Health and Safety For Volunteer Officers Of Clubs and Organisations

Friday June 8, 2018 11:27

Do you volunteer your time to a Club or Organisation and hold the position of President, Secretary, or Treasurer? 

If so, you are a Club Officer.

Whilst in this role, are you accountable for accidents that occur at your club? Would Worksafe want to talk to you if they came to investigate?

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As a Club Officer or Official you have a duty to ensure that your organisation complies with its duties and obligations under the Health and Safety Act; this is known as due diligence.

Part of that due diligence is to ensure that your Organisation, as a PCBU (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking), complies with its health and safety legal requirements.

So, what is due diligence, or, what do you need to do?


  • Ensure that you understand the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
  • Check that you know what your organisations risks and hazards are and, if you do not know, ask for advice from a suitably qualified person
  • Discuss the hazards and risks with members, volunteers and officers and any other workers who may assist you

Then, make sure that your Organisation has the resources available and processes in place to deal with the risks and hazards associated with it. 4 examples:

  1. You might send an instructor or volunteer on a First Aid course or simply have a First Aid kit available on site
  2. Consider requiring the coach or manager of your child’s sports team to have a First Aid Certificate
  3. Your Girl Guide den may have a trip hazard in the entrance way. Mark it, or eliminate it, if you can
  4. Check that the fire extinguishers, which are the responsibility of your Club or Organisation, have been serviced

Good record keeping is also an essential element of your Health & Safety system. Here's how:

  • Keep a formal record of what you find and what you do
  • Devote a section in the Minute book to health and safety. Record resolutions and resources that are set aside to eliminate or minimise a risk under the heading of “Health and Safety”, just as you have a section in the Minutes for financial resolutions
  • Set up a book for Accident and Incident recording. Discuss these at your monthly meetings, how you have dealt with an incident, what happened that caused the accident, how you may be able to prevent either happening again

If you can demonstrate that you considered due diligence under the Act, you should be more immune from prosecution.

Conversely, you may be prosecuted as a defined “Other Person” if you do not take reasonable care of your own or another person’s health and safety.

That means if as a Club you ignore fixing a trip hazard in the Club rooms, especially after it has been pointed out as such, then you could be liable if someone does trip and injure themselves.  

Or, if someone needs to use the fire extinguisher and it is found to be faulty, empty or required servicing several months ago, that too could be seen as not taking reasonable care.

Show you are keeping your Club, Members and yourself safe!

If you require any further details please contact your Securo Safety Consultant.