several people. This should include inspection of equipment, tackle shields, tackle bags etc. and training sessions where balls may be left around etc.

STEP Two Decide who might be harmed and how

Do not forget visiting Teams. Can children climb onto our property, can people stray onto our property without permission. Has anything been left lying around. Should any area be cordoned off? Ensure all equipment, chemicals, gas bottles etc are locked away. Take preventative action but check with the Health and Safety Department or local council with regard to the legality of any deterrent that is likely to cause injury such as barb wire and broken glass.

STEP Three: Evaluate the RISKS and decide whether existing precautions are adequate or more should be done

Consider how likely it is that each hazard could cause harm. You should ask yourself @What are we doing already to prevent or minimise the hazard causing actual harm?’ This will determine whether or not you need to do more to reduce the RISK. Even after all precautions have been taken some RISK usually remains. What you have to decide for each significant hazard is whether this remaining risk is high, medium or low.

First ask yourself whether you have done all the things that the law says you have got to do. The real aim is to make risks small by adding to your precautions as necessary. If you find that something needs to be done, draw up an ‘action list’ and give priority to any remaining risks which are high, and/or those which could affect most people. In taking action ask yourself;

Can I get rid of the Hazard altogether?
If not, How can I Control the RISKS so that Harm is Unlikely?

In Controlling RISKS apply these Principles, if possible in the following order;
Try a less risky option
Prevent access to the Hazard (eg by guarding)
Organise work to reduce Exposure to the Hazard
Issue Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Provide Welfare facilities (eg washing facilities for removal of contamination and first aid)

STEP Four: Recording the findings

As the Club is not an employer by law we do not need to write down the results of an assessment, however it is recommended by Scotland Rugby League that all risk assessments be recorded. The assessment should include the significant hazards and the conclusion drawn is high, medium or low.

Examples of significant hazards are electrical installations; checked and found to be sound, changing rooms checked for loose or sharp tiles etc. The report must be submitted to the management committee.

The risk assessment must be suitable and sufficient. The Club needs to be able to show that;
A proper check was made
You asked who might be affected
You dealt with all the obvious hazard, taking into account the number of people who could be involved
The precautions are reasonable and the remaining risk is low.

The written record must be kept for future reference as it can help if an inspector askes what precautions we have taken or if we have become involved in an action for civil liability or an insurance claim. It can also remind us to keep an eye on a particular hazards and precautions. It also helps to show we have done what the law requires.

A member of the management committee other than the person carrying out the assessment must sign each risk assessment and it is then dated. Doing this indicates when the review is due or when it was carried out. The risk assessment must be formally noted at the management committee meeting.

STEP Five: Review your assessment and revise if it is necessary

Any significant change should be added to the assessment to take account of the new hazard. Assessments will be reviewed from time to time to make sure the precautions are still working effectively.

Periodic assessment of the Club facilities and venues are carried out using SRL13-011 Pre-Game Safety Checklist.