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General Information on managing your premises

Adoption of a risk assessment approach for issues connected with a Scout premises is essential good practice to ensure that conditions are safe. This guidance takes you through a selection of common areas requiring safety checks and provides signposting to further guidance available.

Why do we need to manage our premises?

Everyone owes a common law duty of care to not cause injury to another person or to damage another’s property. In Scouting terms, for example, this might mean a Scout Group informing a party of volunteers about the potential hazards of their HQ during a spring cleaning day and about any hazards they may be introducing in the form of chemicals or equipment.

It would be hard to justify having lower standards of health, safety and welfare for volunteers compared to paid staff simply because the law may not demand it. Complying with health and safety regulations so far as is reasonably practicable will go a long way to ensuring that if an injury is sustained a Scout Group can defend itself against any action for compensation or criminal prosecution.

The term ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’ recurs throughout health and safety legislation. In broad terms this involves balancing the degree of risk or its potential seriousness against the money, time or trouble in minimising the risk. In other words, if the risk or likelihood of injury or harm is insignificant and it would be very expensive to take precautions, such measures are likely to be deemed not reasonably practicable.

Adopting a risk assessment approach to manage your premises is essential, good practice to keep conditions safe.

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