Being Health & Safety Conscious When Running Games

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Running a training game or activity can present health and safety issues for the participants. In this short article Sarah Cook outlines the potential hazards and how to overcome them.

In preparing to run a training activity or game, the trainer or facilitator needs to be conscious of the physical, emotional and psychological impact that the game may have on the participants.  It is best to undertake a risk assessment of these elements prior to beginning the game to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

From a physical perspective, check that the game will be played in a safe environment, that there is enough space and that the equipment you are about to use is fit for purpose and safe to use.  Avoid, for example, sharp scissors or other objects that might inflict harm. (Rounded scissors like the type used in schools are an alternative.)  A good tips is to try out the material yourself.

When running a game or activity, also be conscious of  people who may attend your programme who may have disabilities. Ensure that there is a part that they can play in the activity.  Likewise, consider the psychological and  emotional needs of your delegates. For example, when using blindfolds as part of a game, check first that no-one is claustrophobic. Avoid running games where an individual is likely to be left out or where they are picked upon or singled out.

Finally, make sure you invite people with health problems or concerns, not to take part in games that could put them at risk. As a precaution, ensure that you know where the nearest first-aider is in any venue you are using. Nine times out of ten participants play games in a safe and fulfilling manner. However, it is best to be wise before the event  rather than taking unnecessary risk.

Sarah Cook is Managing Director of the leadership and service excellence consultancy, The Stairway Consultancy. You may publish this article in whole or in part. The only requirement is that if in print the article must state - article by Sarah Cook, Stairway Consultancy Ltd, 01628 526535, www.thestairway.co.uk

You may publish this article in whole or in part. The only requirement is that if in print the article must state - article by Sarah Cook, Stairway Consultancy Ltd, www.thestairway.co.uk

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