Health & Safety Policy Statement


Dundalk RFC Health and Safety Policy Statement


  1. Policy

  2. Scope

  3. Responsibilities of various personnel

  4. Implementation and operation

  5. 5. Hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control

  6. Safety signage

  7. Training

  8. Documentation and reporting

  9. Emergency preparedness and response

  10. Summary

  11. Conclusion

  12. Appendices:

    • Hazard identification report

    • Accident report

    • Accident report witness statements

    • Quarterly health and safety audit

    • Cleaning of floors (Checklist)


1. Policy

The Management of Dundalk RFC, being the General Committee, are committed to compliance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and in doing so will provide for all its members an environment that is as safe and healthy as is reasonably practical and will comply with all relevant statutory requirements.

Dundalk RFC will provide a safe system of operation through the provision of appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision. The co-operation of every member is expected and all members are reminded that statutory obligations are the minimum standard for which they are responsible.


2. Scope

The provisions of this statement will apply to all  Dundalk RFC members, visitors and outside agencies such as Contractors, ESB, etc. and to any agency that may from time to time have to affect deliveries or to service equipment which is located on the premises.


3. Responsibilities

(a)  President

He will ensure that:

  • Adequate resources are made available so that the Safety Policy can be carried out efficiently
  • The members of the General Committee are fully aware of their responsibilities in relation to occupational safety and health
  • All members are accountable for their performance in relation to occupational safety and health
  • The Safety Statement is reviewed regularly and its operation monitored

  (b)  General Committee

They will ensure that:

  • Safe systems and practises are incorporated into all activities in the club
  • All activities are continually monitored and that any potential unhealthy or dangerous practices are reported and eradicated
  • Any specialist or H&S training, if required, is discussed, authorised and put into practise
  • Any wilful breach of safety rules is reported and that the club disciplinary procedure is activated if it is deemed necessary

 (c)  Secretary

He will ensure that:

  • The Safety Statement is circulated to the appropriate personnel and that it is widely available in the club through notice boards, team managers,
  • Any amendments to the Safety Statement as may be made from time to time are included in an updated version as soon as possible
  • Any discussion, reports or suggestions relating to the Safety Statement which are raised at General Committee Meetings are recorded and actioned
  • Any Accident Reports, Hazard I.D. Reports, H&S Audits etc. are retained as club records and reported outside the club as decided by the General Committee
  • Any correspondence relating to Health and Safety is brought to the attention of the General Committee and any subsequent actions are recorded

(d)  Grounds Chairman

He will ensure that:

  • Machinery such as grass mowers are used only by authorised and experienced personnel
  • All equipment and machinery is securely locked away when not in use
  • The premises are properly secured when not in use and not available for any ad hoc activities
  • Third party contractors do not commence work of  any kind unless evidence of insurance and safety legislation compliance is In his absence the Grounds Chairman will request a member of the General Committee to deputise
  • Any incursion or unauthorised entry is prevented and, if unable to prevent such, will report such incursion to An Garda Síochána
  • A fully-equipped First Aid Kit is available on site at all times
  • Waste and refuse are managed and collected by the appropriate agency

(e)  Bar Chairman

He will ensure that:

  • All functions in the clubhouse have the prior authorisation of the General Committee
  • The documentation in relation to the booking of functions is properly completed prior to the function taking place
  • A doorman is in place for all functions, with the exception of after match activities
  • That all non-members entering the clubhouse for functions sign the guest book prior to entering the inner premises
  • There is always a senior club member present to supervise the function
  • The toilets and dance floor are inspected at least once per hour and that all spillages are immediately cleaned up
  • Guests do not bring any items onto the premises which could endanger other guests
  • All functions are closely supervised and that guests do not engage in ‘horse play’ of any kind
  • Persons using disco or musical equipment comply with any instructions from the supervisor
  • Non-members who are allowed to prepare functions do not climb above ground level

(f)   Coaches

They will ensure that:

  • All coaching activities in the various sections are carried out according to guidelines laid down by the Club Coach
  • Sufficient coaches are available to ensure safe supervision of any particular section
  • Specialist equipment such as weights, scrummaging machines, tackle bags, are used only if there are qualified supervisors present
  • Weights training is not permitted in the under-age sections
  • Under-age members are not allowed to engage in ‘horse play’ either on the club premises or on transport hired by the club
  • Persons who are not paid-up members are not allowed to use the club’s facilities
  • Medical kits are immediately available for both training and matches

 (g)  Members

They will ensure that:

  • They are aware of the provisions of the Safety Statement and that they operate within those provisions at all times
  • They take no action which could endanger either themselves or their fellow-members
  • They are familiar with the location of fire extinguishers
  • They are familiar with all fire exits on the club premises
  • They comply with any safety directives which may be issued from time to time

(h)  Health and Safety Representative

The H&S Representative will be nominated by the General Committee on an annual basis and will be responsible to that body to ensure that health and safety is managed in a proactive manner within the club and that all club activities are in keeping with the maintenance of a safe environment. He will:

  • Monitor health and safety issues within the club and make recommendations, if necessary, to the General Committee
  • That a number of members are trained on an annual basis in First Aid and the use of fire extinguishers


4.  Implementation and Operation

To actively carry out the club’s policy in relation to health and safety, to maintain a general consciousness of safety and to promote a safe club environment, the following should be kept in place:

  • General stewardship by the Safety Representative and the General Committee of Health and Safety policy in the club
  • Promoting awareness of safety issues through such means as poster campaigns
  • Giving safety instructions regularly to the under-age sections of the club
  • Using external expertise to maintain fire extinguishers, training in same and in First Aid
  • Proper reporting of accidents or dangerous occurrences action to prevent recurrence

Identification of hazards and assessment of risks should be an ongoing process and any identified hazard or risk should be immediately reported to the Safety Representative. The hazard or risk should be immediately assessed as ‘high’, ‘medium’ or ‘low’ and appropriate action taken depending on its level.

This is a very important aspect of our safety policy and it is expected that when an area is audited for safety, it will be found that any accidents, injuries, collisions, hazards, etc., will have been properly reported and documented.


5. Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Risk Control

(a)  Visitors/Third Parties:

Hazard Assessment: Medium

Main Hazards

  • Contact with moving vehicles
  • Steps around clubhouse and adjacent to pitches/ all-weather pitches
  • Specialist equipment (scrum machine, gym equipment, weights, )

Risk Control

  • All steps and inclines to be signed/colour-coded
  • All cars, third party vehicles to move within the club speed limit
  • No access by any third party to gym/specialist equipment

 (b)  Access/Egress (all buildings):

Hazard Assessment: Medium

  • All doorways, corridors must remain unobstructed
  • Fire doors must be kept closed but not blocked or locked
  • Exit doors must be kept clear at all times
  • Clearways for ambulance access must never be blocked by parked cars

 c) Contractor Safety/Responsibility

Hazard Assessment: Medium

The necessary presence of contractors (trade or service suppliers paid to carry out certain works) may create hazardous situations by the use of unsafe materials or equipment. The club wishes to ensure the safety of contractors and will:

  • Brief all contractors on safety and issue them with a copy of this Safety Statement before any work commences
  • Not allow the use of mechanical or access equipment unless express permission is given
  • Require contractors to brief their employees on club safety requirements
  • Have a club member accompany

 (d) Cuts and Contusions

Hazard Assessment: Medium

Cuts and contusions can result from glass breakages, impact with sharp edges, collisions during training or match situations, falls, etc.  To ensure safety:

  • All glass breakages must be cleaned up and binned immediately
  • Have ongoing monitoring to eradicate all sharp edges/corners
  • Have pitches examined for sharp objects after any events
  • Have complete First Aid kits available in changing rooms and clubhouse
  • Ensure that a number of members undergo First Aid courses every year

(e) Electricity

Hazard Assessment: High

Mis-use of electricity can result in fire, explosion, personal injury and even death. Club members should never:

  • Attempt any kind of repair or maintenance of electrical equipment or installations
  • Jam wires into sockets using matchsticks
  • Connect power tools to light sockets (unearthed)
  • Insert plugs into wrong sockets
  • Use the wrong fuse for the current the equipment is carrying

All members/staff should:

  • Assume all electrical circuits/cables are ‘live’ until proven otherwise
  • Switch off sockets before removing plugs
  • Ensure source is isolated before attempting any rescue
  • Report any discolouration or burn marks on plugs

General: Only a qualified electrician may attempt any electrical work. All contractors should be referred to the services map (Appendix XX) indicating both overhead and underground electrical and should also be referred to the ‘special conditions’ section of ESB Code 98032030  (Appendix XX)

(f)   Fire

Hazard Assessment: Medium

There is always a risk of fire and this risk can be heightened through, for example, careless smoking, unsupervised use of electrical equipment, poor waste management, etc. The risk can be minimised through:

  • The total prohibition of smoking in any enclosed area on the club premises
  • Proper management of the kitchen area
  • Having well-serviced fire extinguishers in numerous locations
  • Ensuring good waste management on site

Additional measures:

  • All extinguishers should be regularly audited by third party expertise
  • All fire escapes should be clearly indicated and kept clear/unlocked at all times
  • Use of electrical equipment must be carefully controlled
  • Staff/members/visitors should be aware of the action to be taken in the event of fire

 (g) Functions

Hazard Assessment: Medium

The clubhouse is available for hire to suitable third parties for private functions. As those present at such functions may not include club members, any risk to safety must be minimised through close supervision by a senior club member. Risks can be minimised   by:

  • Not allowing those involved to climb above floor level or to use ladders to put up decorations prior to the function
  • Not allowing any substance to be spread on the dance floor beforehand
  • Ensuring that the persons hiring the premises understand and undertake to abide by any instructions issued
  • Ensuring that the entrance door is manned by a person competent to do so
  • Insisting that all those attending the function sign in on the book provided for that purpose
  • Strictly enforcing the ‘no-smoking legislation’
  • Not allowing any ‘horseplay’ on the dance floor
  • Ensuring that the dance floor and toilet floors are examined for spillages at least every hour
  • Indicating through an announcement where the fire exits are
  • Ensuring that those using musical equipment have good electrical gear
  • Not admitting any person who is obviously intoxicated
  • Not further serving alcohol to any person where the bar staff feel it is inadvisable
  • Ensuring that all exterior lighting is in good working order
  • Ensuring that bottles or glasses are not brought out of the premises

(h) Floor Treatment

Hazard Assessment: Medium

All floors should be cleaned regularly and kept free from debris or obstacles and in particular:

  • The dance floor and tiled area in the bar should be inspected at least every hour during function by the Function Supervisor and any spillages should be immediately cleaned up
  • Persons hiring the function area are not to spread any substance on the dance floor
  • All mats should be regularly lifted and the floor areas underneath cleaned

(i) Bins

Hazard Assessment: Low

Bins will become a health hazard if not attended to or allowed to overflow. They should be monitored by the Grounds Chairman and Bar Chairman and, further:

  • All debris on floors should be immediately deposited in the bins
  • Effluents such as oil, etc. should not be deposited in bins
  • The waste management policies of the Local Authorities should be observed when using bins
  • Bins should be closed at all times and should be left out to avail of the area refuse collections
  • Club members should not deposit any domestic waste of grass cuttings in club bins

(j) Kitchen/Bar

Hazard Assessment: Medium

The kitchen/bar area can account for accidents through slips, burns from hot surfaces, cuts from knives and glass etc. It is an area where a high standard of hygiene is required and only authorised persons should use either of these areas. Further actions should include:

  • Keeping access doors locked at all times, allowing only staff within
  • Maintaining the highest hygiene standards when handling food
  • Cleaning up spillages immediately
  • Using the glass-washer for all glass washing
  • Keeping all surfaces clean at all times
  • Discharging all remains of food in the proper bin immediately
  • Not allowing any storage of kit or other items in the kitchen area
  • Keeping a complete First Aid Kit in place

(k) Toilets

Hazard Assessment: Low

In the interests of good health it is essential that all toilets/wash areas are maintained to a high standard and, further:

  • Cleaning of toilets will be certified by signing the form provided
  • Smoking is forbidden in the toilet areas
  • During functions, the Supervisor should regularly inspect toilet areas and have any spillages cleaned up
  • Cisterns should be left running to prevent odours in the toilet areas

(l) Pest Control

Hazard Assessment: Medium

It is in the interest of general health that the premises are kept vermin-free. Therefore:

  • Any sighting/signs of vermin should be reported immediately
  • A pest control system should be operated by an outside agency
  • Eating or drinking on the premises should be restricted to designated areas

(m) Injuries from games

Hazard Assessment: Medium

Injuries are a constant hazard in rugby and as they cannot be anticipated, the club should be in a position to react swiftly to any minor or major injury. The hazard can be minimised if:

  • Training or games are always
  • The proper equipment, including pitch-lining and flags are in place
  • Only qualified referees are allowed to officiate in organised games
  • Under-age players play within their age
  • Training is supervised by at least one
  • All coaches have at least the Foundation Coaching course completed
  • Players are encouraged to wear head-gear, body armour,
  • A First Aid Kit is present at all training sessions/games

However injuries will happen and in such instance there should be sufficient preparation in place to ensure that the injured party is treated immediately and that the injured party suffers no additional pain or trauma through lack of action. This can be enhanced by:

  • Having as many coaches and support staff as possible undergoing First Aid courses
  • Having complete First Aid Kits for all sections of the club
  • Ensuring that all coaches/support staff are aware of the contact numbers for the Duty Doctor and local ambulance
  • Havingaproperstretcheravailableatalltimes
  • Ensuring that the ambulance approach is always kept clear
  • Establishing and maintaining liaison with the local hospital


6.  Safety Signage

The presence of safety signage enhances general safety on the club premises and our duty of care to members and visitors alike. Health and Safety signage should cover such topics as:

  • Speed limit to be observed
  • Steps in various areas
  • Surfaces which are likely to become slippery
  • Steep grassy banks
  • ‘Keep Out’ signs for areas such as communications masts
  • Locations of First Aid Kits
  • Hygienesignsrefoodpreparation, washingofhands,
  • Location of fire extinguishers, fire exits


7.  Training

All persons involved in coaching or in support staff for teams to undergo First Aid courses. All persons involved in coaching of players should have completed, as a minimum, the Foundation Course in coaching. Those refereeing games at all levels should have a basic course completed.


8.  Documentation and reporting

It is essential that the documentation attached to this statement is completed by the senior club official present (e.g. Accident Report and Witness Reports) immediately, if any accident of any kind occurs. It will also be very helpful if photographic evidence (digital camera or phone) can be attached. Routine documentation (cleaning of floors) is equally important as is may provide evidence on behalf of the club in the case of an accident. All such documentation will be handed over to the Secretary who will take action as directed by the General Committee.

9.  Emergency preparedness and response

The club must ensure, on an ongoing basis, that there are adequate numbers of Members trained in First Aid and the use of Fire Extinguishers. Equally:

  • Notices indicating action in the event of fire should be displayed
  • Local emergency numbers should be prominently displayed
  • All fire doors must be kept clear at all times
  • When the club is unoccupied, the main gate must be secured to prevent unauthorised entry


10.  Summary

The purpose of this Health and Safety Statement is to:

  • Provide a healthy and safe club premises for our members and visitors
  • Comply with our statutory obligations
  • Designate responsibility for health and safety at the various levels of the club
  • Minimise the risk of accidents/injuries/dangerous occurrences at the club
  • Heighten awareness of the health and safety issues within the club

11.  Conclusion

As a club we have a duty of care to our members, visiting teams, visitors, members of the public using the facilities and spectators and we now recognise that duty by having this Health and Safety Statement in place. We hope that this statement will engender a spirit of co-operation in Health and Safety matters among all our members and all other using our facilities.


12.  Appendices

Hazard I.D. Report Sheet

Accident Report Sheet

Accident Report Witness Statement Sheet

Quarterly Health & Safety Audit Sheet

Cleaning of Floors Sheet

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