By Darryl Alder
Jul 15, 2017

Safety from an LDS Global Safety Officer’s View

In May, Mt Nebo District Roundtable featured guest speaker, Alan Rogers who is a Senior Safety Manager in LDS Loss Prevention Church Risk Management and is a Great Salt Lake Council Risk Management Committee Member. 

He began by asking us to consider a four step plan to improve safety (see right). Then he build his presentation around four general themes:

  • to use planning to be prepared
  • use a “Safety Moment” before every activity
  • act like you have a Tour and Activity
  • plan and report incidents and near misses.
  1. Planning to Be Prepared

    He opened with this quote from Scouting’s founder:

    Alan advised us to plan all our  activities, not just show up at the Church to see what happens, He reminded us that all youth programs in the Church would benefit from leaders becoming familiar with BSA’s policies found in the Guide to Safe Scouting. Abiding by those guidelines helps insure our youth the greatest protection. 

    For example, as a bishop, whenever he took the youth boating, he made sure they all used the PFDs he had carried along. That way he brought the youth home safety. “You never want to lose someone’s child,” he warned. 

    “You can begin this [planning] process by identifying in advance what the goal of the activity should be. The second step is to plan the activity thoroughly so you can safely accomplish the identified goal. Within the Church and Scouting, one of our primary purposes is to teach leadership skills. Handbook 2, 13.2.3, counsels:

    Strive to have participants be actively involved, since participating is usually more beneficial than just observing.”’

    The extent of youth involvement in the planning process will somewhat depend upon the age of the young men and Primary-age boys with whom you are working.”

  2. Use a “Safety Moment” before every activity.

    Rogers challenged everyone to use “Safety Moments” before every activity. He explained that it should be visual whenever possible, something like what flight attendants do with the seat belt and oxygen mask. These are short 
    presentations to prepare for an activity, and review safety measures. The National Council offers topics in this series including incident reporting, safe use of medication in Scouting, weather-related safety, winter activity, winter sports and more. Read more about using a safety moment in Scouting activities

  3. What’s next now there are no Tour and Activity Plans: 

    Know your risk, not no risk.

    Though the National Council suspended the process for Tour and Activity Plans, it is paramount that we know and use the Guide to Safe Scouting.  Part of knowing and using this guide, is for a unit key to review any planned activity and place special emphasis on the Sandwich Principle and the Sweet Sixteen of BSA Safety. found within the Guide. 

    “We must conduct our programs within BSA policy to insure the greatest protection for our youth and our own liability,” Rogers said. He continued. ” You need to know what you can do and how to do it.” He also asked that we all carefully consider the LDS Scouting Handbook 8.9 and explained that without BSA registration, adult leaders would not have have BSA’s primary liability coverage. 

  1. Why we report incidents and near misses.

The information reported from incidents helps identify areas for improvement so we can help prevent the reoccurrence of similar incidents. The BSA can’t address a concern if we don’t know about it.

He said, “We cannot work on what we don’t know about,” so both incident reports and near misses help us prevent future accidents.  The told us that an incident is defined as “is any unplanned event that results in harm to an individual, property, or the environment.”

For example any injury or illness that cannot be treated by Scout-rendered first aid, but needs a medical professional such as a doctor, nurse, or EMT, should be reported. Get the details, but stick to the facts. Even pictures can help.  He also suggested these resources:

Author: Alan Rogers | LDS Church Risk Management, and  Great Salt Lake Council Risk Management Committee Member


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