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Risk Management

The most effective way of ensuring the safety of participants and leaders in any activity is to remove, or reduce, the likelihood of an accident happening. This can be achieved through a process of Risk Management.

Risk management required by BBA as part of the approval process for activities should comply with the procedure as described in this section of this Manual.

A suggested Risk Management Form is provided.

The document has been formatted as a table with the top section as the page header. To add details in this section you will need to work in the page header/page footer mode. Additional lines in each row and additional rows may be added as required. The header and footer details will automatically appear on extra pages as they are created.

Figure 1: Risk Management Form

Step 1:
Complete details in section A (see Figure 1) of the form (this is in the document header].

  • Activity Identification – you may need to also add a specification relating to the conditions in which you will operate. (eg. bushwalking on formed trails; canoeing on still water)
  • The Location where the activity will take place [Note: if the activity is being conducted by a paid provider you do not need to conduct your own risk assessment – they should provide you with a copy of theirs.]
  • Age and Number of participants – if possible include an age range (eg. 12 to 15 yr boys) and a maximum number (eg. max 15 participants)
  • Previous experience includes training and preparatory sessions – provided all participating in the activity have actually completed the training.
  • Date provides an indication of how recently the risk management has been completed – it is not necessary to do a new assessment for the same activity held in the same place every weekend for a month, but there should be a review if there is a change in a major factor – eg. age of participants, number of participants, conditions of the location.
  • The person/s completing the assessment must provide their name/s.

Step 2:

Identify the risks. Identify when, where, why and how events could impact on the safe completion of an objective. In column 1 (Figure 1) the Hazards, associated risks and special circumstances relating to the risk must be recorded – one row for each identified risk.

Possible sources of risk include:

  • human behaviour,
  • an object falling or being projected,
  • a collision or impact – between people,
  • with structures or furniture, with vehicles.
  • heat and cold from weather or other sources,
  • radiation – eg. ultraviolet; welding flashes,
  • electricity,
  • technology and technical issues,
  • air quality – fumes,
  • lighting – or lack of adequate lighting,
  • hygiene – amenities,
  • food storage and handling,
  • property and equipment,
  • physical structures – eg. presence of glass,
  • projecting objects,
  • ground / floor surfaces and condition,
  • available space,
  • environmental,
  • natural events – eg. lightning.

Risks may be identified by:

  • inspections and audits of areas used,
  • historical data:
    • accident records,
    • experiences of others,
  • prediction – eg. following heavy rain a creek that is normally quite safe to canoe could be expected to be no longer suitable for beginners.
  • external advice
    • from an expert in a field / workplace health and safety officers
    • from publications / guides to an area.,
    • equipment handbooks
  • current circumstances – it is possible for some incident to be occurring at a particular point of time which will completely change the suitability of that location for the planned activity,
  • observation of the activity,
  • analyse a specific scenario (hypothetical incident).

There could be a number of identified hazards for the one activity, each must be considered separately.

For example, for games in a hall, identified risks could include:

  • Collision with stacked chairs causing direct injury, or the stack may fall and injure another person.
  • Glass windows and doors could break and injure anyone running or falling into them.
  • Unprotected florescent tubes could be broken by a ball being used, showering glass over participants in any activity.
  • A cracked or uneven floor surface could cause tripping or foot injuries.

Step 3:

Analyse the risks. Identify and evaluate existing controls. Determine likelihood and consequences and hence the level of risk.

The likelihood of the event should be assessed from the scale below and the code recorded into column 2 (Figure 1).



The age and experience of the group is a major variant in determining the likelihood of an event.

For example, the likelihood of a 7 year old being cut while using a sharp knife to cut cardboard is much more likely than a 15 year old injuring themselves in the same circumstances.

The consequence if the event occurred should be assessed from the scale below:


Record the code in column 3 (Figure 1).

Using the Risk Assessment Matrix (form part B), an overall rating can be obtained and recorded into column 4.

Figure 2: Risk Assessment Matrix

from Standards Australia Risk Management AS/NZS 4360: 2004

Step 4: Evaluate the risks. In column 5 an acceptance or unacceptance of the risk can be recorded.

Aspects relating to an activity which are assessed at low risk will be automatically accepted and there is no need to proceed further through the process for those aspects

Medium risk could be accepted but risk controls should be considered to see if, by conducting or managing the activity differently, the risk could be further reduced.

For each element initially assessed as a high or extreme risk, control measures MUST be considered.

Step 5: Treat or control the risks. Risk treatment involves identifying the range of control options, assessing these options, and the preparation and implementation of treatment plans.

Control strategies include:

► Design-planning for contingencies and “worse case scenarios”;

Re-design – relocating the activity away from a source of risk. Conducting inspections, audits and preventative maintenance; Substitution – changing an element of the activity to a safer or more

appropriate item;

► Separation – putting physical barriers in place or minimising exposure to the

risk; → Training and supervision – correct operational and safety practices; > Protective Equipment – including protective equipment required by law.

The list is arranged from the most effective (top) to the least effective (bottom). It may also be necessary to use a combination of control strategies.

The control measures should be recorded into column 6.

For example: Risk: Collision with stacked chairs causing direct injury, or the stack may fall and injure another person.


  • Stacked chairs are removed from the area used for games.
  • A protective barrier (foam mats) is placed around any stacks of chairs and they are secured so that they cannot fall.

Step 6: Reassess the controlled situation. Repeat the processes of steps 2, 3 and 4 considering the element with the control measures (noted in column 6) in place (recording the findings in columns 7, 8 and

Step 7: Evaluate the risks in relation to the whole activity: When all the risk elements of an activity have been considered it is necessary to determine if the overall risk relating to conducting the activity is acceptable.

This may mean having to consider evaluations of five or six elements, some of which could be low or medium, while there may be some that still are high or even extreme.

It will be necessary to accept some elements that are a higher risk – for example, one of the most dangerous activities is driving in a motor vehicle but we all accept the risk daily.

In some instances the level of risk may be beyond the capabilities of the organization to manage appropriately (eg. no-one may have the training or qualifications to supervise the activity to the legal requirement). In such a case the risk could be transferred to another party with the correct qualifications and insurance cover.

For other situations where it has been agreed that the activity is essential and a higher level of risk exists (from the initial risk calculation), some form of control is necessary.