Welcome to the Health and Safety page of the Derbyshire Scout Association website.
This page is here to help you with general safety advice, pointers to where to go to for information, and how to contact me if you need help.
We all have a duty to ensure that whatever we do is conducted in a safe manner 'so far as is reasonably practicable'.
Roughly translated, this means that what we do whilst scouting, be it meetings, activities or camps/sleepovers, we have to ensure that everyone goes home in one piece. My role is to advise and support you to make sure that scouting within Derbyshire is carried out with minimal harm and injuries.
Health and safety is not an excuse to stop fun, nor to prevent activities from going ahead. Its simply a set of rules and advice to make sure activities can be carried out without unnecessary risk and therefore minimize injuries or damage.
There are a lot of resources to help you achieve this. The scout website has lots of information.
If you need help applying it, or if you have a specific health and safety issue you need a hand with, please get in touch. You can do this by using the contact form.
Accident statistics from Peak 2015
No injuries investigated gave cause for concern due to a lack of supervision or inappropriate instructions or activities.
Overall, there were a few points to consider:
Risk Assessment using the Vowels AEIOU
This is an easy way to carry out a risk assessment by using the vowels. It's a simple way to teach Young Leaders and anyone else not familiar with carrying out a risk assessment.
This is how it works... Go through the vowels, noting down the following:
What activity is being carried out? A game, craft activity, camp, a walk, lighting camp fires, chopping wood, cooking etc.
What environment will the activity take part in? Inside the scout hut, outside in a park, a field (potentially with rabbit holes, tree roots...), in the dark, wet and muddy... etc.
Who is taking part? As well as the obvious size and age differences between Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers, and Leaders, there is also maturity, strength, and understanding, as well as an ability to follow (or not follow) instructions. There may be an individual who has particular needs that need to be catered for.
This depends on the activity, the environment and who is involved. Consider all possibilities. This could be injuries to individuals, and damage to equipment.
This section is the most important. Once all the other parts have been noted, now decide what can be done about particular risks/things that could go wrong. This might include supervision, the ratio of leaders to young people. It may include ensuring the young people have suitable footwear and clothing for an outdoor activity. When an activity is taking part in the dark, what lighting will be available? If the idea is to carry out an activity in the dark, can you check for trip hazards before it starts? Are there any areas that will be out of bounds, and how will you ensure they are out of bounds? If a craft activity includes using glue, paint, glitter etc. what can be done to make sure there are no disasters, either for clothing, flooring, or eyes? How can sharp tools and craft knives/scissors be used safely when either doing crafts, cooking or chopping wood? What will be put in place when using fires?
It's important that you carry out a risk assessment - it isn't important what it looks like.
You can use something as simple as the form below: