QLM Leisuresafe™ Certification
QLM LeisuresafeTM certification scheme is a unique independent leisure and hospitality management award for leisure facilities, which recognises a planned and structured approach to health and safety management. It is supported by some insurance companies through Endsleigh Insurance Brokers.
The comprehensive audit (lasting up to two days) measures the site against relevant legislation, approved codes of practice, industry guidance and best practice.
The scheme was launched in November 2006 and has gained in popularity over the last four years with almost 100 Facilities having been assessed. This has allowed us to create a benchmarking table that we are able to share with clients.
Since the scheme was launched the majority of facilities have achieved the minimum required (65%) However for all participants, one of the major benefits is the production of a detailed action plan allowing facilities to plan improvements and further risk reduction.
What are the results?
To date :-
- 92 Centres have been assessed.
- The highest score is 91% achieved by 2 separate facilities.-
- The John Smith Pool operated by North Lanarkshire Leisure and the Evreham Sports Centre operated by Nexus
- 2 facilities achieved 90% -Sheffield City Hall and Concord Sports Centre both operated by Sheffield International Venues
- 24 facilities scored between 80-89% (4 Facilities on 89%)
- 25 facilities scored between 70-79%
- 19 facilities scored between 65-69%
The average score is 74%
In general, what are the health and safety strengths?
What are the principal areas for improvement?
- The implementation of health and safety policies, assigning responsibilities and organising for health and safety, including the implementation of policies and procedures.
- Some aspects of lifeguarding including training, provision of sufficient numbers and scanning zones. (see also areas for improvement below).
- Management of Plant and engineering.
- Activity management.
- Ensuring risk assessments are in place for all significant hazards and that the actual assessment has been robust and site specific. There are issues at some sites relating to competence of risk assessors, the resources required in terms of time to complete the assessments and guidance on the range of issues and detail required within the risk assessment.
- Training of staff other than lifeguards, including induction and ongoing training. Inductions sometimes lack key information relating to health and safety and evaluation of staff competence is often not evident.
- Probably the most significant finding in relation to areas for improvement is pool operation and the standards of lifeguarding. A few facilities fail to provide the minimum standards of lifeguarding as detailed in HSG179 Managing Health and Safety in Swimming Pools mainly during unprogrammed swimming sessions. Other facilities have too many lifeguards, creating extra financial burden on the organisation.
- Some documented normal operating procedures are out-of-date and do not reflect adequately the systems in place within the facility.
- Some Centres' fail to vet contractors adequately and therefore leave themselves or have robust local systems requiring contractors to sign in and out when on the premises including a briefing on the facility's emergency action plans. Some facility managers to assume that maintenance departments have gained risk assessments and safe systems of work for activities undertaken by contractors, yet these are not always available
Those that are at the top of the benchmarking table, and indeed the majority that have gone through the Leisuresafe process have embraced the recommendations and observations given and have made measurable changes to their operation so enhancing their health and safety management systems and the operation of their respective facilities.