Blandford Rugby Football Club Health and Safety Policy
The aim of this policy is to ensure the Health & Safety of all members of Blandford Rugby Football Club (BRFC), visiting members of other clubs and all who use the facilities of BRFC. This policy provides guidance to coaches, players, parents and all other club members and sets out the requirement for all club members to comply with this policy and any directions or other requirements as implemented by the committee.
The aim of this document is to prevent accidents and provide adequate control measures to prevent ill health to all members of BRFC or others. All members of BRFC are to comply with the measures set out within this document.
To ensure the implementation and successful management of this document together with all identified control measures the club committee has been appointed to undertake the daily management of this policy.
All the laid down procedures contained in the Health and Safety policy produced by the club are to be complied with at all times.
Parents of Mini and Youth Section players are to ensure that their children do not interfere with anything provided for their safety or the safety of others. All users of the clubhouse and the Larksmead Pavilion are to comply with any fire precautions and where necessary any planned or unplanned fire evacuation procedures.
All members of the committee are to ensure that all new members are welcomed to the club and provided with an overview of all the current policies and procedures which are currently in place.
The Club Registrar/Membership Secretary is to explain the registration system, currently employed by the Rugby Football Union and Blandford Rugby Football Club. It is essential that all new players and other types of membership application forms are completed and returned to the Club Registrar/Membership Secretary at the earliest opportunity. This includes the Registration Form, together with any other required paperwork and the appropriate subscription fee. All forms must be completed in legible handwriting and signed by the player as indicated on individual forms. Without this documentation, it is impossible for a player to be registered and participate in any games. It is the responsibility of the Mini and Youth Membership Officer to ensure all parents are fully briefed on these requirements as detailed later within this documentation.
Younger players will not normally be permitted to play out of their age group or in positions if their age prohibits under current RFU regulations. In exceptional circumstances younger players may be permitted to play up or down one age group following successful specific strict assessments having been carried out (normally by an assessor external to the club) and parental approval has been given. The latest regulations MUST always be checked on both the RFU and D & W websites to ensure player safety is paramount at all times. All authorisation documentation permitting a player to play outside of their natural age group must be in place prior to the player participating in any games or training.
All relevant documentation to become a member of the club is available from the Clubhouse or can be downloaded from the Club website. Cancellations or amendments to both fixtures and training will also be displayed on the Club Website.
A coach, team manager or member of the administrative staff will welcome all new Mini and Youth players and their parents/guardians. The welcoming club representative shall where possible introduce the new player and their parents/guardians to the age group coach.
The Youth Membership Officer is to explain the registration system, currently employed by the Rugby Football Union and the Mini and Youth Section of BRFC. It is essential that the parent/guardian completes and returns to the Youth Membership member at the earliest opportunity all documentation associated with player registration. This includes the Club Membership Form, the annual subscription fee, Medical/Emergency Contact details and Photographic Image Permission Form. All forms must be completed in legible handwriting and signed by both player and parent/guardian as indicated on individual forms. Without this documentation, it is impossible for all notifications of fixture changes, emergency contact in the event of an accident or indeed limited insurance cover to be implemented.
Young players will be divided into recognised age groups. Each age group will be coached in accordance with the guidelines issued by the RFU.
The coaches and administrative staff are to provide guidance to the parents/guardians of young players on the provision of suitable clothing and drinks whilst undertaking training or matches. It is important that younger players have enough layers of clothing to keep them warm during colder days.
Younger players should be delivered and collected from training and/or home matches and escorted by their parents/guardians to away fixtures. Parents of children in the all age groups must remain at the training ground for the duration of the training session. In inclement weather, it is advisable that parents/guardians check with their child’s coach if training sessions are to take place or cease earlier than normal. Decisions on match days concerning the playing of matches will again be the responsibility of the appropriate coach. For away matches the decision will rest with the hosting club. Cancellations or amendments to both fixtures and training will also be displayed on the Club website at the earliest opportunity.
BRFC will ensure that provision is made for the players and coaches to have access to emergency first aid kits when either training or on match days.
The club encourages both coaches and administrative staff to attend appropriate first aid courses to provide emergency treatment. For home match day’s additional cover if required is to be arranged with either a holder of an HSE Approved First Aid at Work qualification or a similarly qualified individual e.g. Doctor. The level of First Aid cover required is to be based on the guidelines set out in the The RFU’s First Aid and Immediate Care Community Guidelines. Advice can also be obtained from the HSE publication "A Safety Guide for Public Events". In all cases where an injury occurs, advice must be sought from qualified first aiders. When the first aider believes that the extent of the injury is beyond their level of competence the emergency services are to be contacted.
Should the injured player be admitted to hospital following their initial treatment then notification of this must be sent to the RFU using the Reportable Injuries Form Injury Report Form. The Form should be passed to the Honorary Secretary at the earliest opportunity for onward transmission to the RFU.
The Youth Membership Officer is to provide all age group coaches with a pack containing contact details for all registered players parents, Medical Information Forms, Photographic Consent Forms and blank Reportable Injury Forms. This pack is to be updated at regular intervals throughout the season. It is the responsibility of the Coach to ensure that this pack is kept secure under the requirements of GDPR and returned to the Youth Membersip Officer as requested for update or destruction as required.
All injuries are to be notified to the BRFC Honorary Secretary in order that action to record the injury can be taken. A review of the accident book is to be undertaken quarterly by the committee so that any trends or recurring injuries may be identified and investigated. In order that parents/carers can be immediately contact in the event of an injury and first aid provide for young players, a Medical Information Contacts Form is to be completed for all junior players. All Adult players are required to complete the Medical Information Form which is to be retained by the team first aiders. If the injury to a player meets the conditions set out by the RFU as a reportable Injury then the Injury Report Form must also be completed by the Honorary Secretary and forwarded to the RFU.
A Reportable Injury is defined as an injury which:
Results in a player being admitted to a hospital (this does not include attendance at an Accident and Emergency Department).
A player dies during or within 6 hours of a game or training session finishing.
In the event of an injury occurring which meets the above definition the BRFC Honorary Secretary is to be contacted immediately. The BRFC Honorary Secretary is to instigate the Reportable Injury Event Protocol. A copy of this protocol is held by the Honorary Secretary.
All injuries or accidents which are not deemed to fall under the category of a reportable injury are to be recorded by coaches/first aiders on the BRFC Accident/Incident Form, and submitted to the BRFC Honorary Secretary. All Accident/Injury Reports are to be reviewed by the Committee to identify any trends or poor coaching practices.
Advice from medical professionals should be taken before playing, especially before returning to training and matches following an injury. This is particularly vital when a player is returning after being diagnosed with concussion. No player will be allowed to resume either training or playing unless declared fit to do so by a competent medical practitioner. Parents of children who attend and play rugby within the educational environment are to ensure that they inform age group coaches of any injuries received whilst participating in Schools Rugby. In particular incidents involving injuries or suspected injuries to the head. In line with the current RFU guidance on Concussion Management all players who have been removed from either the training or playing environment with a suspected concussion or confirmed concussion will follow the Remove, Recover and Return programme as set out by the RFU. This programme will also be implemented for any adult player who has been removed from play due to a head injuriy.
BRFC will follow the current documentation and advice issued by the RFU on Concussion. There is extensive reading available via the RFU website on this subject and all coaches, Team Managers, first aiders and parents are recommended to read and be familiar with these guidelines, especially regarding returning to play.
All Adult players, all Senior Coaches, Senior Team Managers, Mini and Youth Age Group Coaches, Age Group Team Manager and all parents of all Mini & Youth Players, together with all first aiders are required to complete the on-line RFU training regarding concussion. Details of those who have completed this training are to be passed to the BRFC Honorary Secretary. (This training is available via the England Rugby website) in order that the BRFC Training Records can be updated.
When attending away fixtures it is the responsibility of the hosting team to provide if they deem necessary any additional first aid cover. Coaches of both Sections will ensure that their players have access to first aid kits. Any injuries received at away fixtures are to be notified to the BRFC Honorary Secretary, who will if required notify other committe memebrs.
Any items, which are used from a first aid kit, are to be replaced at the earliest opportunity.
All coaches and administrative staff are to be conversant with the method of calling the emergency services when required. It is essential that a clearly defined access route is maintained to enable any emergency services vehicles attending an incident to approach as close as possible to the incident. This access route is to be communicated to all players, parents/guardians, coaches and administrative staff of BRFC. The provision of the access route is also to be briefed to all clubs who will be attending any arranged matches at the site. An aide memoire is available on the correct procedures on the club website.
Note: The Minor Injuries Unit at Blandford Hospital is not open after 1800 on weekdays and is available between 1000 and 1600 at weekends. This facility is Nurse led and attendance at this facility may lead to an injured person being referred to an NHS Hospital with A&E facilities. The nearest hospital for those who are capable of being taken there by another member of the club or parent with an A&E Department is currently either Poole, Salisbury or Dorchester.
Should there be the requirement for emergency medical assistance at the pitches the method for contacting them is by mobile phone. There is no land line available. When calling the postcode which should be quoted is DT11 7LU. The correct location to quote is Larksmead Recreational Ground. A responsible member of the club should be delegated to meet the emergency services on the road.
Remember that access to the pitches is limited and the grounds conditions should be made clear to the driver on arrival. If the ambulance becomes stuck the club has no means of assisting the vehicle to get back onto a solid area. The preferred option is for the medical staff to walk onto the grass, assess the situation and determine the best way forward.
It is important that all those who are concerned with BRFC remember that when training or playing a match, they are all ambassadors for the game of rugby and BRFC. To promote good conduct and behaviour there are simple guidelines which should be followed by players, the administrative staff (including coaches), parents and spectators.
The RFU has produced the Core Values pack detailing the 5 main topics; Teamwork, Respect, Discipline, Enjoyment and Sportsmanship. All members of BRFC are to comply with the requirements of these codes to maintain the ethos of rugby.
The RFU has in accordance with legal requirements produce a Safeguarding document which has been incorporated into this policy documentation. BRFC have produced in accordance with this documentation a Safeguarding Vulnerable People Policy and The Codes of Conduct and Behaviour for Players, Coaches Parents and Spectators. BRFC have also produced an Anti-Bullying Policy. These documents are available on the club website.
To ensure that all risks are identified full Risk Assessments will be conducted to identify all hazards that could harm any players, coaches, administration staff, parents and spectators. These assessments are to be reviewed at the commencement of each season. If conditions require then adjustments to the assessments are to be made at the pitch or the clubhouse. All coaches are responsible for conducting an inspection of their individual training/match areas prior to the commencement of any session to ensure that there are no hazards present. To ensure the safety of all who use the Clubhouse a suitable and sufficient risk assessment of the risks and hazards and control measures has also been undertaken.
Risk assessments for any events or functions are also to be undertaken by a competent person and recorded.
All key club officials have simple job descriptions, which define the role and duties they undertake for the club. Not only is it important for everybody to understand their own role and responsibility, but it is also important for them to see how they fit into the whole picture – what everybody does and where jobs interact together. Some roles are vested in the same club member.
The Blandford Rugby Football Club Pitches are located Larksmead Recreational Ground. Whilst this area is under the control of the Club under the terms of the Lease with the Blandford Forum Town Council there are certain requirements with which the club must conform.
The Town Council Policy is that on all recreational grounds there is a strict rule of no dogs being allowed on site, this includes the Pavilion, unless assistance dogs. All coaches and administrative staff are to ensure that this ruling is fully briefed to all players’ club members and MIni and Youth parents and carers on a regular basis throughout the season. The Fixtures Secretaries are to ensure that when arranging or confirming fixtures that this policy is communicated to all clubs who will be visiting. The Fixtures Secretaries are to remind visiting teams of this regulation when confirming all home matches.
Any person bringing a dog to "pitch side" is to be politely informed of the Town Council policy and asked to remove their dog from the site immediately. If the person bringing the dog to the site is from a visiting team they should be informed of the areas from which dogs are excluded. Dogs may be exercised outside the green boundary fence.
Parents of BRFC Mini and Youth Members are to ensure that they arrange with another adult "in loco parentis" cover if they need to leave the site whilst their child is attending. The age group coach is to be informed of who is the point of contact whilst they are away. No coach will assume this role.
There is limited parking both at the Clubhouse in town and at the Larksmead Recreational Ground. All those who bring a vehicle to either location are requested to be considerate of other users and park in a manner which does not causes the neighbours in that location a problem in accessing their property. Should you have to park on the road at Larksmead it is vital that the through route is maintained both to enable emergency vehicles to attend the pitches or properties in the vicinity. Easy pasage on the road must also be maintaind as it forms part of the local bus route.
All coaches and/or club members who are planning to organise a tour are to comply with RFU Tour Guidelines.
All coaches and/or club members must produce in advance of the tour all the documentation which is required by these guidelines. This includes the production of the Financial Planning Sheet detailing all costs of the tour including transport, accommodation insurances and any additional entertainment costs. It must also detail the required financial payments required from each participant. Details of any sponsorship or fundraising must also be included.
The Committee shall be presented with all documentation prior to any age group being informed of a tour for their consent prior to the tour proceeding. The final decision on the tour proceeding will be taken by the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Safeguarding Officer once all documentation has been presented. Any group which does not produce or amend as requested any part of the required documentation will not be permitted to undertake a tour.
All Tours once approved in principal by the Committee must then be approved by Dorset & Wilts RFU. This approval must be instigated by the Honorary Secretary at least two calendar months prior to the start date of the Tour. Unless the club has received confirmation of this permission being granted the tour will not progress.
Tours organised for senior players are to be in accordance with current RFU Guidelines and the appropriate insurance cover arranged. Approval if required from another union and the Constitute Body of Dorset and Wilts RFU must also be sought if the tour is to another home nation or abroad. This approval must be in place at least one month prior to the commencement of the tour in order for the tour organiser to apply for the appropriate level of insurance for the tour. The RFU Insurers have developed a comprehensive package to cover tours for all players and travelling supporters. This insurance must be in place prior to the commencement of the tour.
The timelines detailed above are not flexible, therfore all Tour Organisers are to ensure that they have undertaken the necessry planning actions with plenty of time to obtain all Tour Authorisation documentation as required for their planned tour.
Blandford Rugby Football Club
Dated November 2019