Planning for Safety: Medical Requirements for UK Cricket Clubs

All cricket clubs within the UK have a duty of care to those who play, work or visit the sports club. This can include:

  • Players for the particular sport
  • Coaching staff
  • Volunteers
  • Parents or visitors
  • Contractors
  • Away team staff, visitors and players

Health and safety at an amateur sports club is essential for duty of care. Medtree, a worldwide distributor of medical supplies and first aid kits, is sharing the most up to date requirements for duty of care at amateur sports clubs. 

To ensure you are meeting the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, your cricket club must undertake a risk assessment. This secures provisions for health, safety and welfare, and you can find online templates for your risk assessment if unsure what it should include.

Risk Assessments

To check the activities and equipment, such as if the cricket surface is suitable, a risk assessment will take it into account. This assessment will reduce risk of incident at your venue. Your cricket club risk assessment should include:

  • The action to resolve any incidents
  • First aiders at the venue
  • Identify and unsafe equipment or conditions
  • Reassess to establish whether the unsafe conditions were resolved

If, during the risk assessment, you have identified issues that could deem the venue unsafe or cause incident - you must resolve this immediately. As part of the Health and the Safety Act 1974, you must eliminate all risks before players or visitors use the cricket club. If players arrive for a game, for example, and there are still risks - the match should be cancelled until further notice.

For more information, the National Governing Bodies (NGBs) manage and recognise over 100 sports, and outline how often your particular sport should implement a risk assessment procedure.

Club Safety Procedures

A well thought-out cricket club safety procedure takes care of all precautions and risk assessments. Even with all precautions, accidents can happen, which is why you should have emergency procedures in place.

First Aid Provision

A first aid provision is a basic medical requirement for all cricket clubs. If your cricket club has more than one team, we advise you have more than one qualified first aider, with UKCC level 2 qualifications. Cricket club managers, and general sports club managers, should ensure adequate first aid training is provided to chosen staff, while arranging first aid cover for team matches and visits.

First Aid Kits

All cricket clubs should have more than one first aid kit. The first aid kits must be well-stocked. If your team is travelling for an away game, you must also take a first aid kit off-site, with the team accompanied by a trained first aider.

Your sports first aid kit should include:

  • Gloves
  • Various types of dressing
  • Eye pads
  • Sharp and blunt scissors
  • Instant ice packs
  • Sports tape
  • Triangular bandages
  • Sterile gauze swabs
  • Crepe bandages
  • Wound wash solution
  • Deep freeze spray
  • Emergency foil blanket
  • Safety pins
  • Resuscitation face mask

 Accident Reporting

If an accident does occur (this can refer to anything that has led to injury, or an unsafe activity), it is essential that they are reported immediately. You should already have an accident and incident form in place to fill out, as part of the Health and Safety act.

First Aid Away Team

As a cricket club, it’s more than likely away teams will visit for games. It’s your duty of care to ensure first aid provisions are in place for the away team and visitors to your venue. If an accident does occur, you will have a procedure to follow and be aware of. Any incident should also be reported.

Cricket Surface Types

The cricket surface is vital to the welfare of your team and should be maintained to ensure there aren’t any opportunities for incidents. Whether that be fine turf, non-turf or indoor practice facilities, you should have groundsmen in place to take care of the cricket surface. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) provide guidelines for club management of the surface.

Steps to Implementing an Emergency Plan

Without a health and safety plan in place, you are failing in your duty of care. You must act immediately to implement a procedure for an emergency action plan. Once you have done so, you should distribute it to the relevant persons. Medtree are sharing nine steps to creating and implementing your plan:

  1. Ascertain who is responsible for the plan, who will implement and review the procedure
  2. Ensure your up-to-date on the government requirements of health and safety in a workplace
  3. Train those you would like to become qualified first aiders for your club
  4. Ensure you have first aid provisions and you keep a record of all first aid certificates, along with expiry dates of said certificates
  5. Familiarise and work in accordance with the sports club risk assessment procedure
  6. Provide detailed handouts for staff, players and all visitors, containing emergency information and the qualified first aiders
  7. All staff chosen as first aiders must be aware of their responsibilities
  8. Ensure all staff understand how to complete the accident and incident report forms
  9. Keep a well-stocked and regularly updated first aid kit at your premises, along with a first aid kit for away visits

Extras to include in your medical kit?

A first aid kit is a government requirement for all sports clubs, but you should also look into providing other medical equipment that can, in some cases, reduce the risk of loss of life.

Defibrillators

Defibrillators are an essential piece of medical kit for health and safety in sports. In 2012, Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest during a football game. Since that day, there has been a staggering increase in defibrillators at sports clubs. More than 900 defibrillators are available for clubs within the UK, and there has even been a partnership between the Football Association (FA) and British Heart Foundation (BHF).

The importance of a defibrillator is huge. By using a defibrillator, you are doubling a person’s chance of life if they have suffered from a cardiac arrest. A person’s chance of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest (SAC) is 10% without a defib, but increases to 70% with the medical apparatus. A number of young people currently suffer from undiagnosed heart problems and the right plan, and equipment, can help save lives. Providing clubs with equipment to do so is a vital aspect of health and safety within sports. You can ensure your team is prepared for cases of cardiac arrest by renting a defibrillator, available at Defib Machines.

Sara Askew, Head of Survival at the British Heart Foundation: “When someone collapses with a cardiac arrest, every second is vital. Defibrillators are an important part of the chain of survival, along with calling the emergency services and starting CPR.

Performing CPR and using a defibrillator can help double a person’s chance of survival. That’s why we need this life saving equipment to be available and maintained so that it can be used in an emergency.”

Concussion and Head Injuries

Concussion may be more prevalent in contact sports, but awareness of the consequences of concussion, and how to treat head injuries, is vital. The Sport and Recreation Alliance (SRA) has developed concussion guidelines along with medical professionals to ensure rules are in place to protect players.

To identify concussion, you need to be aware of the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Unsteadiness on feet
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Blurred vision

Concussion Statistics

There has been recent improvement in the studies looking at concussion. FIFPro researched the possibility of a connection between concussion in former athletes, and the risk of mental health problems later in life. Their findings stated that players who suffered concussion four or five times in their career were 1.5 times more likely to report symptoms of common mental disorders. These statistics suggest the damage multiple concussions can cause in players. Therefore, it’s essential that all precautions are in place to protect players from suffering head injuries, and proper first aid training is provided to staff.