Creating a ‘Student Risk Manager’ position

April 08, 2011

Cary Primeau
Recreation Coordinator
University of Saskatchewan

As recreation professionals, we all have risk management on our radar – among other duties that our busy jobs entail. Unfortunately, we cannot be all things to all people and often important risk management issues or initiatives fall by the wayside. Rather than lose sight of these important initiatives and day-to-day tasks, effective delegation becomes the key.

Like most Campus Recreation programs, the majority of programming occurs at times when our office is closed, i.e. after the regular office day. Hence at the University of Saskatchewan, a ‘Student Risk Manager’ position has been created which essentially acts as the liaison between what happens in the regular operation of programs, games and other events and the managers of those programs in the office. The Student Risk Manager reports directly to the Facility Manager (who is also the chair of the department’s Risk Management Committee) completing the loop of information-sharing among all programs.

The Student Risk Manager hired by the College of Kinesiology at the University of Saskatchewan are required to have valid first aid, CPR and AED training, and many students are also part of the Athletic therapy program under the direction of the head therapist for Huskie Athletics. The current Student Risk Manager, Josip Batinik, states: “The issue of safety encompasses both prevention and management of accidents. For prevention, we try to minimize hazardous elements and make sure our personnel are trained for emergency situations. As a student risk manager, it is imperative for me to work closely with the staff of the entire facility. This position has given me the opportunity to work with and learn from different individuals of various backgrounds. To be successful in promoting safety and the implementation of safe practices, cooperation and teamwork are essential. In my opinion, the University of Saskatchewan’s Campus Recreation program is now safer since we are very successful in working together”.

The weekly duties of the Student Risk Manager include:

1. Inspect all facilities operated by College of Kinesiology and return completed facility checklists to the facility manager on a bi-weekly basis.

2. Complete venue checklists and report any problem areas to the appropriate coordinator for proper follow up.

3. Inspect all first aid kits / stations in facilities operated by the College of Kinesiology on a weekly basis. Document the status of the first aid kits by maintaining a weekly inventory list. Submit that list to the head Athletic Therapist and re-stock kits as necessary.

4. When requested, attend all College of Kinesiology program orientation meetings to provide a summary of the Emergency Action Protocol and the procedures followed in the event of an injury. These orientations include, but are not limited to, Campus Recreation captain’s meetings, Aquatics and Fit Centre in-services.

5. Attend all scheduled College of Kinesiology Risk Management Committee meetings.

6. Complete a weekly review of all incident reports. Reviews should ensure that Kinesiology staff has followed proper protocol in case of injury, and ensure reports are completed correctly and in full, as well as detailing the causes of incidents and possible solutions. Forward this review to appropriate College of Kinesiology program coordinator for proper follow up.

Consider implementing a ‘Student Risk Manager’ position in your department! For Campus Recreation at the University of Saskatchewan it has ensured that the important day-to-day risk management tasks get done — and important initiatives are not lost. It also provides a great learning experience for all students hired in the position.

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