Risk Assessments

Effective risk-benefit assessment and risk management - together with appropriate public liability insurance - is particularly important for all organisations providing facilities and equipment for sports and play for use by club members or the general public. Some sport and recreational activities can be considered a significant risk, for example play equipment and playgrounds and extreme sports.

The types of provision typically considered as part of risk-benefit assessments and inspections include:

  • Access: pedestrian and vehicular
  • Site boundaries, fences and hedges
  • Play areas and playgrounds
  • Sports facilities: natural grass and hard/synthetic
  • Grounds keeping, maintenance and security of equipment etc
  • Ancillaries: footpaths, seating and litter

For clubs and other providers of sports facilities, often the best source of guidance on the types of risk to be assessed and the available mitigation measures are the national governing bodies of sport.

Risk-benefit assessment guidance for play providers is provided by a variety of agencies, most notably The Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) which has a very broad health and safety remit throughout the UK, including delivery of public safety guidance materials and campaigns on behalf of national government departments. In the play sector, RoSPA is the largest provider of playground and play equipment safety inspections in the UK. RoSPA also publishes extensive free guidance for play providers.