; Risk Assessment - what are the hazards?

Unless you are an adventure based group, most activities will be in or around your usual building. However, a familiar environment shouldn't lead to complacency. When you carry out a risk assessment you literally need to see your environment for the first time; it might help to go through the building with a colleague to help identify the hazards.

Potential premises related hazards on a 'typical club night' may include thinking about:

Trips, slips and falls - does your building have any uneven flooring, wires or cables, dark rooms or corridors? How are spills dealt with?

Substances hazardous to health - are there any chemicals stored in the building? Who can access these and do they use protective clothing?

Falls from a height - Are ladders or other equipment checked and maintained? Do people currently stand on rickety chairs to reach objects in a cupboard?

Strains, sprains and pains - is anyone engaged in heavy lifting? Have they received any training or advice on manual handling techniques?

Equipment and machinery - is equipment regularly checked? Are all young people allowed to access the kitchen area (scalds, burns) unsupervised?

Hygiene - are there adequate toilet and hand washing facilities, including a disabled toilet? Do you prepare food for/with young people? Is anyone trained?

Transport - is your club on a busy main road, or has a well used car park next to it? Do you use a hired minibus or volunteers own transport for activities? Are these adequately insured and maintained?

Stress - do you provide support (training, supervision sessions) to your volunteers? Does your Child Protection Policy include support for volunteers after a young person has disclosed abuse to them?

Fire safety - do you have adequate fire escapes from your building? Does everyone know what to do in the event of a fire? Could a visit from the local Fire Service be included in a club activity to help volunteers and young people get involved? Do you have a 'drop in' approach or a sign-in and no re-entry system?

Document Icon See the sample Risk Assessment for what these hazards would look like in a risk assessment table.

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