A Quantock Orienteers guide
Please read this alongside our policy documents, in particular the Safety Policy and Covid Safe Operating Procedures.
According to British Orienteering rules, every orienteering event or activity must have a written risk assessment.
It is the Planner and Organiser's duty to prepare the risk assessment. Each may have a different focus, with the Planner focusing on the courses and the Organiser focusing on marshalling, for instance.
The Controller must check and sign the risk assessment. So if the Controller is not happy with the arrangements then changes have to be made before the risk assessment can be signed off.
For activities without a formal controller (eg. JOG) the Planner and Organiser must sign.
Why is risk assessment required?
Risk assessment is a normal part of most sports.
Risk assessment is a process that should result in reducing safety risks down to a reasonable level, for example by:
- avoiding unnecessary exposure to danger
- by prompting actions which will reduce the risk
It is not possible to eliminate all risk, so accidents may still happen. Written risk assessments are highly likely to be referred to in the event of any claim or inquiry. A written risk assessment will be very important in defending the club and its officials.
This is usually the biggest risk.
It is a very bad idea for junior courses (i.e. white, yellow and probably orange) to cross traffic. Adult courses should be ok, providing the crossing point is in a reasonably safe place to cross. Additional controls are often placed near road crossings to force competitors to cross in a safe place.
- Do courses cross roads?
- Do courses cross the parking area or the access road?
- If the answer to either the above is yes, where exactly and what kind of road?
Safety can be enhanced by a road crossing marshal. But note the marshal can only act as a look-out for runners, they have no authority to try to control traffic on a public road.
If you are not happy with the arrangements, change the course designs.
Ideally we would have a dedicated, qualified first aider on hand at all times. This is a requirement for larger events such as a QOFL, but with the limited people available at things like JOG this is rarely possible and the first-aider may also have another job such as download.
Extreme weather can be a danger, particularly in mid-winter. Occasionally event organisers require competitors to wear or carry waterproof cagoules, but that is only common on long distance events. However, the biggest danger from the weather may be the effect on road safety for people driving to the event. Consider cancellation if the roads are not safe.
Download whichever of these forms best fits your event. If your event is non-standard, you might find you have to take bits from more than one.
Read through the standard measures. For each one, if it is appropriate for your event, just put Yes in the first blank column. If it isn't, put No and then create special measures to make it suitably safe.
If there is a hazard not covered, create a new row in the table and fill it in.