How to maintain a safe working environment in a sporting organisation

The main difference between safety and security in a sporting organisation is that security involves keeping perpetrators out of the organisation as well as making sure that the property of sporting staff, customers as well as the organisation secure against theft, damage or loss. Safety involves the safety measures which the organisation puts in place to make sure that the business is safe from accidents happening in their environment.

Safety in a sporting organisation is focused on making the working and serving environment free of accidents or injuries that staff and customers can suffer as a result of negligent behaviour or faulty equipment. It also aims to inform and educate the staff and customers regarding the measures taken to ensure their safety.

Safety measures are honed around hazards that can occur in areas in which sporting activities take place as well as those areas in which refreshments are served after matches or tournaments. These hazards must be identified and corrected before anybody is injured as a result thereof.

What is a ‘hazard’ in a sporting environment?

Remember that a ‘hazard’ is anything that could possibly cause damage, harm or injury to people or to property in a sporting organisation. Therefore, a hazard is a source of danger, in other words, anything that might be dangerous, such as slippery floors.

The staff are always responsible for taking note of and reporting any incident or anything that they see which may pose a danger to themselves, guests, colleagues and any visitors who may be around. Training is on-going and should happen bi-annually in order to be effective. Signage is placed over the dangerous areas to serve as a constant visual reminder of the dangers.

What to do in an emergency situation?

The best method of ensuring that the organisation says free of danger is to make sure that staff members know exactly what is required of them when the emergency situation arises. The most common item here is the fire evacuation procedure which sporting organisations are required to practise at least three times a year.

This procedure has to be explained to all new staff as well as documented at certain points. Signage in all the work areas must be placed on the route that has to be taken in the event that people who are not familiar with the route can safely evacuate should the need arise.

Accidents are prone to happen in all workplaces however it is the procedures that the sporting organisation has in place to regulate them which govern how safe the organisation is from making these accidents a frequent occurrence.

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Any serious injuries must be referred for medical attention

This is usually paid for by Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases. A sporting organisation who abide strictly with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) are certified and will then pay a monthly fee towards the compensation fund which is usually for these incidents.

Accident reports must be submitted to the relevant authorities and should the inspector deem it necessary, they will inspect the workplace to make sure that future incidents are avoided by preventative measures that the health and safety committee puts in place. Accidents which are not reported can lead to further accidents of a similar nature, which could lead to serious injuries if not prevented.

Taking care of the health and safety of a sporting organisation is just one of the sports manager’s tasks.

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If you want to find out what else the sports manager is responsible for, we would recommend that you do our sports management course. For more information, please follow this link.

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