Does your Club Have a Safety Security Officer?
Did you know that within Multiple District 201, there are many claims each year by Lions Clubs and Lions on our Insurers. A frightening fact, which has prompted the recommendation from Lions Clubs International that all Clubs give consideration to the appointment of a Safety/Security Officer.
Over the past few years since this recommendation was first advanced, there has been questions asked as to the Duties and Responsibilities of this Role. With this in mind, the following Article has been compiled.
Why does my Club need a Safety Officer?
To answer this question, we need to look at it both from the viewpoint of the Club and the Lions Insurers. There can be little doubt that when the vast majority of Lions Clubs discuss carrying out a Project or Activity, these discussions centre on responsibilities and who will do what. Little, if any, time is spent discussing the safety aspects of the Project or Activity – this is basicly why Clubs need to have a Safety/Security Officer, to ensure the safety aspects from the Club’s point of view are considered and acted upon.
From the Insurers point of view, if some simple safety checks can be performed prior to and during Projects and Activities, this has the potential to dramatically reduce the number of claims made. It also follows that a reduction in claims and therefore, payouts by the Lions’ Insurers will help to keep that portion of our Dues needed to pay the Insurance Premiums at, or close to, the current levels.
Also if some simple safety checks can prevent unnecessary pain and suffering to Lions members, surely we have a genuine responsibility to consider the appointment of Club Safety/Security Officers.
What are the consequences of my Club not having a Safety/Security Officer, should there be an accident?
It must, at this point be noted, that it is not compulsory for a Club to appoint a safety/Security Officer. However, it is strongly recommended that all Clubs do so and it has been reinforced by an Action in South Australia, where an injured Member issued an Action against his Club for NOT appointing a Safety Officer as recommended.
Common sense dictates that a Club with a Safety/Security Officer who carries out simple safety checks must be in a better position to ensure that no-one is injured on a Club Project or Activity.
If my Club doesn’t have a Safety/Security Officer, are the Members still covered by the Lions Insurance Policies, should there be an Accident?
There is nothing in the Policies that eliminates coverage for failure to appoint a Safety/Security Officer.
What qualifications does a Safety/Security Officer need?
There is no need for the Lion who is appointed to this position to have any formal safety or first aid qualifications. The main requirements are Common Sense and an Eye for detail.
The Safety/Security Officer should not be allocated any other duties at the project and he or she must be free to wander around, and keep a look-out for unsafe situation and take appropriate action to correct the problem.
To assist in this area, a simple checklist has been circulated to all Clubs by Lions Clubs International accompanying a Booklet on the Lions Liability Programme.
What happens if the Safety/Security Officer is not available to carry out his/her duties prior to and during a Project?
It is obvious that from time to time, the Lion appointed as the Club Safety/Security Officer will be unable, for whatever reasons, to carry out his/her duties. A couple of simple options that may be considered to overcome such an eventuality are:
- Form a Safety Committee with the Safety/Security Officer as Chairman. Any Member of this Committee can be delegated to look after these duties if the Safety/Security Officer is not available.
- Find out which Club members will be attending and have the Safety/Security Officer liaise with a suitable Member to act in his/her place.
What are the duties and responsibilites of the Club Safety/Security Officer?
The Safety/Security Officer should not be allocated any other duties and he/she should take control of all safety and security matters.
As to the duties of the Club Safety/Security Officer, this is up to each Club to define, but will certainly include:
- Safety/Security checks at sites where Projects are to take place (both prior to and during the Project)
- Making sure the members working on the Project are aware of any safety/security matters or issues.
- Reporting and recording any actions taken to ensure safety/security.
- Preparing clear details of all accidents that may occur.
- Following the requirements of Lions insurances detailed in the Multiple District Directory, including immediate notification to PDG Bob Korotcoff should an accident occur.
What if the Club Safety/Security Officer makes a mistake?
If the Club Safety/Security Officer, or his/her appointed representative, makes a mistake or overlooks a blatant defect or potential hazard, that officer or appointed representative is covered by the Lions insurances as long as he/she was acting in the capacity of a Lion.
In the final analysis, all we can do is our best and take common sense steps to ensure as best we can that our members, non-members and the public at large, remain safe while involved with Lions Projects and Activities.
We should not be afraid to make mistakes, but by the same token, through a positive and diligent approach, we should strive not to. Questions such as:
- Which member should be appointed as Safety/Security Officer?
- What training should the Safety/Security Officer have?
- What should the Safety/Security Officer do in an emergency?
Need only a little bit of logical thought to come up with common sense answers that suit your Club.
Finally, we should also remember that if we are involved with a Lions Project or Activity and a safety or security matter arises, this should immediately be brought to the attention of the Safety/Security Officer, or the Project Chairman. In other words, EACH OF US has a responsibility to ensure safety and security at all times. After all, insurance might compensate for a Loss but it will not bring back a Loved One or a Limb!
For further assistance and information re Lions insurance matters, do not hesitate to contact the LIONS INSURANCE PROGRAMME CONSULTANT, P.D.G. R.N. (Bob) Korotcoff, PO Box 454, Brighton, South Australia, 5048.