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Sports Injury Policy

Sports Injury Policy, Version 2 - Approved by the Board
 
12th January 2008
Compiled without prejudice
 
Sports Injury Prevention Policy Table Tennis New South Wales Incorporated:
 
Introduction and Basics:
 
This publication has been prepared as a guide for affiliated associations/clubs of Table Tennis NSW to provide adequate Sports Injury Prevention measures within clubs throughout NSW. It is intended to provide basic information and guidelines for sports injury prevention particularly relevant to the sport of table tennis. It has been prepared with input from members and, and is intended to update the content as appropriate from time to time, with it being requested that where members have expertise in the area of sports injury prevention which could improve on the information contained in this publication, that such information be passed onto Table Tennis NSW.
Given the diverse nature of the operation of many associations/clubs affiliated with Table Tennis NSW, it is strongly recommended that each association/club evaluate and assess their own positions, with due reference to the particulars of each situation * and adapt this basis policy to provide adequate protection for their members for the well-being of all table tennis players in NSW. (Eg renting; leasing or owning a venue: various types of access to venues: size and layout of venue: different floor types: varied number and composition of memberships, giving rise to associated variance in risk factors: different requirements for major tournaments as apposed to social fixtures: financial position etc.)
 
To assist each association/club in this process, various considerations and processes are outlined, which should be considered when evaluating and assessing the risk of each association/club, prior to adapting this policy for their own specific needs. This policy is compiled without prejudice.
 
The recommendation of Sports Medicine Australia have been adapted to apply to the particular types of injuries which are likely to occur at a table tennis venue with respect to both participants in the sport and other persons who may be at the venue. It is important to realise that measures need to be in place to deal with both physical injury (occurring through either participation or other accident) and medical illness affecting persons at the venue
 
PREVENTION IS BETTER TO CURE and the emphasis of this publication is on prevention of problems. It must however be realised that the best prevention program cannot prevent all injuries and being prepared for any emergency likely to occur with availability of both trained first aid personnel and the equipment they require is essential. Best practices dictate that it is preferable to be prepared to prevent problems which arise from becoming worse.
 
Features of Venue to Minimise Risk/Injury:
 
No matter how hard you try to make your venue safe, there will always be the possibility of injuries occurring.
 
With this in mind the need for adequate equipment and first aid training becomes obvious. However, there are many things to be looked at in improving safety features of a playing centre.
 
Check List:
 
1) Access to building should be of even surface, without obstacles or potholes, and well lit at times of poor light and at night.
2) Playing surface and floor areas should be level and checked for protruding nails, slippery areas and other defects.
3) Roofs should be checked for leakages, as moisture on the playing surface and floor areas pose a potential risk.
4) Playing surrounds should be of a type unlikely to cause injury in the event of collision.
5) Entry areas, spectator seating and general areas should be checked for slippery or uneven floor surfaces, protrusions and low overhead objects. Entry/exit areas and walkways should remain uncluttered to allow easy access within the venue.
6) Change rooms and toilets should be easily accessible, kept clean and hygienic, and floor area kept dry.
7) Areas of potential injury must be identified and the problem rectified where possible. If this is not immediately feasible, these areas should be clearly marked with a caution sign to warn of potential danger, until the problem can be fixed.
8) Clearly marked EXIT signs should be erected. These should be of the type which is able to remain alight even during a power failure. Exit ways must meet with local council requirements and be clear and unobstructed at all times.
9) Fire extinguishers to meet local requirements should be installed and checked on a regular basis.
10) The first aid room and/or person should be easy to find in the event of an injury or illness. A prominent sign would be useful.
11) Clearly marked contact numbers should be displayed prominently near all phones in the venue and on notice boards - ambulance, hospital, doctor, dentist, fire service and police.
12) Where a canteen or kiosk forms part of the venue, this should be kept clean and hygienic at al times, with monitoring of expiry dates on food items sold. Foods which have exceeded their recommended expiry date must be disposed of.
13) Adequate evacuation procedures should be in place - location of nearest exit - and a central point nominated outside the building to conduct a rollcall and ensure all personnel have been successfully evacuated.
 
First Aid Training
 
Training of first aid personnel for your organisation will depend on facilities in your district. If available, Saint John Ambulance provides excellent first aid training. The various State Ambulance Services also conduct first aid training in many areas.
 
Sports Medicine Australia has developed a variety of courses in first aid and sports medicine for trainers in various sports with a strong emphasis on sports first aid, prevention of injuries and training techniques. Their program "Australia's Safer Sports" promotes greater safety in sport, by providing local seminars, refresher courses and information products, which keep sport safety conscience persons abreast of the most up to date information on how to make their sport safer.
 
It is suggested that your first aid personnel have as wide and varied exposure to first aid courses as possible and that all members of your association are given some instruction in your first aid policy in case of illness or injury. It is strongly recommended that various club members have current first aid qualifications.
 
Club registration forms should contain a section that allows the person completing same to declare whether they have an illness, injury or disability that may require treatment. Eg Epilepsy, Heart Condition. These conditions could prove fatal unless club personnel are aware of them and act appropriately. It would be preferable that a list of these persons/conditions be included in the first aid kit.
 
The importance of having ready access to a telephone and a prominently displayed list, near the telephone, of emergency contacts cannot be over stressed. (Doctor, Ambulance, Hospital, Police, Fire Brigade and Dentist)
 
A list of contact numbers where enquires can be made regarding current courses available in each State/Territory should be compiled by those associations and distributed to all of their affiliates, with update of same from time to time. Encouragement and incentive should be provided to their affiliates by State/Territory associations to attend these courses.
 
First Aid Equipment:
 
The first aid equipment your association requires can be divided into two categories; essential and optional. The essential equipment should be available at every table tennis venue in Australia and there should always be someone available with the first aid training to use the equipment. The amount of optional equipment your association has will depend on your particular requirements.
 
The equipment should be kept in an area that is clearly designated and known by all users of the venue. A clearly marked First-Aid Room which has a lie-down area (bed or mattress), blankets, pillows as well as the well equipped first aid kit is available.
 
Essential:
 
1) First Aid Kit containing various sizes of dressings of various types. These should include small dressings from band-aid size to larger dressings such as gauzes, combined dressings and non-stick types (eg. Melolin). All should be kept sterile and within their usr by date.
2) Bandages of various types from simple stretch cotton types to hold dressings in place to elastocrepe type for use as compression bandages to control bleeding or reduce swelling in soft tissue injuries such as sprains and bruising.
3) Adhesive type to fix dressings in place. Micropore is recommended as it has a low probability of causing skin irritation.
4) Ice/icepacks should always be available for immediate application to injuries for prevention of swelling. Ice packs should never be directly applied to the injury, but rather in a wet cloth or towel.
5) Antiseptic solution for cleansing of wounds. Savlon solution or similar (Detol) is suggested.
6) Antiseptic liquid such as Betadine or Mercurochrome to apply to superficial abrasions.
7) Preparation for application to insect bites eg. Stingoes.
8) Various sizes of slings and simple splints to support injured limbs.
9) Instruments such as scissors and splinter forceps.
10) Readily available telephone and contact list for ambulance, local hospital, doctor's dentist fire brigade and police.
 
Optional:
 
1) It is strongly recommended that associations have some form of resuscitation equipment available such as an air-viva kit; however, this will require someone on hand having the training to use such equipment.
2) Simple analgesics (pain relievers) such as paracetamol. Extreme caution should be exercised when considering administering these to children, with it being recommended that they only be given on the advice of a medical practitioner, or if a parent in present and administers them to their own child.
3) Any other equipment as suggested by your local first aid personnel.
4) Wall posters, in the first aid room, or in the first aid kit, providing information on various procedures eg. RICED (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation & Diagnosis), DRABC (Danger, Response, Airway, Breathing & Circulation) and Resuscitation Techniques.
 
Recommendations:
 
A more comprehensive list of first aid kit contents is available from various establishments eg St. John Ambulance, the State Ambulance Association and Sports Medicine Australia offices. Some of these sell a variety of First Aid Kits to meet a variety of usages. It is recommended you ascertain what their recommendations are, assess your individual requirements based on potential risk to your members and equipment your association accordingly.
 
Caution:
 
1) ALWAYS ASCERTAIN ALLERGIC REACTIONS BEFORE ADMINISTERING ANY MEDICATION OR APPLYING ANY SOLUTION OR DRESSING TO THE SKIN.
2) A First Aid Kit MUST be Kept in a hygienic condition Regularly checked - a list of the contents should be clearly displayed in the kit, with a person nominated to check the contents on a weekly basis and replace items used or past their expiry date.
 
Fitness Instructions for Players:
 
Basic warm-up and stretching exercises are essential elements of any training or competition program, as is a regular training regimen, even if it is not too demanding. All participants should be made aware of these aspects of sports participation. This area should be dealt with by the coach and trainer in consultation with the first aid personnel. Sports Medicine Australia produces helpful literature in the area of fitness training. Table Tennis NSW recommends table tennis specific training exercises. Information on general training principles is available from Sports Medicine Australia, through their publications and courses, from basic first aid to advanced Sports Trainers Courses.
 
Recommendations:
 
That each club/association has a suitably currently qualified person to educate their members on the importance of training techniques.
 
Requirements for Disabled Players:
 
Provision should be made available at every venue to cater for disabled players. Some basic requirements are ramp access to the venue, the playing areas and the toilet facilities. Aisle ways MUST be kept clear.
 
Other areas may need to be addressed depending on the disabilities encountered in the person wishing to participate at your centre.
 
The first aid personnel may need to be made aware of any illness or disabilities your players may have in order to be prepared for possible illness or injury.
 
In certain circumstances further training or equipment may be necessary to accommodate players with special needs at your centre, so that table tennis may be made safely available to all.
 
Legal Requirements:
 
It is suggested that committees take out Directors & Officers Liability Insurance to cover negligence by servants or agents of the incorporated association. This will provide protection for those of your members acting in an official capacity within your club/association, including your first aid personnel in the event that their actions in attempting to assist an injured person are found to be negligent in some way.
 
Also if an accident occurs at your venue, liability should not be admitted to, nor should offers of any kind be made to the injured person. Provide first aid as necessary within the capabilities of your centre and be prepared to call for assistance of the local Ambulance Service or Medical Practitioner. First aiders should be aware of their limitations and perform within them. If serious injury or illness occurs beyond their capabilities they should not make apologies or admit negligence.
 
Table Tennis NSW has in place a Sports Injury Insurance Policy covering all registered members whilst participating in recognised affiliated/club table tennis activities.
 
IT MUST BE NOTED THAT SPORTS INJURY INSURANCE DOES NOT COVER ANY INJURY TO, OR DEATH OF THE FOETUS OF A PREGNANT WOMAN WHILST PARTICIPATING IN THE SPORT. PREGNANT WOMEN MUST THEREFORE BE ADVISED THAT THEY PARTICIPATE AT THEIR OWN RISK, with it being advised to have such women signing forms recognising this qualification of their participation.
 
 
Last modified onMonday, 26 January 2015 00:23
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