Safety checklist for Executive Committees
(Published September 2021, replacing August 2020.)
This is aimed to help all Executive Committee Members fulfil their roles and responsibilities in managing and supporting safety in Scouts.
It's the responsibility of all those involved in Scouting to seek, so far as is reasonably practicable, to ensure that all activities are conducted in a safe manner without risk to the health of the participants.
The safety of both young people and adults is important. A large part of this is about being organised, asking the right questions and doing things that will help safety without taking away a sense of adventure appropriate to the age group. This is a checklist of common hazards that will help you assess some of the risks you are likely to have and put suitable controls in place. Additional support can be found at scouts.org.uk/safety or alternatively, speak to your Executive Committee Chair or line manager, Safety Adviser or others locally.
All Executive Committee Members must read the Safety Policy (POR Chapter 2) to understand their specific responsibilities within it.
2. Your responsibilities within the Safety Policy
POR rule 2.5 explains the responsibilities different members have within the Safety policy. Remember there are some responsibilities that all adults hold and others specific to your role as an Executive Committee Member.
- Make sure you follow this policy, and engage and consult with members on day-to-day health and safety conditions. Make sure it’s on the agenda at all meetings.
- Take responsibility for making sure that these requirements are met for every premises or location operated by a Scouting concern.
Managing safety locally
Here are some practical tips on how to put into practice the responsibilities you hold as a Executive Committee Member within Scouts.
- Check all adults (including leaders, managers, supporters and Executive Committee Members) have undertaken the relevant training for their role. This includes ongoing safety training. You can do this using compliance and training reports, which can be provided by the relevant Commissioner.
- Make sure that support and resources are being made available for necessary training – are there any barriers to adults completing training, for example, cost or location? If so, make sure these are discussed and addressed.
- Check that the appointment process is being followed – if it is, then line managers will be explaining the Safety policy to new adults, and the approval meeting (for those who require it) will make sure that adults understand their
role and responsibilities. More generally, the appointment process will make sure that only suitable adults are appointed to roles that they can carry out.
- Assess and use external help in areas that lie outside of the Executive Committee's expertise, for example, asking the local fire officer for assistance with regard to fire safety, fire risk assessment, storage of gas and so on. Use competent workers, for example, gas safe heating engineers.
Premises under your management
- Carry out appropriate risk assessments and effectively communicate controls to all users of the premises.
- Make sure there’s an appropriate person responsible for premises. This could be someone appointed from your Executive Committee to make sure that the relevant information and updates are provided to the committee regularly.
- Make sure controls are in place, and are coordinated and monitored.
- Make sure that all repairs are carried out in a safe and timely manner.
- Make sure premises risk assessments are in place, documented, communicated and reviewed at least annually.
Things to consider
The following lists include some key elements of an effective management system for operating premises under the responsibility of the Executive Committee (it’s not exhaustive and you should add to it according to your experiences and needs). These may apply to Scout HQs, campsites, activity centres, storage facilities and garages, including some rented premises (check agreements and leases).
- Annually assess the fire risk
- Service extinguishers and alarms
- Have an evacuation plan
- Practise the evacuation plan
- Mostly cleaning and decorating substances
- Store safely
- Have information on risks and controls
- Proper disposal
- Test portable appliances
- Test fixed wiring
- Test emergency lights
- Ensure the safe supply of fresh water
- Control the potential for Legionella
- Hot water scald caution (signage)
- Is there any?
- If so, record it and manage it
- Strictly control any work on it
- Review the asbestos management plan at least annually
- Service appliances regularly
- Store gas cylinders safely
- Service camping appliances
- Manage and maintain LPG pipe work and tanks
- Have Carbon Monoxide monitors in place where needed
A range of support resources, guidance, templates, and examples are available at scouts.org.uk/safety
The Safe Scouting Premises Audit is a great place to start with making sure you have the right systems and processes in place to keep your premises safe.
- Meet regularly enough to discuss safe Scouting and action it where required. Make safety an agenda item at all meetings and make sure all relevant safety information is communicated effectively to volunteers, contractors, premises users and the Executive Committee. Discuss: recent updates, key priorities, compliance, premises management, incidents and concerns. Review the current picture and also plan for improvements.
- Make sure all incidents, accidents and near misses have been properly recorded and reported at scouts.org.uk/incidentreporting (this includes local and national reporting as well as reporting to external agencies as appropriate).
Finally, lead by example – if you identify or are notified of hazards and risks, be seen to address the issues. Others need to see that this is a positive behaviour that will help us provide a safe environment for our members.
Don’t forget that working in partnership with the local Commissioner will help you both in fulfilling your responsibilities
Use the Five Steps of Risk Assessment and see the diagram below:
- Look for the hazards, ie what could cause harm.
- Who might be harmed and how?
- How is the risk controlled?
- Where appropriate, record your findings so that others are aware of the precautions to be taken (for more guidance see the risk assessment page).
- Review and revise plans where needed
Staying Safe - Executive Committees
The Staying Safe - Safety Checklist for Executive Committees is a pocket sized checklist aimed to help all adults working with young people to fulfill their role and responsibilities in managing and supporting safety in Scouting.
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