It is extremely important for teachers to consider the health and safety of their students as they plan any activity with their class. A workplace risk assessment can be an effective tool to get teachers contemplating all of the risks involved in school activities. Here are some of the risks that you may need to contemplate for school sports carnivals.
Work out how to eliminate or minimise risks
Workplace risk assessment requires running each risk through a hierarchy of controls, to determine if the risk can be removed or need to be controlled in other ways. These controls are, in order;
- Personal protective equipment
Each risk should be checked to see if it could be treated by each level of control, such as removing dangerous activities from the schedule of the sports carnival or ensuring that people are taking breaks between events and using sun protection during the sun. Administrative controls need to be enforced with children, as they may not know or understand why they need to obey certain procedures when preparing for their sports.
It is important to look at the relative severity of each risk. Risks that could result in a death or disabling of a child or staff member, such as collisions with cars, need to be treated more seriously than issues which could result in minor first aid injuries, such as grazes from falling while running. The more severe the injury from a risk could be, the more important it is to look at ways to remove the source of the risk from the carnival.
Estimate the likelihood of each event
It is also important to estimate the likelihood of each event, as some outcomes are much more likely that others. Risks that are uncommon but serious, such as the risk of anaphylaxis, may warrant extra training of staff or multiple levels of control working in parallel, such as administrative controls working alongside engineering controls. The exact nature of the correct controls will depend on the people attending the carnival, the venue layout and the types of sport planned for the day.
Equally, if there are some common but minor injuries, such as sunburn, it can be a good idea to place extra controls, such as bringing additional shade to the ground, along with getting staff and children to wear hats and sunscreen.
If you are not confident in doing a workplace risk assessment for your next sports carnival it can be a good idea to get professional advice from a company that specialises in offering advice on workplace safety.