Does your Association occasionally or periodically host a special event?
Implementing proactive risk management strategies for your sports and recreation events can reduce or mitigate liabilities. To help ensure this is done, consider the following questions:
- Does your equipment meet the standards set by the Canadian Standards Association?
- Are your facilities safe and up to code? Ensure the right safety procedures are in place and have your premises inspected by fire and safety authorities on a regular basis.
- Have you thought out a supervisor-to-user ratio? If you have is it being implemented? The appropriate ratio will depend on the type of activity, the equipment being used and the age of the participants.
- Are your employees and volunteers properly background checked? You may wish to require a criminal background check for employees and volunteers working with the elderly or children. Ensure that employees and volunteers have adequate training in first aid, coaching and organizational policies and procedures, and any other training that is appropriate to your organization.
- Are there signs installed to warn of any hazards? Are there signs indicating the hours of operation, operating procedures, where to report problems or concerns and any other relevant information? Signs should use symbols and French and English text where possible.
- Do your operations adhere to national, provincial or other governing-body regulations and legislation?
- Are your facilities and equipment regularly inspected? If needed are they regularly repaired or replaced? There are professional consultants that you can hire to periodically inspect equipment. Also, require staff to pre-inspect the grounds for obvious hazards.
- Do you enforce the use of appropriate clothing and equipment? Staff should understand that they must intervene if someone is not wearing proper protective equipment.
- Is there a required waiver or consent form in place? These are legal forms intended to protect your organization from liabilities either by requiring people to waive their rights to sue or by clearly informing them of the hazards and having them accept them willingly. Always consult a lawyer to develop legal forms. This works hand in hand with your liability insurance.
- Do you have the proper liability coverage?
Recommended minimum liability limits range from $2 million to $5 million. Your insurance policy should not limit you to the number of participants or the location of your events. A Commercial General Liability policy is almost always more economical than a policy that is charged on a per participant basis. Get a licensed Broker to annually review your policy to ensure that your organization’s needs are properly risk managed.