Oread Mountaineering Club Health & Safety Policy

This policy is intended to demonstrate the club’s commitment to good health and safety and to clarify procedures and areas of responsibility. It includes details of Risk Assessments, how to respond to an incident or accident and who is the club’s contact should a Health and Safety concern arise.

1. Statement

1.1 The objectives of the Oread Mountaineering Club are mountaineering in every aspect and the Club also states that its aim is to encourage and further all aspects of mountaineering activities, but in particular rock climbing, ice and snow climbing, both in the United Kingdom and abroad. This aim is greatly encouraged and facilitated by regular club meets, social activities and informal meets. By their nature these are hazardous activities.

1.2 The Committee of the Oread Mountaineering Club (Oread MC) recognises that members of the Club, guests and others are faced with a wide variety of hazards whilst involved in club activities and whilst staying in club huts or helping to maintain them. The Committee also recognises that the Club has a duty of care to all members, guests and visitors to its premises as well as specific statutory obligations.

1.3 With regard to mountaineering related activities of members and guests, particularly when on organised club meets, the Committee recognises and endorses the British Mountaineering Council’s Participation Statement and expects members and guests to accept its principles:

"The BMC recognises that climbing and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement."

1.4 The Committee is committed to minimise the risks associated with such hazards, as far as is reasonably practicable and as they are within their control, and to ensure statutory obligations are addressed.

2. Aims of the Health and Safety Policy

  1. To facilitate club meets, social activities and informal meets that are as safe as is reasonably practicable given the nature of the event, the role of the Club and the Meet Leader.
  2. To provide club premises that are safe for all members, guests, visitors, contractors and members of the public.
  3. To encourage safe practices by those using the Oread’s huts.

2.1 To help achieve these aims, the Committee will appoint a Health and Safety Co-ordinator.

2.2 Where necessary guidelines will be in place to ensure that these aims are met, and these will be made available to all members, guests and visitors to our huts.

2.3 This policy and any guidelines will be reviewed regularly by the committee or anyone appointed by them. The reviews will be at least annually.

3. Organisation

3.1 The affairs of the Club are managed by a Committee with Officers and Members elected annually. Postholders names can be found in the Handbook and on the club website together with contact details. The Committee can appoint other members to undertake specialist tasks. The Committee steer Health & Safety policy and it is their role to promote a strong culture of safety in all aspects of club activities.

3.2 Hut Sub-Committees (HSC) are responsible for the safe running and maintenance of the club huts and report to the Committee. Each hut has a Hut Custodian.

3.3 Under the guidance of the Health and Safety Co-ordinator the Hut Custodians are responsible for Health and Safety matters within their huts.

3.4 The Oread organises regular club meets and social activities, usually facilitated by a Meet Leader. The role of the Meet Leader is that of a co-ordinator who looks after the administrative aspects, introduces participants, and acts as a focus during the meet.

3.5 It is not the role of the Meet Leader or the Oread MC to assess whether a not the activity is suitable or appropriate for a participant.

4. Membership

4.1 A criterion for membership of the Oread will be that applicants are able to recognise their own level of mountaineering skill, competence and experience and participate in activities that are appropriate to that level.

4.2 Applicants for membership must recognise and endorse the British Mountaineering Council’s Participation Statement.

4.3 New Members will be provided with a welcome pack.

5. Meets

5.1. Club meets are usually facilitated by a Meet Leader.

5.2. A Risk Assessment is not required and will not be carried out for the majority of meets.

5.3. The Meet Leader will provide a brief description of the meet and this will normally be published in advance in the Club newsletter. This description and occasional additional information is also available on the club website and is often sent by email to club members.

5.4 It is not the role or responsibility of the Oread MC, the Meet Leader or participating Oread Members to provide guidance and or tuition on a club meet.

5.5 Participants in Club activities are required to act in a responsible manner conscious both of their own safety and of the impact of their conduct on the safety of others, and hold in mind their individual duty of care to all in their company.

5.6. Participants on club meets are individually responsible for themselves, what they decide to do, and for arranging their own insurances.

5.7. Indoor meets including lectures and indoor climbing wall meets are usually held in premises owned and managed by others. Members and their guests are expected to adhere to safety procedures that are in place at the establishment.

5.8. Risk Assessments will be carried out by Meet Leaders for Meets that are specifically aimed at novice or less-experienced members. The consideration of potential risks should not be an arduous process nor should it cover every potentiality. Meet Leaders will follow current Guidelines provided by the BMC when making the assessment.

5.9 Should an incident or accident occur on a Club meet the Meet Leader should be informed as soon as practicable. The Health and Safety Co-Ordinator should also be informed and details of the incident recorded.

5.10. Risk Assessments shall be carried out for all Hut Working Party Meets by the Hut Custodian and or meet leader.

6. Huts

6.1 The Oread MC owns a climbing hut, Tan yr Wyddfa in Wales, and leases another, Heathy Lea in the Peak District. Each hut is managed by a Hut Sub-Committee and has a Hut Custodian. The role of the Custodian includes promoting the safe use of the hut, assessing risk and ensuring safe systems.

6.2. Safety Management System.

Safety in huts should be proactive, not reactive. Hut Custodians should be aware of and follow Guidelines provided by the BMC, especially those relating to Health and Safety, Fire Safety and hut maintenance.

6.3 Risk Assessments

6.3.1 Risk Assessments will be carried out for both huts and for all Hut Working Party Meets. The findings will be available to all who may be affected by the residual risks. Risk Assessments will be posted in the hut. Risk Assessments for huts will be reviewed at least every 3 years.

6.3.2 The Risk Assessments should be carried out using the current “Guidelines for Hut Managers” referred to in 6.2 above.

6.3.3 The Risk Assessments will be carried out by the Health and Safety Co-ordinator together with assistance from the Hut Custodian (and other Club members if required). Additional expert assistance must be obtained if an appropriate level of competence is not available.

6.3.4 The Oread MC permits children (under 18’s) to use their huts under supervision. Risk Assessments will endeavour to identify additional hazards and risks to which children could be exposed. Parents/specified adults will be made aware of them and the Club will make reasonable adjustments to address issues identified.

6.3.5 Risk Assessments shall be carried out to identify any adjustments that might be required to enable disabled persons to make use of the huts in a manner no less favourably than persons who are not disabled. The Oread MC will make reasonable adjustments to address issues identified taking into account the specific circumstances of the case, including the cost of the adjustment and club resources.

6.4. Fire Safety

6.4.1 The Oread Mountaineering Club has a Fire Safety Policy that applies to both its huts.

6.4.2 For the purpose of fire safety the Hut Custodian will be the “responsible person” and carry out, and review at least annually, a fire risk assessment at each hut (The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005). A suitably qualified “competent person” should be employed for this task if the Hut Custodian deems this necessary.

6.4.3 The assessment shall follow “A short guide to making your premises safe from fire” published by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the BMC Guideline 3.1: Fire Safety – England and Wales. Under the direction of the Health and Safety Co-ordinator the assessment will be carried out by the Hut Custodian with assistance from the HSC.

6.4.4 Expert advice must be obtained if considered necessary.

6.5. Accident Reporting

6.5.1 Accidents on club premises shall be reported in the Accident Book found in each hut. OMC Health and Safety Policy 10 July 2018

6.5.2 The first response is by the Hut Custodian who reviews these reports, takes action and/or advises the HSC on action.

6.5.3 Accidents shall be reviewed by the Health and Safety Co-ordinator and the results taken into account when reviewing hut risk assessments.

6.5.4 All incidents involving injury or damage to a BMC member or third party must be reported to the club’s insurers within 21 days

6.6 Records

6.6.1. A form detailing the schedule of work and inspections required for each hut is maintained by hut custodians and filed in the file storage areas of the club website for ease of access and inspection.

6.6.2. All other safety related documentation such as copies of fire inspections is also stored in this way.

6.6.3. Records relating to accidents involving children (under 18’s) must be maintained until the child has reached the age of 18 plus 3 years.

6.7 Electrical and Gas Safety

6.7.1 Fixed electrical installations must comply with relevant regulations, and must be tested by a qualified person at least every 5 years.

6.7.2 Portable electrical appliances should be visually inspected at least every 6 months by the Custodian, and withdrawn if deemed to be unsafe. Portable appliance testing (PAT) shall be carried out annually by a competent person.

6.7.3 Gas installations shall be tested annually by a ‘Gas Safe’ Registered fitter.

6.7.4 Records shall be kept of all gas and electric inspections and work.

6.8. Hut Maintenance Meets

6.8.1 From time to time Hut Working Party meets are arranged to carry out essential and routine hut maintenance. The Club recognises this creates an increased level of risk for participants and others.

6.8.2 A risk assessment shall be completed by the Hut Custodian and the Meet Leader prior to each maintenance meet, and all reasonable preventative steps shall be taken.

6.8.3 Only appropriate and serviceable tools, equipment and personal protection are to be used.

6.9 Young People (under 18’s)

6.9.1 All persons under-18 shall be under appropriate adult supervision whilst using huts. Extra care should be exercised in hazardous areas, including stairs, kitchens, near fires, parking areas and water courses.

6.9.2 The Oread MC and its officers have a duty of care, for example to make parents/specified adults and children aware of known hazards and risks. When children are present other hut users should respect the fact that there are children in the hut.

6.10 Contractors

6.10.1 Contractors working at Oread huts must be suitably qualified and carry their own Third Party Liability insurance which should be checked by the Hut Custodian. They should additionally provide evidence of their Health and Safety Policy.

6.10.2 Hut Custodians should make them aware of any unusual hazards that they would otherwise be unaware of that could affect the work e.g. underground pipes or cables.

6.10.3 Contractors are expected to make their own Risk Assessment and respond appropriately.

6.11 Asbestos

6.11.1 The “duty holder” under the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 (CAWR) at both huts is the Committee of the Oread. The Health and Safety Co-Ordinator and Hut Custodians undertake the tasks required of the duty holder on behalf of the Committee.

6.11.2 No asbestos is thought to be present in either Tan yr Wyddfa or Heathy Lea. However before any construction / maintenance work the Club will check to ensure this is still the case. The findings will be recorded, filed and periodically reviewed.

7. Insurance

7.1 The Oread MC is affiliated to the BMC and consequently the Club members are covered by civil liability insurance as a benefit of membership.

7.2 The Oread MC insures its huts buildings and contents via the BMC. There is no civil liability cover provided by this policy because Club Members are already provided with civil liability insurance.

7.3 As part of the BMC membership insurance package for clubs, Employers’ Liability Insurance is provided by the insurers. Cover is not automatic and it is necessary to apply for this cover and to renew it annually by submitting the appropriate application form.

7.4 Oread members who use shared transport, give lifts, or allow others to drive their car are advised to check with their insurance company what their policy is on sharing fuel costs.

8. Club Status

8.1 The Oread MC is an unincorporated association (Ordinary climbing club). One effect of this is that it has no legal personality of its own and imposes risks on the Committee and the members. The Committee should periodically, at least every 5 years, review this by giving consideration to the alternatives. Alternatives include Company limited by guarantee, Community amateur sports club (CASC), Charity and Industrial and provident mutual society.