- locations close to minor roads or footpaths;
- available emergency vehicle access;
- locations already used by other performance groups;
- sites at low risk from climatic, geological, land instability, insect or human hazard;
- sites with marked and maintained footpaths that form part of sign-posted and publicised tourist itineraries;
- venues away from cliff-tops;
- unpolluted areas;
- availability of alternative venues in the case of bad weather.
Besides careful venue selection, safety has been enhanced by investment in:
- staff training - first aid, Spanish Red Cross life-saving and venue location hazard management and assessment;
- the hiring of coaches with professional drivers from only the most reputable companies that meet all relevant regulations;
- the use of hotels with relevant Spanish Fire Certificates, hygiene standards, equivalent British regulations, English-speaking management and 24-hour reception cover;
- English-speaking staff;
- FM transceivers and/or mobile telephones for use of staff;
- student identification cards.
These criteria and investments help to reduce most risks that students may encounter to the minor level, but within all venues students may potentially encounter unexpected or uncontrollable risks. Risk management should aim to assess such unexpected or uncontrollable events. All venue locations have therefore been assessed with this in mind, following the five steps:
- identification of hazards;
- assessment of the risk, who will be affected and how seriously;
- evaluation of measures of control and actions to be taken;
- recording of findings;
- monitoring and periodical review.
Risk assessment specifically involves:
- staff and students being aware of potential hazards and dangers;
- adequate supervision;
- knowledge of how to help oneself and others in danger, including how and where to seek help should an incident or accident occur;
- sound judgement by all supervising staff of what constitutes a dangerous situation;
- the prevention of access to dangerous situations for those ill-equipped to cope.
Specific procedures exist at the Centre for:
- emergency evacuation from the hotel;
- fire safety;
- dealing with illness or accidents;
- First Aid;
- premises (general);
- road safety;
- venue visits;
- use and care of venue equipment.
In summary, our aim is to:
- prevent accidents through foresight, careful preparation, planning and communication;
- provide itineraries tailored to the age/experience and ability of group members;
- provide adequate warnings and advice about venue sites and use of equipment;
- conduct activities following normal and accepted practice for the particular age and ability group;
- work within policy guidelines;
- provide swift and effective attention in the case of illness or injury.