Safety in Scouting isn’t about forcing Health and Safety down the throats of our volunteers, it’s about ensuring that we can all enjoy Scouting without getting injured.
So who’s responsible for safety in Scouting?… the answer… We all are. It is the responsibility of the adult who organises an activity or an event, be it a game or a camp, to ensure that the activity is conducted in a safe manner without risk to the health of the participant.
We’re not talking about reams of paperwork, we’re talking about a measured approach. Quite often you can have a core set of risk assessments that can be adapted to suit the activity or event e.g. a game. The likelihood is that the majority of games played during an evening will have similar risks: Tables and chairs (remove them if possible), unprotected windows when playing ball games (rules about keeping the ball down) etc., but you should always review your risk assessments in case there is a change of situation (it’s been raining and the hall floor is now wet because people have walked water into the hall, etc).
As a minimum you should have a risk assessment for the building that you are meeting in, a generic risk assessment for your Section meetings (which should be reviewed based on the activities being undertaken) and a risk assessment for all adventurous activities and activities outside of your normal meeting place.
Don’t forget the five stages for risk assessment:
The ‘Safety Issues’ section of the Scout Association’s website has a range of supporting material to help you with keeping us safe.
Despite all the best plans, sometimes things go wrong. Make yourself familiar with the Purple Card as it will guide you through what to do, and what not to do in an emergency.
All incidents that require the attendance of the emergency services must be reported to Gilwell via the Scout Association’s Information Centre (0845 300 1818). Near misses should also be reported. These are incidents that had the potential to harm someone. The Near miss form is an online form which can be found in the ‘Safety Issues’ section of the Scout Association’s website.