Health & Safety Policy


  1. 1.Policy
  2. 2.Scope
  3. 3.Responsibilities of various personnel
  4. 4.Implementation and operation
  5. 5.Hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control
  6. 6.Safety signage
  7. 7.Training
  8. 8.Documentation and reporting
  9. 9.Emergency preparedness and response
  10. 10.Summary
  11. 11.Conclusion

1. Policy

The Management of UL Bohemian RFC,, being the Board of Directors and Executive Committee, are committed to compliance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, the Safety Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 and associated regulations and in doing so will provide for all its members an environment that is as safe and healthy as is reasonably practical and will comply with all relevant statutory requirements.

The Club will provide a safe system of operation through the provision of appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision. The co-operation of every member is expected and all members are reminded that statutory obligations are the minimum standard for which they are responsible.

2. Scope

The provisions of this statement will apply to all UL Bohemian RFC members, visitors and outside agencies such as Contractors, ESB, etc. and to any agency that may from time to time have to affect deliveries or to service equipment which is located on the premises.

For the purposes of this document, the club premises are the pitches and facilities located at Annacotty, Co. Limerick and the club bar located within the demise of Thomond Park rugby grounds, Limerick City.

3. Responsibilities

Management Committee

Under the club constitution, the management committee is charged with the responsibility for the management of the business and the affairs of the rugby club. The Committee shall consist of some or all of the following:

Club Chairman

Club Secretary

Finance Officer

Club Officers including Presidential Officers, Child Welfare Officer, Facilities Officer / Grounds man, Bar Officer etc.

The duties of the Management committee and each of these members in terms of health, safety and welfare are set out below.

(a)  Management committee

They will ensure that:

  • Safe systems and practices are incorporated into all activities in the club
  • All activities are continually monitored and that any potentially unhealthy or dangerous practices are reported and eradicated
  • Any specialist or H&S training, if required, is discussed, authorised and put into practice
  • Any wilful breach of safety rules is reported and that the club disciplinary procedure is activated if it is deemed necessary

(b)  Club Chairman,

He / She will ensure that:

  • §Adequate resources are made available so that the Safety Policy can be carried out efficiently. This will be done in close conjunction with the Finance Officer
  • §The members of the Management Committee are fully aware of their responsibilities in relation to occupational safety and health
  • §All members are accountable for their performance in relation to occupational safety and health
  • §The Safety Statement is reviewed regularly and its operation monitored

(c) Club Secretary

He / She will ensure that:

  • §The Safety Statement is circulated to the appropriate personnel and that it is widely available in the club through notice boards, team managers, etc.
  • §Any amendments to the Safety Statement as may be made from time to time are included in an updated version as soon as possible
  • §Any discussion, reports or suggestions relating to the Safety Statement which are raised at General Committee Meetings are recorded and actioned
  • §Any Accident Reports, Hazard I.D. Reports, H&S Audits etc. are retained as club records and reported outside the club as decided by the General Committee
  • §Any correspondence relating to Health and Safety is brought to the attention of the General Committee and any subsequent actions are recorded

(d) Finance Officer

He / She will act as:

  • Chief financial manager of the club – maintains the integrity and accurate recording of the clubs financial position during each season
  • The provider of financial resources to the management committee to deal with safety issues as they arise
  • Prepare and present accounts for the end of year financial report and audit

(e) President / Senior Vice President / Junior Vice President

He / She will:

  • Act principally in an honorary position within the club and act as the club’s representative at all internal and external functions
  • Be a member of the management committee and contribute to policy creation in areas such as health and safety
  • Contribute to the general standard of the club and provide an understanding of the ethos and codes of conduct required

(f) Child Welfare Officer

He / She will:

  • Undertake to implement the club’s Child Welfare Policy
  • Act at all times in the best interests of Age Grade Players
  • Be fully familiar with the provisions of the Code and Policy and with such further information and requirements as may be provided or put in place by the Irish Rugby Football Union
  • Maintain lines of communication with the appropriate Branch Child Welfare Officer when necessary to do so or on any matter in relation to Age Grade Players on which the advice or directions of the IRFU are required
  • Receive from the Branch Child Welfare Officer advice, information and directions from the IRFU concerning age grade players and act accordingly
  • Inform the club of requirements made by the IRFU concerning Age Grade Players
  • Ensure that they respond promptly and accurately to queries from the IRFU as to the welfare of Age Grade Players in the club generally or in relation to any specific incident which may occur
  • Be the contact person in the club for the Statutory Authorities regarding the welfare of Age Grade Players who are members of the club

(g)  Facilities Officer / Grounds man

He / She will ensure that:

  • §Ensure that all pitches are marked out correctly and pads are provided on goalposts
  • §Co-ordinate with coaches and team managers in regard to pitch use
  • §Monitor condition of pitches during the season and advise as to playability having players welfare in mind
  • §Machinery such as grass mowers are used only by authorised and experienced personnel
  • §All equipment and machinery is maintained on a regular basis and is securely locked away when not in use
  • §The premises are properly secured when not in use and not available for any ad hoc activities
  • §Third party contractors do not commence work of any kind unless evidence of insurance and safety legislation compliance is provided. In his absence the Facilities Chairman will request a member of the Management Committee to deputise
  • §Organise general maintenance and repairs as required to the changing rooms, carparks, clubhouse and pitches as required
  • §Any incursion or unauthorised entry is prevented and, if unable to prevent such, will report such incursion to An Garda Síochána
  • §A fully-equipped First Aid Kit  and any other medical equipment as required is available on site at all times
  • §A doctor is on site for all AIL Matches
  • §A defibrillator is maintained and available on site, and that assigned members are trained to use it
  • §Waste and refuse are managed and collected by a licensed waste collection company

(h)  Bar Officer

He / She will ensure that:

  • §All functions in the clubhouse have the prior authorisation of the Management Committee and fall within the terms of the club licence
  • §The documentation in relation to the booking of functions is properly completed prior to the function taking place
  • §A doorman/security is in place for all functions, with the exception of after match activities
  • §That all non-members entering the clubhouse for functions sign the guest book prior to entering the inner premises
  • §There is always a senior club member present to supervise the function
  • §The toilets and dance floor are inspected at least once per hour and that all spillages are immediately cleaned up by bar staff
  • §Guests do not bring any items onto the premises which could endanger other guests
  • §All functions are closely supervised and that guests do not engage in ‘horse play’ of any kind
  • §Persons using disco or musical equipment comply with any instructions from the supervisor
  • §Non-members who are allowed to prepare functions do not climb above ground level i.e. onto tables or bar counter

(i)   Coaches and Underage rugby Chairman

They will ensure that:

  • §All coaching activities in the various sections are carried out according to guidelines laid down by the Club Coach in the Case of Senior Rugby and the Chairman of Underage in the case of underage rugby
  • §All Coaches receive IRFU accreditation
  • §All Coaches are Garda Vetted
  • §All Coaches are Members of the Club
  • §Sufficient coaches are available to ensure safe supervision of any particular section
  • §Specialist equipment such as weights, scrummaging machines, tackle bags, are used only if there are qualified supervisors present
  • §Weights training is not permitted in the under-age sections
  • §Under-age members are not allowed to engage in ‘horse play’ either on the club premises or on transport hired by the club
  • §Persons who are not paid-up members are not allowed to use the club’s facilities
  • §Medical kits are immediately available for both training and matches

(j)  Club Members

They will ensure that:

  • §They are aware of the provisions of the Safety Statement and that they operate within those provisions at all times
  • §They take no action which could endanger either themselves or their fellow-members
  • §They are familiar with the location of fire extinguishers
  • §They are familiar with all fire exits on the club premises
  • §They comply with any safety directives which may be issued from time to time
  • §That they ensure that their membership is paid each season

(k)  Health and Safety Representative / Officer

The H&S Representative will be nominated by the Management Committee on an annual basis and will be responsible to that body to ensure that health and safety is managed in a proactive manner within the club and that all club activities are in keeping with the maintenance of a safe environment.

He / She will:

  • §Monitor health and safety issues within the club and make recommendations, if necessary, to the Management Committee
  • §Ensure that a number of members are trained on an annual basis in First Aid and the use of ?re extinguishers
  • §For Season 2015/16, Paul Hennessy, JVP, is the designated Health and Safety Representative

4.  Implementation and Operation

To actively carry out the club’s policy in relation to health and safety, to maintain a general consciousness of safety and to promote a safe club environment, the following should be kept in place:

  • §General stewardship by the Safety Representative and the General Committee of Health and Safety policy in the club
  • §Promoting awareness of safety issues through such means as poster campaigns
  • §Giving safety instructions regularly to the under-age sections of the club
  • §Using external expertise to maintain ?re extinguishers, training in same and in First Aid
  • §Proper reporting of accidents or dangerous occurrences action to prevent recurrence

Identi?cation of hazards and assessment of risks should be an ongoing process and any identi?ed hazard or risk should be immediately reported to the Safety Representative. The hazard or risk should be immediately assessed as ‘high’, ‘medium’ or ‘low’ and appropriate action taken depending on its level.

This is a very important aspect of our safety policy and it is expected that when an area is audited for safety, it will be found that any accidents, injuries, collisions, hazards, etc., will have been properly reported and documented.

5. Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Risk Control

This section outlines a general method for identifying the hazards with their associated risks and the implementation of controls on club grounds & in the clubhouse.  Hazards will be identified, the associated risks assessed and listed separately in each separate location.


The Safety Health & Welfare at Work Act 2005 (S.I. No. 7 of 2005), Section 19 requires the identification of hazards and an assessment of the risks to safety and health in the workplace.

Hazard is defined as any substance, article, material or practice, which has the potential to cause harm.

Risk is the likelihood of a specified undesired event (accident, incident, dangerous occurrence, near miss, etc.) occurring in specified circumstances.

Club members or club employees who identify hazards on club grounds or in the club bar are requested to report it without unreasonable delay to the Facilities Officer or Health & Safety Officer.


The ranking of the risk is based on the consequences of the hazard.

High H: Possibility of Irreversible Injury.

Medium M: Possibility of Reversible Injury.

Low  L: Possibility of Minor Injury.


UL Bohemian RFC commits itself where reasonably practicable to controlling the risks from the hazards identified in accordance with the Third Schedule of the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. This approach takes into account normal practices in the clubs sporting and social activities, the expert advice available and the objective standards or guidelines where applicable and available.

UL Bohemian RFC shall examine the options available for dealing with the particular problems, which have been identified and will take account of the potential extent of the problem and the capacity for potential injury.

In accordance with Section 11 of the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, the club will take such action and give such instruction as will enable club members and employees in the event of serious imminent and unavoidable danger to stop activities and to proceed to a place of safety.

The following pages outline hazards identified at the club grounds and club bar with their associated risks and control strategies.

(a)  Visitors/Third Parties:

Hazard Assessment: Medium

Main Hazards

  • §Contact with moving vehicles in the club car park
  • §Steps around clubhouse and adjacent to pitches
  • §Specialist equipment (scrum machine, grass mowing etc. )
  • §Proximity to river

Risk Control

  • §All cars, buses and  third party vehicles to move within the club speed limit and marshalling of traffic to take place at Annacotty particularly during underage training sessions on Sunday mornings
  • §No access by any third party to specialist equipment except for maintenance or repairs

(b)  Access/Egress (all buildings):

Hazard Assessment: Medium

  • §All doorways, corridors must remain unobstructed
  • §Fire doors must be kept closed but not blocked or locked
  • §Exit doors must be kept clear at all times
  • §Clearways for ambulance access must never be blocked by parked cars

Risk Control

  • Pre-season and mid-season fire safety audits to take place

(c) Contractor Safety/Responsibility

Hazard Assessment: Medium

The necessary presence of contractors (trade or service suppliers paid to carry out certain works) may create hazardous situations by the use of unsafe materials or equipment. The club wishes to ensure the safety of contractors and will:

  • §Brief all contractors on safety and issue them with a copy of this Safety Statement before any work commences
  • §Not allow the use of mechanical or access equipment unless express permission is given
  • §Require contractors to brief their employees on club safety requirements
  • §Have a club member accompany them on site

Risk Control

  • Ensure that all trades persons  are competent to carry out the task at hand and are members of relevant trades organisations e.g. RECI for electricians or RGI for gas technicians

(d) Cuts and Contusions

Hazard Assessment: Medium

Cuts and contusions can result from glass breakages in the club bar, impact with sharp edges, collisions during training or match situations and slip/trips/falls, etc.

To ensure safety and mitigate the risk the club will ensure the following risk control measures are in place:

Risk Control

  • §All glass breakages in the club bar must be cleaned up and binned immediately
  • §Have ongoing monitoring to eradicate all sharp edges/corners
  • §Have pitches examined for sharp objects after any events
  • §Have pitches examined for the presence of dog faeces prior to matches in order to prevent infection
  • §Have complete First Aid kits available in changing rooms and clubhouse
  • §Ensure that a number of club members undergo First Aid courses every year

(e) Electricity

Hazard Assessment: High

Mis-use of electricity can result in fire, explosion, personal injury and even death. Club members should never:

  • §Attempt any kind of repair or maintenance of electrical equipment or installations
  • §Jam wires into sockets using matchsticks
  • §Connect power tools to light sockets (unearthed)
  • §Insert plugs into wrong sockets
  • §Use the wrong fuse for the current the equipment is carrying

All members/staff should mitigate against the risk by:

  • §Assuming all electrical circuits/cables are ‘live’ until proven otherwise
  • §Switching off sockets before removing plugs
  • §Ensuring source is isolated before attempting any rescue

Risk control

  • §Reporting any discolouration or burn marks on plugs Only a qualified electrician may attempt any electrical work and must be members of RECI (registered Electrical Contractors of Ireland) to carry out work on club property

(f)   Fire

Hazard Assessment: Medium

There is always a risk of fire and this risk can be heightened through, for example, careless smoking, unsupervised use of electrical equipment, poor waste management, etc.

Risk control

  • §Smoking is prohibited in any enclosed area on the club premises
  • §Proper management of the kitchen area
  • §Ensuring well-serviced fire extinguishers in sufficient numbers at strategic locations in the club premises
  • §Proper waste management is provided on site

Additional measures:

  • §All extinguishers should be regularly audited by a third party e.g. fire services contractor
  • §All fire escapes should be clearly indicated and kept clear/unlocked at all times
  • §Use of electrical equipment must be carefully controlled
  • §Staff/members/visitors should be aware of the action to be taken in the event of fire

(g) Club / Bar Functions

Hazard Assessment: Medium

The clubhouse is available for hire to suitable third parties for private functions. As those present at such functions may not include club members, any risk to safety must be minimised through close supervision by senior club members.

Risks control

  • §Not allowing those involved to climb above floor level or to use ladders to put up decorations prior to the function
  • §Not allowing any substance to be spread on the dance floor beforehand
  • §Not allowing pyrotechnics to be used in the club bar or internally within club buildings
  • §Ensuring that the persons hiring the premises understand and undertake to abide by any instructions issued and by the liquor licensing laws
  • §Ensuring that the entrance door is manned by a competent person(s)
  • §Insisting that all those attending the function sign in on the book provided for that purpose
  • §Strictly enforcing the ‘no-smoking legislation’
  • §Not allowing any ‘horseplay’ on the dance floor
  • §Ensuring that the dance floor and toilet floors are examined for spillages at least every hour
  • §Indicating through an announcement where the fire exits are
  • §Ensuring that those using musical equipment have electrical equipment/gear which is fit for purpose
  • §Not admitting any person who is obviously intoxicated with alcohol or drugs
  • §Not further serving alcohol to any person where the bar staff feel it is inadvisable
  • §Ensuring that all exterior lighting is in good working order
  • §Ensuring that bottles or glasses are not brought out of the premises

(h) Floor Treatment

Hazard Assessment: Medium

All floors should be cleaned regularly and kept free from debris or obstacles.

Risk Control

  • §The club floor / dance floor in the bar should be inspected at least every hour during functions by the Function Supervisor/ Bar staff and any spillages should be immediately cleaned up
  • §Persons hiring the function area are not to spread any substance on the dance floor
  • §All floor mats should be regularly lifted and the floor areas underneath cleaned

(i) Waste / Litter Bins

Hazard Assessment: Low

Bins will become a health hazard if not attended to or allowed to overflow. They should be monitored by the Facilities Officer and/or Bar Officer.

Risk Control

  • §All debris on floors should be immediately deposited in the bins
  • §Wastes such as cooking oil, etc. should not be deposited in bins
  • §The waste management policies of the Local Authorities should be observed when using waste bins
  • §The club must use a fully licensed and permitted waste contractor
  • §Bins should be closed at all times to avoid attracting pests and should be left out to avail of the scheduled refuse collections in the area
  • §Club members should not deposit any domestic waste or grass cuttings in club bins

(j) Bar / Kitchen

Hazard Assessment: Medium

The kitchen/bar area can account for accidents through slips/trips/falls, burns from hot surfaces, cuts from knives and glass etc. It is an area where a high standard of hygiene is required and only authorised persons should use either of these areas.

Risk Control

  • §Keeping access doors locked at all times, allowing only staff within
  • §Maintaining the highest hygiene standards when handling food
  • §Cleaning up spillages immediately
  • §Using the glass-washer for all glass washing
  • §Keeping all surfaces clean at all times
  • §Discharging all remains of food in the proper bin immediately
  • §Not allowing any storage of kit or other items in the kitchen area
  • §Keeping a complete First Aid Kit in place

(k) Toilets

Hazard Assessment: Low

In the interests of good health it is essential that all toilets/wash areas are maintained to a high standard.

Risk Control

  • §Cleaning of toilets will be certified by bar staff by signing the toilet check sheet provided
  • §Smoking is forbidden in the toilet areas
  • §During functions, the bar staff should regularly inspect toilet areas and have any spillages cleaned up
  • §Cisterns should be left running to prevent odours in the toilet areas

(l) Pest Control

Hazard Assessment: Medium

It is in the interest of general health that the premises are kept vermin-free.

Risk control

  • §Any sighting/signs of vermin will be reported immediately to the facilities officer
  • §A fully licensed pest control service provider will be employed by the club to take all necessary actions to deal with any issues arising on club premises
  • §Eating or drinking on the club premises will be restricted to designated areas
  • §Waste will not be stored on the premises and must be collected as part of a regular waste collection schedule


(m) Injuries from games

Hazard Assessment: Medium

Injuries are a constant hazard in rugby and as they cannot be anticipated or eliminated and the club must be in a position to react swiftly to any minor or major injury.

Risk Control

  • §The proper equipment, including pitch-lining and flags are in place for games
  • §Only qualified referees are allowed to officiate in organised games
  • §Under-age players play within their age grade
  • §Training is supervised by at least one Coach at all times
  • §All coaches have at least the Foundation Coaching course completed
  • §Players are encouraged to wear head-gear, body armour,
  • §A First Aid Kit is present at all training sessions/games
  • §A doctor is present for all AIL senior games

Injuries will happen and in such instance there should be sufficient preparation in place to ensure that the injured party is treated immediately and that the injured party suffers no additional pain or trauma through lack of action. This can be enhanced by:

  • §Being aware of the protocols particularly in the area of head injury and concussion. The recent document “A guide to concussion” produced by the IRFU is very informative for all those club members who may be coaching or managing teams at all levels in the club.
  • §Having as many coaches and support staff as possible undergoing First Aid courses
  • §Having complete First Aid Kits for all sections of the club
  • §Ensuring that all coaches/support staff are aware of the contact numbers for the Duty Doctor and local ambulance services
  • §Having a proper stretcher available at all times
  • §Ensuring that the ambulance approach is always kept clear and access is available to pitches
  • §Establishing and maintaining liaison with the local hospital

6.  Safety Signage

The presence of safety signage enhances general safety at the club grounds in Annacotty and the club bar at Thomond Park and shows the clubs commitment to our duty of care to members and visitors alike. Health and Safety signage covers such topics as:

  • §Speed limit to be observed in club car park in Annacotty
  • §Location of nearby River Maigue and lifesaving buoyancy aids at Annacotty
  • §Signage prohibiting the walking of dogs on pitches at Annacotty
  • §Locations of first Aid Kits/defibrillator in Annacotty
  • §No smoking signage for internal areas of club bar at Thomond Park
  • §Hygiene signs re food preparation, washing of hands in kitchen area of club bar at Thomond Park
  • §Location of ?re extinguishers, ?re exits in Club bar at Thomond Park

7.  Training

  • All persons involved in coaching or in support staff for club teams to undergo First Aid courses.
  • All persons involved in coaching of players should have completed, as a minimum, the Foundation Course in coaching.
  • Those refereeing games at all levels should have a basic course completed.

8.  Documentation and reporting

It is essential that the documentation attached to this statement is completed by the senior club official present (e.g. Accident Report and Witness Reports) immediately, if any accident of any kind occurs. It will also be very helpful if photographic evidence (digital camera or phone) can be attached.

In relation to incidents/accidents occurring on the playing field during training sessions or games the IRFU Serious Injury and Concussion Report form will be completed by the appropriate club coach or manager and forwarded to the nominated official as soon as possible after the event.

Routine documentation (e.g. cleaning of floors/toilets in club bar) is equally important as is may provide evidence on behalf of the club in the case of an accident. All such documentation will be handed over to the Club Secretary who will take action as directed by the Management Committee.

9.  Emergency preparedness and response

The club will ensure, on an ongoing basis, that there are adequate numbers of club members trained in First Aid procedures and the safe use of Fire Extinguishers.


  • §Notices indicating action in the event of fire are displayed in the club bar
  • §Local emergency numbers are prominently displayed in the club bar
  • §All fire doors are to be kept clear at all times
  • §When the club bar is unoccupied it is securely locked and when the club training ground is not being used, the main gate is secured to prevent unauthorised entry. Right of way entry is maintained for locals and fishermen at the Annacotty club training grounds to gain access to banks of the River Maigue.

10.  Summary

The purpose of this Health and Safety Statement is to:

  • §Provide a healthy and safe club training grounds and bar premises for our members and visitors
  • §Comply with our legal statutory obligations under safety legislation
  • §Designate responsibility for health and safety at the various levels of the club structures
  • §Minimise the risk of accidents/injuries/dangerous occurrences at the club facilities
  • §Heighten awareness of the health and safety issues within the club for the management committee and the members alike

11.  Conclusion

UL Bohemian RFC  have a duty of care to our members, visiting teams, visitors, members of the public using the facilities and spectators and we now recognise that duty by having this Health and Safety Statement in place. We hope that this statement will engender a spirit of co-operation in Health and Safety matters among all our members and all other using our facilities.