Coaching – Information for Coaches and Leaders

The Importance of Risk Assessments

A risk assessment is an important step in protecting everyone who is affected by your activities, including athletes, spectators, coaches, volunteers and officials. Risk Assessments will help you to focus on the risks that really matter – the ones with the potential to cause significant harm. All clubs/event organisers, coaches & leaders should undertake risk assessments.

Assessing risk requires knowledge of the activities and this can be found in the people who do manage and participate (coaches, officials, club committee members, competition/event organisers and athletes). The assessment should therefore seek to involve those with a detailed knowledge and understanding of the activity concerned.

In many instances, straightforward measures can readily control risks, for example ensuring that storage areas are kept clear and not overloaded, access routes are kept tidy and lighting maintained so that people do not trip. In the most part this means simple, cheap and effective measures to ensure that all those involved in athletics events and activities are protected.

The law does not expect you to eliminate all risk, but you are required to protect people as far as ‘reasonably practicable’. The UKA Code of Practice document and risk assessment template within this will help you to achieve this with a minimum of fuss.

Track, Field and Off-track Running Risk Assessments and Guidance

The generic risk assessment template in the Code of Practice is a guide to be used in conjunction with the generic and event specific guidance above which highlight some of the common safety hazards associated with track, field and off-track with recommended steps to control the risks.

UKA recommends that every club, facility and event organiser conducts risk assessments and it is important that the information above is not just copied and pasted with your name added to the top as this would not satisfy the law and would not protect participants. Every club and facility is different so you need to think about the hazards and controls relevant to you and document accordingly.