Before Lesson Start
As a parent/coach, performing risk management effectively helps ensure that your children/athletes are safe during swimming. Safety should be of utmost important when you conduct training. Unsafe practices often lead to unnecessary injures and consequences. Worse, lives could even be lost as a result of safety neglect!
Identify the risk, we seek to identify the inherent risk(s) of conducting and participating in the swimming. These risks could stem from environment, the coach, participants, nature of the activity and equipment.
Assess the pool
Identify the depth of the pool
Location of the staircase, pool step or ladder
Any life guard on duty
Any sharp angle
Change in weather
Condition of lesson equipment – board, noodle, fins, paddle & etc
Material of goggles – don’t use glass snorkel mask during training
Children health condition
Fatigue & tiredness
Evaluate the risk, we seek to assess identified risk(s). Risk assessment has expressed as Risk = Likelihood of an occurrence VS Severity of an occurrence.
As seen from the table below, likelihood can be expressed in different ways.
As seen in the table below, severity could be mild, moderate or major.
By pairing the likelihood and severity of risk, you can determine the risk level by using the risk matrix below.
Fix it – Control the risk level of the identified risk(s) to an acceptable level. This can be achieved by putting in place reasonable and practicable measures to eliminate or reduce identified risk.
Elimination layer is where the risk can be controlled by deleting an activity. E.g. removing the diving from the activity list when the wading pool is shallow.
Substitution layer is where the risk can be controlled by substituting an alternative activity. E.g. changing the swimming venue from seaside to wading pool.
Programme control is where the risk can be controlled by insertion of a control or check before or during the execution of the programme. E.g. equipment to be tested prior to the programme.
Administrative control is where the risk is controlled through the insertion of a control or check at administrative end. E.g. All participants are required to submit a PARQ as part of the registration process.
Personal protection is where risk can be controlled by ensuring that personal attire offers adequate protection from the elements. E.g. Using Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) when canoeing or boating.
Depth of assessment is the critical component that one must bear in mind during assessment of risk. Risk assessment is all about sufficiently addressing all foreseeable risk and customizing the assessment.
Essentially, the key outcomes of performing risk assessment is to assess and evaluate risks present, put in place risk control measures or actions, keep the person-at-risk informed, actively implement effective safe work procedures and constantly do reviews to ensure that the environment and processes are safe for all.