Risk Assesment from Scout’s Woodbadge Course?
So I’m about to take the Scouts Canada Woodbadge course to be a Beavers Leader and they asked us to do some reading before the course and to my surprise, they have a section all about Risk Assesment, I guess it is common knowledge:
What is risk assessment? It’s a systematic process to consider and evaluate risk that may
be present when engaging in an activity. (Webster’s dictionary defines risk as the chance
of injury, damage or loss.) The fact that an activity carries some risk in itself is not
necessarily bad, as it can motivate us to try something exciting (being away from home
and sleeping in a tent in the middle of a forest can be, for a ten year old, risky and
rewarding). From an operational standpoint, the key to many great activities is the feeling
of perceived risk when the actual outcome is controlled and the likelihood of an injury is
As you plan and conduct your evening meetings and participate in outdoor activities
away from your meeting place, such as hikes and overnight events, the leadership team
needs to assess how to be prepared for the activity. A great way to think through how to
assess risk is this statement: Leaders and participants are: in the right place, at the right
time, with the right people and with the right equipment.
When you identify a risk, here is a useful formula:
probability of risk x consequences = level of risk
A fall during an activity such as rock climbing can have very serious consequences.
The probability of that occurring with the appropriate knowledge/training and equipment
is remote (this is an example of the right people and the right equipment). Whereas with
an activity such as paintball, the probability of an eye injury is high, the consequences are
high, and the outcome is not favorable (this is in part a reason why paintball is not an
acceptable Scouting activity).