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Airienteers, Orienteering in Airedale and Wharfedale and Leeds and Bradford

Safety Checklist for Informal Events

Last edited: Sun 21 Feb 2016

The checklist below is not meant to be mandatory or prescriptive, but is for guidance for organisers of informal orienteering events or training so that they are prepared for a “what if” scenario should the need arise.

The general philosophy behind any event is that the competitor takes responsibility for his or her own safety. However, the organiser needs to ensure that the competitor is not exposed to unreasonable hazards taking into account terrain type and weather. Local Informal Events are usually planned and organized by a single person; therefore they should only take place on relatively self-contained, accessible areas close to civilisation.

Planning courses

  • Avoid hazardous terrain for juniors e.g. cliffs, steep slopes, bogs, deep holes etc.
  • Avoid controls on the edge of mapped areas where no boundary exists.
  • Consider possible hazards from vehicles, high walls, canals/rivers etc.
  • Consider other users of the area e.g. mountain bikers, horse riders, golfers etc.
  • Consider exposure to weather for terrain, time of year and hours of daylight.


  • Consider procedure for checking competitors out and in.
  • Take personal details e.g. telephone numbers, car registrations, travelling companions.
  • Brief competitors to report to finish and time courses close - put on descriptions?
  • Decide whether cagoules mandatory and whistles are recommended.


  • Consider having basic first aid kit available for self-administration. Unless you are trained to adminster first aid, any injuries should be referred to the nearest minor injuries unit or A&E department (see end for details)
  • Mobile phone available for emergencies
  • Consider what you might need if a search is required e.g. phone, clothing, torch.
  • Consider what your search strategy would be if it was required (see next section)
  • If there is an incident, complete a BOF “incident report form”, and submit it to BOF as soon as possible to ensure insurance cover applies.

Missing runners

How do you know you have a missing person? (1) Somebody tells you, or (2) you have a starter unaccounted for at the end. For (2) to work you need to record who starts and who finishes.

Information to collect at registration: name, age, course and contact telephone number. If someone does not come back then call the telephone number they have given. Most missing persons have

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