A Risk Management Guide for Off-Site Activities
The safety and well-being of children, staff, students and volunteers are of fundamental importance in all activities conducted by RisingOaks Early Learning. However, incidents can and do occur. Because there is an element of risk in all activities, appropriate procedures must be in place to assist RisingOaks' educators and employees to minimize risks and effectively managing the safety of every participant in every activity.
Risk arises naturally as a result of many ordinary activities over and above camping or boating. All activities - even those within the child care centre such as gross motor activities, crafts using scissors or solvents, and field trips or walks in local neighbourhoods - include elements of risk. Circumstances are important, too. For example, an activity that may be perfectly safe in a family setting may not be safe at the centre when one-to-one supervision can't be guaranteed. Good risk management practices can prevent most serious mishaps.
The procedures in RisingOaks' Safety First! manual were developed with expertise and research to enable us to provide a challenging yet safe environment for all RisingOaks' activities. Safety First! provides a process to help our registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) to be consistent and systematic in their risk-related planning and to document what they have done before, during and after an incident - shoudl one happen. In addition to ensuring the safety of participants, evaluating and planning activities using Safety First! gives RECEs more peace of mind to enjoy the activity with the children.
The procedures in Safety First! are not intended to be an all-inclusive list of rules and procedures that are required to govern every RisingOaks' activity. It would be an impossibility to establish procedures for every activity provided at RisingOaks. Therefore, staff need to use discretion in planning and implementing the wide variety of off-site activities they conduct, thereby demonstrating:
- an awareness of inherent risks in the activity
- a consistent systematic process in risk-related planning to address inherent risks
- attention to documentation of actions that were taken to minimize risks
Step by Step Process
The following is the step-by-step process outlined in Safety First!
Determine the risk level of the activity being planned. Use the Risk Assessment Guide.
Read and understand the safety management procedures for the activity.
Educate yourself, other staff and the children about safe conduct appropriate to the risk level of the actviity using the Safety Management Procedures documented in Safety First! and test emergency response.
Create plans using the procedures appropriate to the level of activity being undertaken.
Submit forms with appropriate documents for activity authorization to the Supervisor.
Distribute and collect the required forms with signatures and dates prior to the activity taking place.
Facilitate the activity with your group, have FUN and be safe.
Submit the appropriate follow up forms/receipts, where applicable, to the Supervisor within 48 hours of the activity's completion.