Risk Management Planning

Thunder & Lightning

February 05, 2013

One strike and you’re out!

David Munro
Director of Athletics
University of New Brunswick
Saint John Campus (UNBSJ)

Athletics Directors can count on the fact that every day presents different and unique challenges in the area of Risk Management. And so it was on this particular day. Nothing out of the ordinary. The only thing pressing was the time frame to get all the games played without delay as visiting teams were travelling 4-5 hrs and not staying overnight.

The varsity soccer teams were scheduled to play at 2:00 PM (women) and 4:00 PM (men) with the football club set for a 6:00 PM start. It was sunny and quite warm for a fall day. The women’s game was therefore very pleasant and the conditions were perfect. Just the kind of scenario we all hoped for when the day began. Even the opposing team was happy with the venue, the changing rooms, the field and the officials.

The women’s game ended on time and the men’s game started at 4:00 PM as scheduled. The temperature was still warm enough that people hadn’t really notice that the clear blue sky was now cloud-covered. Still, all in all, it was nice. As the game moved into the second half, dark, ominous clouds had gathered up a storehouse full of rain waiting to be unleashed just as the weather forecast had predicted. We were hoping that the men’s game would finish before the downpour.

None of us can control the weather, even if we sometimes think we can do so by “wishing” the sun to be present for the entirety of the event. The soccer game would have continued during the rain, as it was being played on an artificial turf field. However, a much bigger issue emerged, one that we weren’t completely ready for. It was supposed to rain but that was going to be the extent of it.
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Communicable Diseases

February 05, 2013

The holiday gift you don’t want to receive…

Alison Epperson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Health Ed.
Murray State University

‘Tis the season for germs and no one wants to have their holiday fun ruined feeling under the weather. Having to stay in due to snow is one thing; staying home because you and your germs are not a welcome party guest is another.

This season, share the love, not the germs by keeping in mind that the best prevention is protection. On a personal level, some simple steps make a huge difference:

  • Hand washing
  • Covering your cough or sneeze
  • Staying home when you have a fever
  • Not sharing personal items such as towels, razors and uniforms jerseys
  • Covering an open wound
  • Constantly disinfecting high contact items (i.e. weight/bench equipment, doorknobs, computers, phones, bathrooms, etc.)

Typically during this time of year, we tend to be more concerned about colds/flu. However, since the initial hype in 2007 regarding MRSA, many of us may have let it slide off our radar. Consequently, it is important to remember that Flu and MRSA germs have very similar methods of transmission and can live outside the body for extended periods of time, and passed in droplet form by way of a sneeze or cough.
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Head Injuries

September 18, 2012

Head Injuries: TBI, Concussion and PCS
What does all this mean and why should we care?

Alison Epperson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Health Ed.
Murray State University

TBI – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov), “a traumatic brain injury is defined as a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain.” The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (www.aans.org), categorize TBI as mild, moderate or severe depending on the extent of the damage sustained to the brain. A person who sustains a mild TBI may only exhibit brief changes in mental state or consciousness, whereas a person with a moderate to severe damage can lapse into extended periods of unconsciousness, a coma, or die.

TBI symptoms — Constant or reoccurring headache; inability to control or coordinate motor functions or balance; changes in ability to hear, taste, see, dizziness and hypersensitivity to light or sound; shortened attention span; easily distracted, overstimulated by environment; difficulty staying on task, following directions or understanding information; feeling disoriented or confused; difficulty finding the ‘right words,’ expressing thoughts or slurred speech.

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Security lessons from the G20 and Vancouver

May 10, 2012

Shelley Timms, B.A., LL.B., LL.M.
Timshel Services Inc.
Alcohol Risk Management
Timshel@timshelservices.com

Recent events such as the G20 and the NHL Final in Vancouver are examples of what happens when security issues are not given the attention required. In once situation, there was inadequate time to train people for the situations that were expected and in fact did happen, and in the other, there appeared to be little planning at all.

Security is needed for most events from the most innocuous (in-house residence nights) to the regular (pub nights) to the obvious (Homecoming/major sports events). Its importance needs to be reflected in the planning. Like most matters, building a strong foundation is key. Security personnel, whether full-time or part-time, must be properly trained. Too often we see campus security not involving themselves in situations because “they don’t want to get hurt”.
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It’s Not All Fun & Games!

March 22, 2012

Risk Management for Summer Day Camps

Jen Rose
Assistant Director, Sports and Youth & Family Programs
Southeast Missouri State University

Risk management is a hot topic in the world of campus recreation. Whether we are running sport programs, managing facilities, hosting special events or operating an aquatics center we deal with high-risk situations on a daily basis. It is our responsibility in this profession to be proactive in our risk management procedures and for most departments this is a regular topic of discussion. In the mix of everything we do in campus recreation there is one program area that poses some very serious risks, but is often not even thought about when discussing campus recreation risk management. Youth summer day camps is that often overlooked and systematically run program that holds some serious risks for programs. These camps are just a small part of what we do and are often put on the calendar to make revenue or get the community in the door, but are we protecting ourselves and the participants as much as we can or should?

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10 Steps to Spectator Safety

March 22, 2012

The Ball is In Your Court

Katharine M. Nohr, Esq.
Nohr Sports Risk Management, LLC

Hosts of indoor spectator sports have the challenge of providing safe viewing to attendees. In a recent case decided by the Court of Appeals in Oregon, Matson v. Oregon Arena Corp., 242 Or.App. 520, 256 P.3d 161 (2011), the court affirmed a $2,125,000 award of damages to an attendee who sustained damages when she fell 40 feet from a railing in the arena. A jury had found Oregon Arena Corporation (OAC) 50 percent at fault for the injuries that the Plaintiff sustained. The accident occurred when the Plaintiff fell from a railing that enclosed the 300-level smokers’ lounge during a Portland Trail Blazers basketball game at the Rose Garden. Plaintiff alleged that OAC did not post any warning signs regarding the risk of falling, did not have a barrier that would prevent customers from falling and did not implement adequate policies or procedures requiring its employees to warn customers of the danger of sitting on the bench-like platform from which Plaintiff fell. Plaintiff also alleged that the nighttime lighting was insufficient, the bench-like platform gave an impression that it was safe for seating, and that there should have been a video security surveillance system in order to protect customers from harm. The appellate court’s published decision primarily addressed issues regarding jury instructions and did not provide details of how OAC was negligent.
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