We want our programmes to be safe for the sake of our young people, but we also need to be aware of the legal requirements to do so, as there can be consequences if our programmes are unsafe.
As youth workers, we need to know what the risks are, have strategies in place to deal with them and have documentation on hand in case proof is ever needed.
Download a Risk Assessment and Management Strategy (RAMS) form
What is a RAMS form?
A RAMS form is a sheet that is filled out before an event or programme by the event co-ordinator. It identifies all the potential risks and what might cause them, establishes strategies to minimise these risks, and gives an emergency management plan.
When would I fill in a RAMS form?
– Trips away (camps, tramps)
– Individual nights if there could be risks involved (Beach swimming, ‘Bus pull’ activity etc.)
– Have a few generic forms in your files for general events, vehicle use etc. [page 8]
How do I fill in a RAMS form?
Risks: These are the end result of any mishap, e.g. physical injury (minor/moderate/major), emotional stress. Ask: What is the worst thing that could happen during this activity?
Casual Factors: These are listed under three categories: people, equipment, environment. Ask: What factors could cause these incidents?
Risk Management – Normal Operations: Establish strategies to deal with each of these specific causes. Ask: What can I reasonably do to stop these incidents from happening?
Risk Management – Emergency: Establish a plan to deal with incidents if they do happen. Ask: What can I put in place now so that I could deal with an emergency effectively?
While filling in the form, be realistic but cover your bases. Think of all possibilities.
What do I do with the RAMS form once it’s filled out?
Keep the form in your files in case it needs referring to at a later date by yourself or OSH…
On the night – be aware of the factors you’ve listed – you’ve got the plan, so follow it!