Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 27

Thread: Risk assessments

  1. #1
    Senior Member SimonM's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    312
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Risk assessments

    I know, I know...but bear with me on this!

    In theory we should have a RA for every activity that we organise. I'll be the first to say that most of mine are in my head, not on paper.

    If I were to write every RA, for every activity that we do I'd never get any Scouting done.

    What I'm proposing is that we share our written RA's here...not with the intention that they are blindly copied and filed, but as a starting point for other Leaders doing similar activities.

    I'm not sure how we can share RA's as I'm not that technical TBH...any ideas other than putting them in quotes in a thread?

    Simon
    Animadvertistine, ubicumque stes, fumum recta in faciem ferri

    (Ever noticed how wherever you stand, the smoke goes right into your face?)

  2. #2
    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    'auchtermuchty'
    Posts
    7,660
    Thanks
    398
    Thanked 1,750 Times in 1,054 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by SimonM View Post
    I know, I know...but bear with me on this!
    i'll give you 5 minutes!

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonM View Post
    In theory we should have a RA for every activity that we organise.
    not a theory; it's a must.

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonM View Post
    I'll be the first to say that most of mine are in my head, not on paper.
    sigh. here we go again. why do i sense that you believe RAs need to be on paper?

    they don't, certainly not if it's something trivial and obvious and which can be easily recalled.

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonM View Post
    If I were to write every RA, for every activity that we do I'd never get any Scouting done.
    so it's not something i sense! it's something you seem to believe you have to do.

    you have to do a RA for every activity you do in scouting. many of these will be trivial and obvious. doing these in your head is not a problem.

    you do not for example need to produce a written RA for walking across the m25! you like everyone else can do that one in your head, can't you?

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonM View Post
    What I'm proposing is that we share our written RA's here...
    but RAs are rarely ever the same, there's always something different. hence if you write one for an activity, then when i come along i might use but more than likely i'd have to edit 85% of it. which sort of says that i might have saved time and done one myself in the first instance.

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonM View Post
    not with the intention that they are blindly copied and filed, but as a starting point for other Leaders doing similar activities.
    but copying them is the intention you're promoting!

    when one write an RA you should write so you can understand it. if i write one and you don't understand it and how it applies, if it does, in your circumstances, then it's next to useless.

    why not just simply ask for help with writing an RA for a particular activity?

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonM View Post
    I'm not sure how we can share RA's as I'm not that technical TBH...any ideas other than putting them in quotes in a thread? Simon
    why share? why not write one of your own, if one really does need writing, and hten learn from it? and by the time you've done 50 you can come on here and teach others how to do it.




    cordially yours, TM

  3. #3
    Senior Member SimonM's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    312
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Merryweather I think you have deliberatley undermined the intention of this thread...if you have nothing positive to contribute, my advice would be say nothing.

    EDIT:To answer some of your points:

    • I never stated that RA's must be written...I actually stated that most of mine are in my head.
    • I agree that RA's are very rarely the same...venues, people, weather all change and play a major part of the RA. BUT, much stays constant and this part can be re visited as needed.
    • As for my doing 50 RA's, and by implication learning how to in the process, the very nature of my work means that I am conducting RA's daily, mainly in my head but occassionaly on paper.
    • I clearly stated that my aim was to provide a starting point for others, not a print and forget substitute to RA's.


    Many large organisations provide generic RA's for their employees / volunteers. These provide a starting point, not a finished RA, but allows the person conducting the RA to see what others have already condidered.
    Last edited by SimonM; 22-07-2011 at 07:00 PM.
    Animadvertistine, ubicumque stes, fumum recta in faciem ferri

    (Ever noticed how wherever you stand, the smoke goes right into your face?)

  4. #4
    Senior Member SimonM's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    312
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Below are examples of the type of thing I meant to share:

    DoE walking expedition

    Lancashire County Council RA webpage

    Simon
    Animadvertistine, ubicumque stes, fumum recta in faciem ferri

    (Ever noticed how wherever you stand, the smoke goes right into your face?)

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    A, A
    Posts
    2,661
    Thanks
    25
    Thanked 237 Times in 128 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by merryweather View Post
    you do not for example need to produce a written RA for walking across the m25! you like everyone else can do that one in your head, can't you?
    You do if you decide to do it!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    747
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
    What exactly is the problem with copying them - or at least using someone else's experience of a similar activity as a starting point? It just means more than one person has had a think about the risks and you're less likely to have missed something.

    Why not put together a RA card to go with the yellow card etc. with a simple checklist of risks and mitigations? I bet it's not such a long list as you'd think and it's generally the same risks (or variations of them) that come up each time.

  7. #7
    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    'auchtermuchty'
    Posts
    7,660
    Thanks
    398
    Thanked 1,750 Times in 1,054 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by SimonM View Post
    Merryweather I think you have deliberatley undermined the intention of this thread...if you have nothing positive to contribute, my advice would be say nothing.
    okay then i'll reply to your points below and then withdraw as you see nothing 'positive' in what i say here.

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonM View Post
    EDIT:To answer some of your points:

    • I never stated that RA's must be written...I actually stated that most of mine are in my head.

    so why then are you seemingly promoting the 'sharing' of written RAs? you said: 'we share our written RA's here', not 'we share our thoughts about how to write RAs'. yes i know that you added that you didn't want to see such 'blindly copied' but that is what will likely happen. so imo your promotion might be self-defeating in the end.

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonM View Post
    I agree that RA's are very rarely the same...venues, people, weather all change and play a major part of the RA. BUT, much stays constant and this part can be re visited as needed.
    last night i wrote out a RA for a bike trip next saturday. this morning i've just finished one for a canoe day next sunday. you're right that there's a lot that stays constant; i can see the same things in both RAs! However, what stays constant in both of these is very particular to my circumstances such as the people involved, the contact details, the degree of training they have, some of the equipment we'll take, the emergency procedures we follow in such an event, &c. after that it's chalk and cheese.

    and if you read them i'm certain you'll say 'there are bits left out'. of course there are! those bits are 'trivial'/common/understood/repetitive to me so i don't do them or they're listed/covered somewhere else in the planning details for the activities.

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonM View Post
    As for my doing 50 RA's, and by implication learning how to in the process, the very nature of my work means that I am conducting RA's daily, mainly in my head but occasionally on paper.
    so you're well versed in doing them, therefore you'll likely learn little from others? or do you, like me, think there's always a need to learn? so what would you learn from someone posting a RA about a scouting activity in auchtermuchty? would you learn more from someone saying how they go through the process - the thought and written parts?

    i was reading through one just a couple of weeks ago - not scouting context. 16 pages and quite detailed it was! when i got to the end i realised that only part of the last page was the RA, what went before was simply a detailed 'operating procedure'. i can recall some years ago working with a group of explorers on a 'how to do RAs' activity. as an exercise, i asked them to write one for making a cup of tea. much of what i got was an 'operating procedure', not a RA.

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonM View Post
    I clearly stated that my aim was to provide a starting point for others, not a print and forget substitute to RA's.
    you did. i'll withdraw my comment about you seemingly promoting the copying of them. i sincerely apologise. but copying them is what will happen as an unintended consequence.

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonM View Post
    Many large organisations provide generic RA's for their employees / volunteers. These provide a starting point, not a finished RA, but allows the person conducting the RA to see what others have already condidered.
    hmmm..one has to be careful with so-called generic RAs. may tend to be operating procedures, rules and policies, and standard practices, &c, all wrapped up with an assessment tacked on the end. they tend to be overlooked by some because they are such and because after a while they're simply 'stating the obvious' to those well practiced in them.

    parachuting is dangerous, especially without a parachute. i don't think people need to be told that, if you catch my drift.

    besides: 'I know, I know...but bear with me on this!' seems to suggest to me that you half expected a response such as mine. but now you're suggesting it's unwelcome? ok. it's your thread. i'll withdraw.

    regards, TM

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    1,201
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    I think it could be a very useful resource - but I'm not sure it would work on escouts, as I could it following the track that this thread has done already.

    That said, if we could agree to just post them up without anyone picking them apart, then I 'd be up for it. (Although I'd have to go written RA hunting).

    As for splitting hairs over operating procedures and RA, you can't do a decent RA without knowing the operating procedure.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    10,006
    Thanks
    2,675
    Thanked 2,004 Times in 1,267 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Scary Monster View Post
    As for splitting hairs over operating procedures and RA, you can't do a decent RA without knowing the operating procedure.
    Assuming there is one - you probably do (or at least should) have an operating procedure for a climbing wall, but I doubt you have one for a general Troop night, or at least one detailed enough to provide much benefit.

    Neil

    ----------------
    The Following Was Added to the post within 60 minutes of posting the above
    ---------------

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinSykes View Post
    What exactly is the problem with copying them - or at least using someone else's experience of a similar activity as a starting point? It just means more than one person has had a think about the risks and you're less likely to have missed something.
    The problem with copying them is that a lot of people will print a generic one and say "that's it, RA done". That is worse than not doing one at all, because at least in the latter case you might apply a bit of common sense while running it and work it out as you go along.

    Copying them, reading properly and adapting to your needs, OTOH, is not a problem.

    Neil
    Last edited by Neil Williams; 23-07-2011 at 09:37 AM. Reason: Merged Double Post

  10. #10
    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    'auchtermuchty'
    Posts
    7,660
    Thanks
    398
    Thanked 1,750 Times in 1,054 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Scary Monster View Post
    I think it could be a very useful resource - but I'm not sure it would work on escouts, as I could it following the track that this thread has done already.

    That said, if we could agree to just post them up without anyone picking them apart, then I 'd be up for it. (Although I'd have to go written RA hunting).
    and the value in just posting them without anyone commenting on them is?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scary Monster View Post
    As for splitting hairs over operating procedures and RA, you can't do a decent RA without knowing the operating procedure.
    but you don't need to put 15 1/2 pages of OP into a 16 pages RA!

    first line of RA says: 'Read the OP'. One line. Done.

    cordially yours, TM

    ----------------
    The Following Was Added to the post within 60 minutes of posting the above
    ---------------

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonM View Post
    Below are examples of the type of thing I meant to share:

    DoE walking expedition

    Lancashire County Council RA webpage

    Simon
    if i could take an example from your last link (above) maybe you could enlighten me, please?

    let's take the residential at plas menai, for example. (it's a lucky dip choice!)

    is this 'generic' or 'specific'? lots of the bits in blue seem specific to me. the only bit 'generic' is the form.

    take something from staffing: 'EVC trained member of staff also on visit (undertaken the visit for the last 3 years)'. fine for the person writing the RA i'm sure, but someone else who wishes to use it as a template? would they know what EVC means? should they assume that 'undertaken the visit for the last 3 years' is 'sufficiently experienced'? one needs to make one's own judgements and this sort of thing probably lends little help.

    take something from equipment: personal protective equipment is 'fit for purpose'. what does that mean and, most importantly, will it be read the same way by someone else using it as a generic? if they mean personal flotation devices then why not say so? if they mean other things too, then say so. and how is the person writing the RA to know if they're 'fit for purpose'? are they to do a check on top of the centre's own check? or should it say, for example. 'we're going to only use the centre's pfds which they've checked according to their procedures/assessments, and no others' or some such like.

    i also read a lot of 'facts' rather than assessment of such here too.

    and in the R column there is the risk rating with control measures. there are Ls and Ms. but i can't read where it says what level is acceptable. is it acceptable for there to be an improbable risk of death?

    and this is the potential problem with so-called generic RAs. often they're not generic and more often they're read differently by different people. fine if they read them and then adapt/edit/take ideas from, but the risk is that many don't do such. why should they? someone has said it's 'generic'! is it characteristic to all undertaking the activity? hmmm...

    i will apologise for continuing on, but as you requested i will now withdraw.

    cordially yours, TM
    Last edited by merryweather; 23-07-2011 at 10:54 AM. Reason: Merged Double Post

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    10,006
    Thanks
    2,675
    Thanked 2,004 Times in 1,267 Posts
    As for crossing the M25 - mad, illegal, but no need to write the RA down. Only partially in jest though, there are crossings where a public footpath crosses a dual carriageway that are equally dangerous - might not want to send Scouts there!

    As for RAs, how about a forum for those who wish to post, discuss and refine them?

    Neil

    Sent from my HTC Desire using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Edinburgh
    Posts
    800
    Thanks
    669
    Thanked 321 Times in 161 Posts

    RAs...

    I'd decide using "it depends".

    I see a Risk Assessment as being about identifying and dealing with issues that could affect safety etc.

    You need to identify issues, you need to address some of the things that you identify, you then need to run the activity taking account of what you identify.

    Sometimes you will have chosen not to do something a certain way - so you don't need to tell everyone about what you decided not to do.

    Sometimes you will need participants and leaders to know the hazards and the responses -by communicating with them.

    I'd write it down if I'm likely to forget some bits, if I need to give a lot of detail to other leaders, if the issues affect the whole duration of an event etc.

    Graham Scrimgeour
    ASL 122nd Inverleith Scouts

    ----------------
    The Following Was Added to the post within 60 minutes of posting the above
    ---------------

    Sharing and reusing RAs?

    Not sure about this.

    The reason for doing them is to remove / avoid unacceptable risks (to safety). For each situation the most important thing is to think it through - in the circumstances and situation in which you are or will be.

    Using an existing RA may "tick the box" but it might not address the issues relevant to your circumstances.

    Perhaps a list of common issues to consider for activities and environments might be useful?

    Graham
    Last edited by GScrimgeour; 23-07-2011 at 01:38 PM. Reason: Merged Double Post

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Kirkfieldbank, Scotland
    Posts
    232
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Stick to the best RA of them all. Common Sense.

  14. #14
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    12,218
    Thanks
    1,850
    Thanked 3,336 Times in 1,438 Posts
    I often run hikes that involve walking across the m25

    It is factored into my risk assessment although i don't write them down.

    The scouts get strict instructions about crossing it during the safety talk.

    ok... across is not the same as over/under... i admit that BUT!

    It is not unreasonable to expect scouts to get lost
    It is not unreasonable to expect scouts to stray from footpaths in an attempt to get unlost
    it is not unreasonable to expect scouts to find themselves at the m25 and to think about running across (i would hope that they would think about it only briefly... but it would almost certainly occur in their thought process)

    It is reasonable to cover that scenario in the safety briefing
    Last edited by big chris; 23-07-2011 at 08:42 PM.

  15. #15
    Grey but not that old Alfbranch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Whitehaven Cumbria
    Posts
    3,025
    Thanks
    150
    Thanked 65 Times in 42 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    The problem with copying them is that a lot of people will print a generic one and say "that's it, RA done". That is worse than not doing one at all, because at least in the latter case you might apply a bit of common sense while running it and work it out as you go along.

    Copying them, reading properly and adapting to your needs, OTOH, is not a problem.

    Neil
    I agree this a very dodgy aproach especially for those have a problem with RA.

    Risk perception is very varied and with common sense being in short supply nowadays it only seems to be getting worse.
    Alf

    Group Scout leader 1st Hensingham Scouts Western Lakes District
    http://www.hensinghamscouts.org.uk/
    Knives made by me

    Only use sharp knives. Blunt knives are more dangerous.

Similar Threads

  1. Risk Assessments
    By Walsallwizard in forum Scouting Talk
    Replies: 90
    Last Post: 27-10-2013, 08:04 AM
  2. training/risk assessments
    By nicki in forum Scouting Talk
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 18-01-2011, 01:05 PM
  3. One for your risk assessments
    By stevelinton in forum Scouting Talk
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 18-10-2010, 11:43 PM
  4. Risk Assessments
    By johnmcmahon in forum Scouting Talk
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 24-07-2009, 06:12 PM
  5. Risk Assessments
    By robinhood_2nd in forum Scouting Talk
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 09-02-2008, 08:11 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •