Rugby is an extremely physical sport so no matter what level a club plays at they have a responsibility for the health and safety of people who use and access the club’s facilities.
At any time, a player, coach, official or supporter could suffer an injury, so to ensure the rugby being played on the pitch can be enjoyed by everyone, clubs are encouraged to promote gaining first aid qualifications to its coaches and volunteers.
In guidance with the RFU regulations, all clubs have the responsibility for the following:
- Complete & record a risk assessment to determine the right level of first aid provision.
- Ensure First Aiders are appropriately trained.
- Ensure suitable First Aid facilities and equipment is provided.
- There is the correct amount of immediate cover for rugby activities
- There is access to a telephone so emergency services can be contacted when needed.
- There is clear vehicular access for ambulances and emergency vehicles.
First Aid Equipment
As assessment should be carried out to identify what first aid equipment is required. The minimum advised stock level of first aid equipment is a ‘suitably sized box for the club house and bags for pitch side trained personnel’.
Rugby Safe outlines a suitable list of contents as below:
- Accident Book
- Antibacterial Hand Gel
- Assorted sterile wound dressings
- Assorted size adhesive plasters
- Triangular Bandages (singular use)
- Sterile eye pads
- Resuscitation face mask (disposable) or pocket mask
- Microporous Tape
- Foil Blanket
- Disposable Gloves
- Antiseptic Wipes
- Assorted size Gauze Swabs
- Assorted size bandages
- Assorted size Sterile wound closure strips
- Sterile Eye Wash Pods
- Safety Pins
- Yellow waste bag
- Water bottle
First aid equipment should always be checked regularly and replenished immediately when required. It’s important to note that sterile items may be marked with an expiry date, these items need to be replaced before the use by date and disposed of correctly and safely.
With non-sterile items it is down to the judgement of the person maintaining the kit to decide if these items are no longer fit for purpose.
First Aid Facilities
In addition to first ad equipment, clubs must also provide a suitable first aid room. These rooms should be warm, have good lighting and contain essential facilities and equipment.
The RFU guidelines state the room must contain the following:
- Sink with hot and cold running water
- Drinking water and disposable cups
- Soap and paper towels
- A suitable bin
- Store for First Aid items
- A container for clinical waste
- A waterproof couch with pillows and blankets
- A chair
- A telephone
- An accident book
Wherever possible the room should be reserved only for first aid incidents and a nominated person should be responsible for maintaining the room and it should be easily accessible to stretchers and clearly sign posted.