Sporting venues and facilities are places of excitement, fierce competition, and family fun. They can also be very dangerous for both participants and spectators alike. This is why these facilities must be monitored regularly for health and safety requirements or violations, and it must be done on a regular schedule and with strict adherence to policies.
In this article we discuss due diligence in sporting venue inspections and some best practices for ensuring player safety
To understand the importance of this due diligence, consider a swimming facility that is open to the public. Although there are usually signs posted to swim at your own risk and stating the rules of the facility (which is in itself a part of due diligence), the owner or operator of the facility can still be held liable when an accident occurs, if it is found that they could have made the area safer with simple changes. For instance, a slick surface is always a risk, but if there is an algae spot that makes it even slicker… you get the point.
In sport facilities, the owner/operator is again the first line of defense for due diligence. However, a wise sporting organisation would conduct their own audit of an unfamiliar facility before allowing their players to compete there. Some organisations in Australia are known to conduct due diligence audits of facilities both pre- and post-game. This is a smart practice, and when done properly it safeguards the organisation from possible liability in health or safety violations that might occur otherwise.
Some Best Practices
So what kind of audit should be performed?
The best way to audit a facility is to walk every bit of it with the intention of finding the worst, considering every possible scenario. Good lighting, clear walking spaces, properly functioning and maintained equipment and more need to be considered on every audit. A small hole in a field that goes unnoticed could cause a broken ankle or leg. Two floor mats not securely fastened to one another could do the same.
To really get you thinking about what you should look for in your own audits, which will of course depend on your own sport and situation, see this article. The bottom line is that your players’ safety, health, and security should be a top concern, and your facility audits should reflect that.
To ensure that your audits are consistent and complete, including the follow up of any areas requiring attention, our automated auditing software should be used which has real-time reporting for any irregularities. Compliance Checkpoint has already been proven as an effective system for a number of responsible sporting associations in Australia.