Managing risk is never fun but it’s essential in preventing a catastrophic incident that could cause serious harm and shut your recreation program down for good. Risk management is not just a hazard or physical accident. It can include things like financial losses or losing important records.
Policy: Have proper policies in place to protect the safety of your staff, participants, and your facilities. Make sure everyone knows what to do when an incident occurs.
Planning: Planning and training for incidents will better prepare you and your staff when an incident occurs. Have your emergency action plans in place for any type of program you coordinate.
Product or Service: Understand the potential risks that could occur based on the service you are offering. If you know and understand what type of risks can occur you will be more prepared to prevent or handle an incident when it occurs.
Process: Make sure you have controls in place to reduce your risk and ensure your staff is trained or qualified to handle them.
Premises: Consider the size and layout of your facilities and what risks could occur within them. Know the financial concerns related to repair and maintenance of those facilities.
People: One of your top priorities within your program are the safety of your participants, volunteers and staff. Proper training and supervision will ensure you run a well-organized safe program.
Protection: This is much broader than just protection of people from health and safety risks. It includes identifying associated risks with the protection of people, premises, equipment and the surrounding environment. Once the associated risks are identified it is imperative you have the proper insurance coverages and waivers in place to protect your most valuable assets.
Procedures: Make sure you have proper procedures in place if an incident does occur.
Purchasing: Have purchasing policies in place to control costs, create contingency funds and purchase quality equipment that will not pose a hazard within your program.
Performance: Evaluate your programs regularly to ensure you are following the risk management guidelines you have in place. If incidents do occur use evaluation to have a plan to prevent future incidents.
All the principles above should be integrated into your planning and policy decisions and evaluated on a regular basis. Take an ongoing proactive approach to managing risk to show safety is your number one priority. Being prepared and mitigating risk will not only prevent an incident, it will make sure you are protected if an incident does occur.
For more resources on youth programming, visit The Summer Camp Source website.