A Sports and Social Club is often the hub of the local community. As the manager, owner or committee member, it is your responsibility to establish a risk management framework to mitigate possible hazards as they arise.
Injuries to members of the public, club members or staff could result in significant claims under the liability section of your Sports & Social Club Insurance policy.
Duties and Responsibilities
Before your club hosts any type of event, be it sporting or a simple social evening, the proper precautionary risk measures must been taken. To better regulate the possible hazards, you may want to appoint someone within the committee to act as risk management officer for your club to oversee and enforce all the various measures.
Key Actions and Responsibilities
- Establish a set of club regulations for members, guests and sporting spectators (e.g. appropriate behaviour, safety procedures, whether or not they are allowed to bring beverage and or food into the club)
- Enforce age limits if your club sells alcohol or you host community activities or parties on your premises that provide alcohol
- Training your volunteers and employees in first aid
- Additionally, before any large event, contact emergency health services to ascertain if they should provide ambulance or first aid support
- Inspect and maintain the condition of any stands, railings and the pitch itself to reduce the risk of injury.
- If you identify any hazards that may result in an injury or illness, close the impacted area of the club until a professional can make the proper repairs
- Providing personal protective equipment such as goggles or earplugs if members are carrying out any maintenance or groundwork
- Ensure sufficient and appropriate access for people with disabilities
- Outlining a thorough set of rules, regulations and guidance for any groups that rent your premises ensuring that sufficient training is given
While a significant amount of responsibility falls to the committee and management team, it should not be overlooked that club members are also responsible for adhering to club rules and assisting in mitigating risk.
All players, coaches and social members should be aware of who the risk management officer is and of the specific safety regulations that are outlined in your risk management scheme. Should they see any instances of breach or violation, they should be aware of their authority to take immediate action.
Sports and Social Club Related Hazards
A Sports and Social Club has a duty of care to the safety of the each-and-every individual who enters the club. Therefore, you and your risk management officer must conduct a risk assessment to identify any of the following hazards:
- Improperly secured equipment or temporary structures that could collapse and cause injury – we have all heard horror stories of cricket roller accidents!
- Uncontained fires caused by improperly set up or unattended barbecues and bonfires
- The spread of communicable blood-borne pathogens or other diseases due to insufficient first aid or unhygienic facilities
- Physical assaults or altercation between attendees (the improperly regulated distribution of alcohol can contribute to such instances)
- Incorrectly installed fireworks, which can cause injuries, explosions and fires
- Extreme weather
While this is not an exhaustive list of hazards that can occur at a sports or social club, it does represent those that may be most common.
A thorough inspection of your premises before, during and after an event can curb the development of hazards. Neglecting to identify and manage risks on your premises can lead to significant fines, reputation damage and even legal action.
Managing Sporting Event Risk
Sporting events, be it the local cup final or a five-a-side competition, all bring their own unique risks. You should review these five aspects of the set-up and management process to identify any possible hazards if they arise and protect anyone on the premises:
- Review your sports governing body (SGB) liability policy to ensure that your club is adequately insured and that there are no gaps in the cover from the central policy to your own individual Sports Club Insurance.
- Install informative signs in the dressing rooms and lavatories detailing your club’s ‘blood rule’, first-aid and hygiene policy as well as the medical emergency plan.
- Before and after an event, clean the changing rooms as well as the lavatories with disinfectant to prevent the spread of disease and infection.
- Depending on the severity of poor weather, either firmly secure any temporary structures and equipment or disassemble the structures and store them indoors along with any equipment.
- Regulate the amount of alcohol that is sold to customers, and if an individual appears inebriated, cut them off. A central SGB liability policy does not provide cover for the operation of a licensed premises and such risks will sit firmly with your club itself.
By reviewing these five aspects of setup and management of your sports club, you and your risk management officer will be able to identify and curb hazards as they develop.
The Importance of Risk Management
The sports and social club is an important part of any community — it is the place where individuals gather to compete, socialise and celebrate. By implementing a clear and structured risk management framework, you will protect the clubs interests as well as the safety and well-being of all parties.
FREE Insurance Review
Insync specialises in cover for clubs across the UK. We can arrange tailored Sports and Social Club Insurance to protect your key assets and liabilities providing you with peace of mind that the club is protected against unforeseen losses.
You can request a quotation online, alternatively, why not book a free review with one of our expert Gurus who can help you find the right level of cover at the right price.