Bedford Harriers A.C.




Risk Assessment - Number 3

Club Off-Road Training

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Task Description:                             Club training off road

Assessment Completed By:              Lesley Barnes MIOSH Dip2OSH

Date Completed:      10/07/06         Review Date:     Upon change 


Hazards Identified:

Tripping over uneven surfaces; (lumps and bumps on ground surface, ruts) tree roots and stumps etc; running into obstructions (e.g. low branches, trees, hedgerows, hidden signs); slipping on loose surfaces such as gravel; slippery surfaces such as mud or wet grass; entanglement in long grasses, ferns or bracken etc; sharp or stinging plants such as thorns and nettles; bites from insects; collision/tripping up other runners; heat exhaustion, dehydration; cold stress; runners getting lost; illness/injury on route; inability of runner to complete the distance.

Who Can Be Harmed:

Club runners, prospective members, members of the public.

Nature of possible harm:

From cuts, grazes and bruises to more severe cuts and broken limbs, exhaustion, thermal stress, running injury, stings and bites.





Fatality, Major injury or illness causing long term disability








Injury/Illness causing short term disability







Other injury or illness















Certain or Near Certain to Occur


Plot assessment of Severity against Likelihood & Highlight Value obtained




Reasonably likely to occur

H/H: Avoid Whenever Possible

L/L : May be Ignored




Very Seldom or Never Occurs


All other Values Control or Minimise Risk


Existing Controls:

Runners are instructed to be aware of condition of surfaces and to warn other runners of any trip hazards or obstructions. 

Runners are advised to tell their coach if they are taking an alternative route or going home. 

Runners are advised to wear suitable clothing for the weather conditions. 

Runners should carry water for personal use as required, but particularly in very hot periods

Sun cream  and insect repellent may be required by runners


All above plus additional information contained within Safety Information for Runners document which is on the club website and on the notice board.

The club provides identity wrist bands to be worn by members when training alone.

Runners are split into ability groups, each with at least one coach.


Coaches are trained (minimum UKA Level 1 or Fitness in Running & Walking) and issue training schedules which are published on the notice board and web sites. 

Coaches are aware of numbers within their group and keep watch for back markers.

Coaches ensure that runners in their group have the ability to cope with the training session.



Additional Controls:

Consider whether Coaches to be trained in basic first aid. 

Consider whether a member of the group should carry a mobile phone if running in a remote area.

Training schedules to contain more details of the route to be taken including distance (i.e. hill session is not sufficient) to ensure runners are aware of the session they are about to undertake and to ensure adequate preparation (e.g. cross country shoes, insect repellent, water)

Coaching Co-ordinator to discuss this risk assessment and the Safety Information for Runners document at next coaches meeting.



Date Additional Controls Implemented: