FIELD SAFETY –5 Steps to Get Started
Empowerment is the key. When it comes to sports field safety, there are many people that need to play a role in the process, but this process must start with you. Whatever your specific role, you must empower yourself and totally commit to the necessity of field safety.
That starts with challenging your own perception, and the perception of others, that a playing field isn’t simply flooring. Modern day athletic terrain is as important to the player safety equation as shoulder pads and helmets.
To properly protect your athletes and your organization against potential legal pitfalls, all field safety efforts must be proactive in nature. If you’ve reached reactive status, it’s already too late.
Here are five simple ways you can improve field safety:
1. Knowledge. The idiom ‘knowledge is power’ will forever ring true, especially as it pertains to field safety. Stakeholders must get educated, and beyond the pursuit of the appropriate knowledge, it’s equally as important to share that knowledge with the full team. Ensuring each constituent iscommittedto optimal field safety is the necessary first step – confirm everyone recognizes the goal.
2. Education. Making sure that your entire team obtains individual training is just the beginning; the reality is, field safety education must be a perpetual commitment. The industry field safety standards are still in their infancy and procedures utilized to inspect field safety are consistently evolving.Establishing a source of current information will be necessary to stay educated.
3. Planning. A field safety plan requires that you establish a protocol that includes usage logs, maintenance logs, testing best practices, incident and injury documentation, coaching checklists, appropriate signage, game day best practices, etc.A comprehensive plan must incorporate scheduling intervals, ensuring compliance and distribution of key documents to all constituents.
4. Prevention. Injuries are going to happen in sports, that’s unavoidable, but we need to take every possible step to prevent them. This includes the health and conditioning of the athletes, the players’ protective equipment, and yes, frequent and consistent testing and inspection of the sports field throughout the entire life of the playing surface.
5. Documentation. The three most important things to do when engaging in risk mitigation are document, document, document. Critical field safety documents and best practices should be distributed and understood by all team members. Establishing best practices and schedules are necessary. Execution is imperative. The only thing worse than not having this type of documentation is having it and not following it.
TURFconsultants can help you achieve all your field safety goals and give you the peace of mind of knowing you have taken every necessary step to ensuring the safety of your athletes. To schedule a free consultation, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or for more information, go to www.turf-consultants.com.
Player safety is everyone’s responsibility.
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