Effective Sports Risk Management
Indoor climbing gyms are a fun way to practice climbing in a controlled environment. As an owner or manager of a climbing wall, though, there are many things that should be done to ensure that it is a safe environment for its users.
When first setting up the routes, modular holds and ropes, be sure to follow the manufacturer guidelines for all installations. Once the installation has occurred, routinely inspect the wall, holds, ropes and anchors for wear or displacement. If possible, it is best to have the manufacturer also routinely inspect the wall. Before installing a new route, wash all modular holds and the climbing wall. Ultimately, though, each day prior to use, the facility should be inspected for cleanliness and for safety.
I have vivid memories from my childhood of taking swim lessons in indoor pools in the wintertime and of playing with friends in outdoor pools in the summertime. Although when I was young I was nearly oblivious to the dangers of the pool. While I was having fun playing in the pool, the staff was continuously trying to mitigate risk.
There are many risks associated with running a swimming pool. However, some of these risks may be managed. For instance, visible signage should be posted using clear and simple language describing the rules of the pool. One such rule should include a no-running policy. The no-running policy should be enforced on the pool deck knowing that young kids are tempted to run and jump into the pool. Even if the surface is a concrete deck, it can still get slippery, particularly when used by wet, bare feet. In addition to the no-running policy, the pool deck should be regularly monitored and maintained to minimize slip and falls. Regardless, should an incident occur it should be recorded in a log and reviewed to determine if any additional risk management procedures may reduce future harm.
Growing up going to the movies was always a special experience. I would get a tub of greasy buttered popcorn as I settled in to allow my mind to be whisked away on a magical adventure. One particular time at the theater I went to the theater to watch Forrest Gump and my magical experience was disrupted. During the course of the movie I watched Forrest overcome great adversity with his disability, in the military, as a shrimping boat captain and in his relationships with others. However, right at a critical scene near the end of the film, the one where Forrest is reading a letter while standing over Jenny’s grave, the film broke. This was during a time when movies were not digital, but that actual film was threaded into a projector.
In the unlikely event that someone is injured at your charity golf event, it is a good idea to prepare an incident report so that information can be recorded at the scene and when memories are fresh. This should be done by your organization even if golf course personnel are preparing an incident report as well.
You should have an incident report form that is available to personnel so that it can be filled out shortly after a person reports an injury. Before the golf tournament, designate a responsible and capable person that will be in charge of this task. It is best to start collecting the information from the injured person and/or witnesses immediately after the incident occurs. For example, if someone trips and falls on the golf course or is hit by a golf ball or club, questions should be asked of the injured person as listed above immediately. It is also a good idea to take photographs of the scene and injured party.
Lawsuits commonly arise out of injuries from falls on and around bleachers. One source has estimated that close to 20,000 people are injured from bleachers every year. http://www.mars-bleachers.com/story1.html. Bleacher accidents can also cause death.
For any facility, organization, or event that utilizes bleachers, the following tips should be helpful in preventing injuries:
When it is hot outside many people are substituting exercise on dry land for the swimming pool, lake or ocean. Swimming is often touted as a no impact exercise with little to no risk of injury. However, swimming laps may cause repetitive use injuries, particularly in shoulders.
Swimmers can also develop injuries in their feet from kicking and spine from twisting, but those problems are far less common. Up to 70% of competitive swimmers suffer from “swimmer’s shoulder”, which may develop after thousands of stroke revolutions from swimming lap after lap in the pool. Also, consider that those thousands of stroke revolutions may be done after little or no warm up and using improper swimming technique. It is no wonder that shoulder pain from rotator cuff injury develops.
After reading my “Part I” blog on negligence, you may be curious to know more about how your organization could be exposed to and shielded from liability. Below are five additional things about negligence that should be shared with all members of your organization.
Negligence should be of concern for all sports organizations. Below are five things about negligence that should be shared with all members of your organization.
Last night while walking by some batting cages, I observed a middle-aged man swearing at a young teenage boy and telling him that he was worthless and pathetic. There was no team and there was no game, just a single man humiliating a little boy with his angry words following what must have been perceived as an unsuccessful batting practice. I can only assume the verbal abuse was rained down on the boy by his father in a likely failed effort to motivate the child to improve his athletic performance. However, this negative treatment from father to son, can have serious psychological consequences on the child and might be classified as psychological abuse.
On Saturday, I was looking forward to swimming a mile at my favorite lap pool. To my surprise, I opened the door that separates the women’s shower from the pool and immediately tripped over a hazard that was right in front of the door. There were 2 cones (blue, not orange) stacked and placed in front of the door! I picked up the cones and put them off to the side about 5 feet from the door. Shaken, I walked up to the lifeguard and a swim instructor and told them that I had tripped over cones that had been placed in front of the door. I was told that I should tell the front desk. I limped away to reserve my lane with a kickboard and was surprised that no one inquired as to whether I might be hurt or whether an incident report might be necessary.