Avoiding the Risk of Breach of Duty of Care

Be familiar with the guidelines and regulations of the organisation with regard to sport and active recreation programs. Carry out responsibilities and tasks as recommended by the organisation, program manager or coordinator and understand the principles of individual rights and freedoms and recognise the importance of applying them when working with people with disabilities. Talk to others about areas in which you are uncertain.

Come to know the abilities of the participants. Talk to the coordinator and parents/caregivers of the participant, prior to the program, and find out as much as you can about the abilities and confidence level of the participant. Develop a process of carefully considering all alternatives and their consequences.

Find out about the insurance coverage provided by the organisation, be clear in which ways the insurance covers you. Take out personal liability insurance if you feel the organisation’s insurance is inadequate.

The following may assist in meeting duty of care requirements as leaders:

Plan all activities thoroughly:

  • Consult experts for advice on activities when not sure;
  • Conduct activities in safe areas having regard to the capabilities and experience of the participants;
  • Use appropriately qualified and/or experienced staff;
  • Use appropriate and approved equipment;
  • Know the health status of the participants;
  • Inspect all equipment before use;
  • Arrange medical and first aid treatment in anticipation of injury;
  • Make arrangements for emergency situations; and
  • Keep accurate records on all aspects of an activity, where accidents have occurred.