Risk Assessment

(Note: The term “Student” refers to all participants, members of the public and spectators throughout this document.)

Slips and tripsStudents and all visitors when using, entering or leaving the premises.Automatic lighting to ensure all corridors and rooms are well lit, walk ways are left clutter free and tidy.Immediate and ongoing checks to ensure there are no new trip hazards, no spills or loose flooring. Anything found to be immediately cleaned up or a warning sign positioned until the centre staff can be informed and the problem rectified.Low
Sprains and StrainsStudentsThorough warm up of the cardiovascular system and appropriate stretches to ensure all participants are ready for motion and exercise.Immediately and always – All instruction supervised and properly demonstrated. All performed at lower intensity and speed to begin.Medium
Contact injuryStudents – Caused by contact through drills, techniques, simulations or practice.Absolutely no contact until students are insured, licensed and adequately inducted. No contact without prior consent from all parties. Parties can withdraw their consent at any time.Immediately and ongoing.No full contact, ever.Careful demonstrations and safe build up of intensity after calibrations of control/skill levels to any more vigorous , contact based training.
Appropriate PPE to be worn at all times. Instructor to supervise at all times.
DehydrationStudents, instructors, visitorsAdequate ventilation to keep the temperature of the room regulated. Regular water breaks, adjustments to lessen intensity and drills if PPE will cause overheating.Ongoing – Ensure the room is well ventilated and students can train at a pace that suits them and take as many breaks as required.Low
FireStudents, instructors, visitors.Building compliant with fire checks. Clear paths to sign posted and labelled exits.Ongoing. All escape routes checked before each session and continually throughout to ensure free from kit and clutter. All students and visitors know the procedure in case of fire.Low
Injury caused by training weapon or protective equipment fault/failureStudentsAll training weapons to be checked regularly by the instructor and the owner/student using it. Steel weapons should be checked for bur and rough edges, non-spatulated or folded tips should be tipped with an archery blunt or other appropriate tip.All PPE should be checked when first purchased and maintained by the owner and inspected before each use.Ongoing. All new equipment coming into the club, either club owned or personal kit should be safety checked and deemed as safe by the instructor. Ongoing checks to ensure all safety features of training weapons are in good condition no burs or weaknesses/loose pommels, cross guards, and safety tips still securely in place.All PPE to be maintained and checked before use for any faults/dents to fencing mask mesh, tears in gloves, etc.Low
Bruising to forearms, hands or other body parts.StudentsStudents should only strike as hard/fast as they can safely stop. Instructors begin all drills at a slower pace so they can be gradually increased to a level both participants are confident with the force and speed of.Ongoing / continuous.
Conditioning and gradually improving students’ control at higher intensities, vigilance and instructor to ensure and support participants’ right to stop training at any point/withdraw their consent to continue.
Concussion caused by excessive force/lack of control from either partyStudentsCareful supervision of training/drilling/sparring in addition to careful coaching at acceptable levels of contact and force.Ongoing/continuous.
PPE of suitable fencing mask and gloves to be worn if any level of medium to high intensity drilling to be performed or as a minimum for any sparring where even light contact is expected.
Seizure through contraindications or over exertion.StudentsInstructors are to advise novices of physical exertion levels that will be encountered and so provide reasonable recovery periods during training, particularly after demanding elements of training.Always/Ongoing.Instructors to be vigilant of dehydration and to ensure plenty of opportunity for rest. Reinforcing students to stop when they feel pain or exhaustion.Low
Dizziness, hyperventilation, nausea – Caused by students not conditioned or failure to adequately prepare (Too warm clothes, low blood sugar, etc.)StudentsStudents to be made aware of risks prior to warming up, instructors to remain vigilant to student actions and state throughout the session.Always. Students are reminded to rest and sit out if feeling unwell or under strain.Low
Complications of pre-existing medical conditions or injury.StudentsAll students, including newcomers, to fill out a medical declaration and advise of medical conditions or injuries prior to start of classAlways. Instructor to communicate with students and individuals with regards to ability to perform tasks confidently in light of injuries or conditions.Low
Injury to head, neck or spine caused by falling, being thrown, contact or other injury.StudentsAll training must be conducted at all times on suitable flooring/mats. Full supervision at all times by the instructor.Always. Instructor to supervise all contact and only permit throws by adequately trained, insured members. No full contact to be used at any point. PPE to be used as necessary.For teaching/introducing throws in a drill, ensure safe landing/breakfalling has been taught before any throws are introduced and the intensity level begins as low as possible and only taken to point of balance until both participants are confident/capable to take it further.Low
Insufficient SupervisionStudentsAll classes must be conducted by fully qualified, insured and capable staff.Always/Ongoing.Instructors must have appropriate qualifications and insurance and be present throughout.Low
Muscle fatigue, cramp, sore/stiff joints, pulled and strained muscles, ligament and tendons, etc.StudentsFull and thorough war up of all joints and body areas as required for sessions prior to drills, training or contact.Always/Ongoing. Instructors to check for injuries prior to class start and to remind students to act within comfort levels.Low
Other injuries include breaks, teeth loss, unconsciousness, dislocations, blisters and others.StudentsFully supervised and structured class from pre-planned training schedule and lesson plans.Always/Ongoing. Use PPE wherever possible, allow students to progress at their own pace and always ensure clear and well received demonstrations.Ensure all students know how and when to “tap-out” and they are aware they can do so or stop a drill they are uncomfortable with at any time.Low
Risk of long term damage by CTE and other head traumas.StudentsStudents are advised to get padded overlays for fencing masks or protective padded skull-caps beneath them. Level of force is kept to a minimum in drills and students are asked to stop strikes before making contact with the mask for repetitive drills.Ongoing and always. Instructor to be vigilant against excessive force of  repeated strikes to the mask.Training partners are encouraged to speak to each other and have freedom to stop the drill or change the intensity levels at any time. Constant reminders of this damage are given by the instructor to students as something they should be aware and vigilant about. Low