Health and Safety

Amateur Radio is a relatively safe hobby; we rarely hear of anybody that is injured as a result of a club operating a special event station, let alone someone dying. However, that doesn’t mean that we should be complacement and ignore the legislation that oversees the operation of events and the safety of its participants.

Risk Assessment

To ensure that our events are safe for those operating the special event station, and those attending, we should implement a five-point plan, as recommended by the Health & Safety Executive, which is commonly referred to as a Risk Assessment. This five point plan includes:

  1. Identifying hazards
  2. Deciding who might be harmed and how
  3. Evaluating the risks and deciding on precautions
  4. Recording our findings and implementing them
  5. Regularly reviewing our assessment and updating it when required.

To clarify matters…

  • A hazard is anything that may cause harm; falling antennas, tent guy ropes, an electrical generator, RF power, petrol for refuelling the generator, tools for erecting an antenna mast, etc.
  • A risk is the chance (high or low) that somebody could be harmed by these hazards, together with an indication of how serious the harm could be.

The HSE’s five-point plan gives some good guidance on how to carry out this risk assessment so we’re not going to duplicate the information here. However, we have created a risk assessment that should serve as a starting point for most special events. Please don’t replay on this as being everything you need for your event as you may have additional risks to those presented in thisexample.

Please note that we are not experts in health and safety law and that the above sample risk assessment does not constitute professional advice and is not a complete risk assessment fit for your purposes. Under no circumstances will the Lifeboat Amateur Radio Society, or the SOS Radio Week Committee, be liable for your failure to complete a full risk assessment of your own event.