Risk Management Planning

Disaster Plan Update

January 15, 2014

The Ball is in Your Court
Katharine M. Nohr, J.D.

In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, where estimates at this writing are 10,000 people dead and hundreds of thousands of people misplaced, it is time to consider whether your organization is prepared for a significant weather disaster.

1. Disaster Plan Notebook
In response to the question— “what is your organization’s disaster plan?”— did you pull up a folder on your computer marked, “Disaster Plan”? You’re right, it was a trick question. What you should be doing is looking for that Disaster Plan in a notebook form. Yes, trees will have to be sacrificed so that you can print your plan on paper. Otherwise, the disaster that knocks out your electricity could also take your plan with it.
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Six Risk Control Techniques for Sport and Recreation

January 15, 2014

The Ball Is In Your Court
By Katharine M. Nohr, J.D.

Understanding the basics of risk control techniques is a first step in establishing a risk management program for your organization. The techniques are as follows:
Avoidance means electing to eliminate an activity completely in order to avoid the risk all together. An example of this would be to decide not to have surfing as a high school or university sport due to the high risk of injury or death. However, an organization may not wish to use this risk control technique as it might conflict with its goals. Read more

Looking at Risk Management through a different Lens

January 15, 2014

Kate Dorrity
Assistant Director — Risk and Facilities Management
Purdue University, Division of Recreational Sports

Welcome back! It’s back to the beginning for all of us – the beginning of the school year and of the programs we spent the summer preparing. We’re moving from the planning (and relatively student-less) phase of our work into implementation and evaluation. It’s time to see if our planning generates tangible results.

We all evaluate our programs, right? We look at participation numbers, satisfaction levels, budget changes… the list seems endless sometimes. But it is through that evaluation that a program grows and becomes the best it can be.

It’s time to take that same approach to risk management. As you begin the implementation phase of your programming, be aware of the ways in which risk management plays a part in your organization. Step back, take out your wide-angle lens, and look at the big picture:

– Are there consistent risk management procedures and training across program areas?
– Are there opportunities for staff to bring up safety concerns and discuss possible solutions?
– Are industry trends and hot topics being considered at the department level?
– Is risk management the responsibility of individual program areas or is there an organization-wide strategy?
– How can we better serve our participants and staff to ensure their safety and security?

It’s that last question that I find most powerful. In fact, I spent all summer thinking about it. Am I fully utilizing my resources, both internally and externally? Am I adequately preparing my staff to mitigate risk? Am I doing everything that I can? Read more

Hazing Prevention Strategies

January 14, 2014

Ryan Hamilton, PhD MSES
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
University of New Brunswick
Sport Psychology Consultant

Editors Note: This is the second of two articles by Dr. Hamilton on Hazing. The first article appeared in Volume 8#2.
The term hazing represents a vast number of activities that potentially degrade, embarrass, endanger or abuse incoming group members. These behaviors continue to be highly prevalent as indicated by recent empirical study – in spite of the introduction of anti-hazing policies. Indeed, more than 90% of varsity athletes report being hazed at some point in their athletic career, with 86% reporting being hazed as a part of joining their university team (Allan & Madden, 2008; Hamilton et al., 2013). The causes and supporting factors of hazing are vast and complex and thus, new rules alone are often inadequate in quelling these behaviours. This is not to say that new rules are not important, but simply that they are not sufficient to create meaningful changes in initiation practices. Educational initiatives, replacement activities, moral engagement processes, and leadership moments must all be fostered to prevent the continued and cyclical perpetration of hazing behaviours. Hazing prevention strategies are the focus of this article.
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Youth Camps: Scary Stuff!

April 17, 2013

Priority areas for managing risk

Ian McGregor, Ph.D.
President, Ian McGregor & Associates Inc.

Guess which Campus Recreation program has the highest risk profile? That’s right – Youth Camps!

Since your clients are MINORS, the standard of care is very high. The ‘reasonable parent test’ requires you to take care of minors as if they are your own children. That’s a pretty high standard!! Hence program planners need to pay extra attention and apply sound risk management principles when planning camps.

The recent ‘Freeh Report’ has brought into sharp focus the enormous duty universities accept when minors venture onto campus to participate in an amazing variety of programs and activities aimed specifically at minors. (How has your school reacted to the Freeh report? You may want to find out!)

Your planning list is long e.g. staffing, supervision, training, documentation, emergency response — to name only a few issues. This article focuses on what you MUST take care of as a top priority.
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Risk and Crisis Management

April 17, 2013

A Recreation Perspective

Kristen Brosius, M.Ed.
Mary Kate McMahon, M.Ed
Springfield College

June 1, 2011 started like any other late spring day in New England. While a majority of students on the Springfield College campus had gone home for the summer, the recreation facility was bubbling with activity, including summer camps, children’s swim lessons, recreational exercising, and group exercise classes. As the afternoon approached, the sky began to look grey and ominous. Because a tornado is such a rare occurrence in western Massachusetts, few took the tornado warning seriously and continued about their day. Against all odds, a funnel cloud touched down near campus at 4:23 p.m. Instantly, the student and professional campus recreation staff became responsible for the safety of over one hundred visiting patrons.

In any campus recreation setting, planning for a disaster or crisis is an essential component of a comprehensive risk and crisis management plan. The crisis management cycle described by Dunkel, Rollo, and Zdziarski (2007) details the stages: planning, prevention, response, recovery and learning. While many of these steps are tackled on an institutional level, a campus recreation department should have its own highly organized emergency action plan.
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