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Managing Sports Facilities Safely Management Essay

Introduction

The following report details an audit that was carried out at King George V Leisure Centre on the 18th December 2009 as part of the ISRM Higher Professional Diploma in Sport and Recreational Management to explore both the health, safety and security procedures at familiar building.

King George V sports Centre, the smallest of Knowsley sports centres is a dry facility constructed in 2002. The facility boasts externally three senior grass pitches, two junior grass pitches, three mini soccer grass pitches, two synthetic 5-a side pitches, 2 bowling greens and 3 tennis courts that have the ability to transform into one 7 a side football pitch. The centre internally houses office space and one three court sports hall.

The audit was carried out independently by a competent employee that was familiar but not employed at the site. The outcome of the audit would be to assess the current standard under health and safety management that will include policy, planning and management review. The outcome will be to provide assurance, or otherwise, that all areas of health and safety are being adequately addressed.

Discussion

Why we undertake a health and safety audit? A question commonly asked during audits. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, a duty is placed employers, so far as reasonable practical to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees, to maintain a safe workplace and safe systems of working and in addition to the above the completion of a written safety policy for employers that employ more than four employees.

Safety culture and management within the authority can only be described as inconsistent, with some departments demonstrating areas of excellence and others of concern. The Sport section falls under the Department of wellbeing Services and has always been considered to be pro-active within its approach and the underpinning reason for this audit.

In 2008 Knowsley Borough Council was chosen at ransom by the HSE for auditing purposes. Sport and several other departments were chosen by the HSE. In some instances other departments felt, there was an expectation that “things would be fine because nothing serious had happened to date”, however this was not the case, and a number of minor questions were raised regarding some required improvements regarding some shortfalls within departments since the corporate restructuring.

Due to this restructuring there was no defined structure to pass information systematically throughout the Departments. Lessons learnt elsewhere and relevant legislative changes could not be communicated to those who needed to know; best practice could not be followed and safety culture was degraded as a result.

The underlying cause of the failure to inform line managers of their responsibilities, including carrying out risk assessments, was possibly the lack of a safety management structure. This was reviewed by chief officers, and as a result has undergone a transformation. A new safety management hierarchy was then implemented corporately which addressed the problem, and lead to improvements in all areas, framework shown on page 4.

Since the corporate restructuring, progress has been made in completion of actions to address the recommendations from the 2008 HSE audit, managers now developing the health and safety management system documentation with the guidance from the Principal safety advisor, commencing the implementation of the health and safety management system and establishing a structure that will support its implementation.

Areas identified by the HSE and resulting changes, include:

The development and introduction of a new Health and Safety Management structure

The merger between two departments Leisure Services and Social Services to become the Department of wellbeing Services.

Formal health and safety training as part of the DWS health and safety programme.

The implementation of the procedures for the management and monitoring of health and safety throughout DWS, regular auditing.

Introduction and implementation of new policies and procedures to ensure that the department satisfies the legal duties imposed upon them i.e. Ladder Policy etc.

Comprehensive level of performance monitoring which has been an important factor in raising the profile of health and safety within the authority i.e. accident statistics

The development of a DWS health and safety SharePoint site, agreed access to all.

Reporting on health and safety performance as a fixed agenda item to chief officers and subordinates.

KMBC Health and Safety Organisational Hierarchy

Framework

Summery

While lots of progress has been made in raising awareness of health and safety by chief officers and subordinate officers by putting in place the necessary documentary infrastructure, there are areas which need to be developed further in order for the management systems to become implanted and realise best practice. The audit has been split into four main areas, red indicates a significant weakness in systems, amber indicates some weaknesses in systems, green indicates an area of good practice and yellow indicates an area or activity not present or available at that site.

Key areas of significant weakness (Red)

In this area a particular weakness has been found that may be in breach of a government Act or Regulation. During the audit it was noted that no departmental safety policy was available on site a possible breach in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It is recommended that a copy of this audit is forwarded to the DWS Risk Manager for an immediate solution.

A visual check on portable appliances was carried out, it was evident that all appliances considered to be portable had expired at possible breach of one or all of the following, the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. It is recommended that the equipment not be used until further testing had been carried by an approved authority appointed competent person.

Further inspection of the electrical items revealed that one electric hoover and one buffing/floor polishing machine had no PAT test, neither had any service documentation and both had sustained some physical damage. When the item was switched on moving parts became visible this could result in a severe injury or loss of life. A possible breach in the following, Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. Consequently both electrical item were taken out of service and plugs removed. It is advised that both items be disposed of safely and environmentally using approved methods, contact contract service on 0151 4896000.

No evidence could be found to suggest that display screen assessments have been carried out, a possible breach of the Display Screen Assessment Regulations 1992 and Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. A poor workstation could lead to work related upper limb disorders (WRULDs). Further In formation is available on the KMBC health and safety homepage or DWS SharePoint site.

Manual handling assessments were completed and specific to each task. However concern was raised when one assessment detailed a requirement for additional staff that was not available to undertake a common task. Information received indicated that the actual moving, transporting and setting up football goals was carried out by the service users at the request of the centre without formal training. Injuries sustained acting on instruction from the centre may be seen as a possible shortfall under common law torts and duties, this being Negligence, a failure in duty of care and an undetermined level of statutory liability. Immediate recommendations to include, further risk assessment, suitable training and advice from DWS Risk Manager.

Fire drills and emergency evacuations seemingly carried out on an ad-hoc basis, when reminded by senior management or safety auditors. The inconsistency in fire drills and emergency evacuations could possibly be a breach under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 covering the elimination or minimisation of fire risks, Fire Precaution (Workplace) Regulations 1997, Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996, and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. It is recommended that this as a matter of urgency that fire drills and emergency evacuations be carried out at the scheduled times. Failure to act on the recommendations may lead to prosecution or penalties or dismissal.

No evidence of an effective system of communication to suggest that the information is being disseminated to subordinate staff. A possible breach under the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996, Regulation 5 information, instruction and training. It is recommended that information be provided and should include signs, posters, systems of work and health and safety arrangements.

No formal security arrangements to prevent unauthorised access during working hours. Although KGV is considered to be a cashless site there is no visible indication of this or a deterrent to discourage thieves. Further information provided suggested that only the supervisor opens the building. It recommended that arrangements lone work should be considered under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. This needs to include a specific risk assessment to control the risks.

Key areas of some weakness (Amber)


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