Risk Assessment Policy for Club Road Running

1 – INTRODUCTION

This document addresses running events and activities intended for adults only (i.e. Club members who are over the age of 16 years).

To ensure that the Barton & District Athletics Club (the Club) minimise risk to its members and to the general public and to ensure that the Club continues to meet the requirements of UK Athletics (UKA) it is necessary to ensure that all events and training takes place in a safe environment.

This document is intended to satisfy UK Athletics and to demonstrate that the Club have carried out a series of Risk Assessments and have achieved a level of risk that is As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP).

Due to the nature of the activities that the Club engage in it is difficult to mitigate every area of risk and therefore the Run Leaders must undertake individual ‘Duty of Care’ for the athletes under their control. This requirement is highlighted further within this document. 

Although the Club is ultimately accountable for the way that it does business some of the accountability and responsibilities are within the remit of the Run Leader who is in charge of the session. The Run Leaders can devolve some of the responsibilities to the athletes by means of a robust series of briefings prior to the commencement of the session; for example, in the case of running sessions, if the Run Leader has briefed athletes on the correct method of crossing public roads and that they are to run only on the pavement areas and keep off the road it is then the athletes responsibility to adhere to these instructions and if they don’t comply the athlete becomes responsible for their own actions. 

Risk assessment can be an ongoing process and therefore all Run Leaders must be able to carry out a satisfactory risk assessment of the area they are operating in. Training for this is carried out on the various coaching courses that UKA run and all Run Leaders must have a UKA or equivalent recognised coaching license to ensure Barton & District Athletics Club fulfils its obligations. 

Risk assessment does not only serve to protect the athlete, we also have a responsibility to ensure that non-participants, property and animals are not harmed by anyone carrying out activities whilst operating as a member of Barton & District Athletics Club. This responsibility only applies during Barton & District Athletics Club organised activities and does not apply to any activity outside of the Club’s control.

Responsibility is the obligation to carry forward an assigned task to its successful conclusion. With responsibility goes authority to direct and take the necessary action to ensure success. Responsibility can be devolved to another person as long as that person is deemed fit to assume the responsibility. 

Barton & District Athletics Club trains and races in the endurance event capacity of running events;

This document covers the risks associated with running.

Although Run Leader are insured by UK Athletics this does not absolve them of their responsibilities. 

UK Athletics insurance can be viewed by accessing the UKA website at: http://www.uka.org.uk/governance/insurance

All of the Club’s training sessions are carried out on either roads, off-road or cross country, therefore the risk assessments below are to be used in conjunction with an ongoing risk assessment conducted by the Run Leader carrying out the session.

If at any stage the Run Leader feels that the area being entered is not suitable then they may opt for a more suitable area but they must ensure that one of the other Run Leaders is aware of the change in venue, if possible prior to the change, if not after the session and with an explanation of the reason for change, i.e. weather conditions, surface conditions, safe areas to train, ability of the athletes, road closures and diversions. The purpose of this is to ensure that an ongoing risk assessment of all venues is carried out and any perceived difficulties are highlighted to the Run Leaders for future planning of session training areas or routes.

In addition to this risk assessment races and events organised by Barton & District Athletics Club will have an additional and event specific risk assessment.  

 

2 - ACTIVITIES AND ASSOCIATED RISKS

The risk matrix for BADAC General Road Running Group Assessment (RA01) activities is designed to be generic but there are some areas that are environment specific and these are covered below. 

Run Leaders must be aware of these risks and how to avoid them:

2.1 Common 

  • No headsets or personal music players to be worn during training sessions.
  • Do not coach in high traffic areas.
  • If possible, run against the traffic.
  • Follow the Highway Code when running on the roads.
  • Be aware of changing weather conditions and, if necessary, return to the club or call off the session.

2.2 Road Running

  • Cars.
  • Cyclists.
  • Pedestrians.
  • Animals.
  • Keep large groups off unpaved roads; especially if runners have different abilities.

2.3 Off Road Running

  • Uneven ground.
  • Potholes.
  • Slippery surfaces.
  • Debris.
  • Loose stones on pathways.
  • Ditches and streams.

2.4 Cross Country Running

  • Tree roots and other trip hazards.
  • Animals.
  • Overhanging branches.

2.5 Running at Night

  • Runs must take place in lit areas and on pavements.
  • Unless an organised Head Torch Run where every athlete running must have and wear their own head torch. 

 

3 - RESPONSIBILITIES

Everyone has a responsibility for safety but some Club members have specific responsibilities which are detailed below. 

3.1 Club Responsibilities

The Barton & District Athletics Club are responsible for ensuring that all Run Leaders are:

  • Are trained by UK Athletics, or an equivalent recognised body.
  • Hold a current valid coaching license.
  • Are suitable for the group that they are leading.
  • Sessions are planned by a suitably qualified Run Leader.
  • Assistant Run Leaders or below cannot change a session without the direct permission of a Run Leader.
  • Run Leaders/Assistants are able to carry out an ongoing risk assessment.
  • Run Leaders/Assistants are fully aware of their responsibilities.
  • Club members are made aware of their individual responsibilities.

3.2 Coach / Group Leader Responsibilities

A mobile telephone should be carried or available by at least one member of the group, preferably the Run Leader, to call for assistance if required.

3.2.1 Pre Session

  • Check athletes’ health / injuries.
  • Warm up the group sufficiently for the session.

3.2.2 Running

  • Check reflective / hi-visibility tops during darkness - October to March.
  • Warn participants of obstacles on route.
  • Reinforce responsibility for crossing roads.
  • Reiterate procedure for regrouping at crossings and when requested by the Run Leader.

3.2.3 During Session

  • Ongoing assessment of route by Run Leader, adapt if necessary.
  • Carefully monitor participants for difficulties.
  • If terrain unsuitable, snow, ice, lightning, etc, abandon run and return to centre if conditions are deemed unsafe by the Run Leader.

3.2.4 Post Session

  • Cool down correctly after the session.
  • Debrief participants.
  • Training points to be passed on to other Run Leaders, if an Assistant Run Leader has led the group

3.3 Athletes Responsibilities

At Barton & District Athletics Club membership does not just cover those runners that are a member of UK Athletics. All members expected to take responsibility for their own actions and safety

This does not absolve the Run Leaders for ensuring that venues are assessed properly and are deemed safe by a risk assessment to ensure the risk is at a level that is at least ALARP for this type of activity. 

Athletes must ensure that the Run Leader is aware if they:

  • Have an injury or medical condition, either before the start of the session or during.
  • Leave the group for any reason during the session.
  • Notice any hazards or incidents that may have an impact on themselves or other athletes during the session

There are some situations that require the Run Leaders to take responsibility for some individuals and all Run Leaders must be aware of these situations. 

ALARP = As Low As Reasonably Practical 

 

4 - INJURY POLICY

If a participant is injured then, dependent upon the session type and type and severity of injury, either: 

  • They watch the session until it is complete, or
  • They return to the start point in the company of a Run Leader, not involved in monitoring the session, or other participant, or
  • If required, an ambulance is called and at least two people stay with them until the ambulance has arrived and they have been informed they are no longer required.
  • The people remaining should be of the same sex as the injured athlete, where possible.

The Run Leader in charge of the session is responsible for ensuring that the Accident Book is filled out to ensure all the details of the incident have been recorded correctly, including any witness statements. 

The details must be passed to a member of the Committee to ensure all actions have been carried out. This is a requirement for the following reasons: 

  • To ensure a hazard is identified correctly and any trends identified, i.e. an unsafe route where a number of athletes have tripped over.
  • For legal reasons if the injured party opts to report the Club or Run Leader for damages regarding the injuries sustained.
  • If the injured party has long term or subsequent health problems that are a result of the accident.

 

Click here for current RA01-General Road Running Risk Assessment Grid

 

REF: BADAC04 - Risk Assessment Policy for Road Running

Created:  16th July 2018

Date of Last Review: 30th July 2018

Date of Next Review: 30th July 2019