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What sort of issues do I need to consider when preparing a health and safety report for a novice hunter trial?
As an event organiser, you will have a duty of care to both spectators and competitors.
According to Samantha McEwan, head of equine law at Stone King Sewell Solicitors, you will need to carry out a risk assessment before the event, and take steps to eliminate or at least reduce the identified risks as far as possible.
The following points should be considered as a minimum, although this is not a definitive list.
• How are people going to get in and out?
• Is the collecting ring and start/finish area large enough and roped off?
• Does your insurance policy cover the event?
• Are there enough people at the event to act as stewards?
• Ensure that dogs are kept on a lead at all times
• Ensure food hygiene for any catering facilities
• Provide adequate toilets
• Keep an accident book
• Limit the use of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
• Communication: your stewards will need mobile phones, whistles, flags and walkie-talkies
It is advisable to include a disclaimer on your entry forms and promotional material stating that the organiser has taken steps to ensure the health and safety of all present, but that visitors must take their own personal safety precautions.
In terms of planning the logistics of your event, you can seek help from the British Horse Society’s affiliation scheme, British Riding Clubs.
British Horse Society www.bhs.org.uk
Stone King Sewell Solicitors, tel: 01285 649717 www.skslaw.co.uk
This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (11 June, ’09)
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