Heath & Safety Policy

The Welsh Karate Union considers the promotion of a positive Health & Safety culture a high priority for its Instructors and Student members at every level.

This policy identifies all necessary and reasonable actions to prevent personal injury to its Instructors, Students, members of the public and including damage to property, through the study and practising of Shotokan Karate.

The Welsh Karate Union has strived to identify all foreseeable hazards to ensure that students and members of the public participate in Karate and its associated activities in as safe environment.

 Therefore Welsh Karate Union recognises it has a responsibility -

  1. To provide and maintain a safe and healthy training environment.

  2. to provide suitably trained qualified instructors, who are capable, to enable members to study and practice karate safely.

  3. to encourage the use of appropriate protective equipment when necessary.

  4. to maintain and promote a positive health and safety culture at all times

  5. Recognize equal opportunities, with no discrimination to age, gender, race or creed.

  6. All WKU members have a duty to assist in the operation of this policy:

    1. by encouraging safe practices.

    2. by using protective equipment when instructed

    3. by reporting any injuries or medical condition that may restrict them from participating in a training session

    4. by reporting incidents that have lead to or have the potential to lead to injury or damage.

    5. by adhering to the Welsh Karate Unions constitution


1. Executive Committee

It shall be the duty of the Executive Committee Officers to:


  1. advise the instructors/members of any required standards of Health & Safety policy and demonstrate a positive attitude at all times, Instructors or Nominated shall enforce this at all times.


  1. have representation on any meetings arranged to discuss matters of Health & Safety.


  1. provide and maintain all Health & Safety policy and documentation pertaining to the Welsh Karate Union as a whole. The responsibility for maintaining same documentation at club level will be the responsibility of that club instructor.


  1. endeavour to develop Instructors and its Students by providing adequate opportunities with information and training and courses relevant to education on matters of Health & Safety for all members/instructors.


  1. Will ensure that’s each individual club within the Welsh Karate Union understands their responsibility and complies with this Health & Safety policy.


  1. Each club under the direction and support of the Welsh Karate Union will undertake to complete a suitable and sufficient Risk Assessment


2. Members Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of all members including parents/guardians of junior members, to ensure that they have familiarised themselves with the contents of this policy and that each member taking part in any activity associated with Shotokan Karate as a member of the Welsh Karate Union, all members shall-



Familiarise themselves with the dojo/premises to be used prior to training and take note of -

  • Fire exit routes, Fire Procedures and Fire extinguishers if available

  • First aid facilities (Instructors should be aware of the site arrangements or make suitable provision themselves if required)

  • location of welfare facilities i.e. toilets/changing rooms.

  • take notice of rules and regulations posted on notice boards of premises in use.

  • the location of telephones for use in an emergency.

  • be aware of location of nearest casualty hospital.





Instructors or nominated person

It shall be the responsibility of each instructor and/or a nominated person to -

  1. Familiarise themselves with the Welsh Karate Union Health & Safety policy and ensure that a suitable Risk Assessment is completed on all venues/dojos used for the participation of Karate.


  1. Monitor all suggestions or complaints from members or other instructors pertaining to Health & Safety matters, take proportionate action and/or notify the Chief Instructor if deemed necessary.


  1. Ensure that a record is maintained of all incidents/injuries in a club ‘accident book’. This ‘accident book should be available should a legitimate request be made by any other member of the Welsh Karate Union. NB- it should be noted that the accident book is also deemed as a legal record and maybe used as evidence.


  1. Be directly responsible for the running of all clubs under their control.


  1. Ensure adequate provision of all members, paying particular attention to the monitoring needs of children, inexperienced members, vulnerable adults and assistant instructors.


  1. Take any action necessary to ensure that legal safety obligations have been carried out by the owners/authority in charge of the premises i.e. unobstructed fire routes, working fire door mechanisms etc.


  1. Ensure that any training equipment or safety equipment is in a safe, clean and serviceable condition.


  1. Ensure that any potential instructor is given access to suitable training courses and assessments, with supporting information as required in order to satisfy the coaching criteria as agreed by the Governing Body – Karate Wales.


  1. Ensure that only authorised persons are placed in a position of supervision of others.


  1. Introduce control measures as deemed necessary in order to control any hazards.


  1. Ensure that all persons acting on their behalf comply with this and any other statutory Health & Safety requirement.


  1. Ensure that all instructors/assistant instructors have suitable professional indemnity insurance and comply with any directives, which may be laid down by the insurers from time to time.


  1. Instructors should be made aware of any activity or condition that may be considered to be potentially dangerous and for associated exclusions to their personal or professional indemnity cover as a result of such practices.




It shall be the responsibility of each and every member and/or visitor whilst using the training premises to -


  1. Consider all aspects of Health & Safety with regard to themselves and of any other person or persons who may be affected by their actions.


  1. Familiarise themselves with Welsh Karate Unions Health & Safety policy.


  1. Cooperate fully with instructions given by any Welsh Karate Union Instructor (or nominated person) to ensure that health & safety is maintained at all times


  1. Report any concerns that may arise to any Welsh Karate Union Instructor (or nominated person)


  1. Members should be made aware of any activity or condition that may be considered to be potentially dangerous and for associated exclusions to their personal or professional indemnity cover as a result of such practices.


3. Personal Safety Equipment

  1. There is a wide range of personal safety equipment available for the health and safety of not only the wearer, but also others engaged in activities with them. Certain types of hand mitts, groin guards etc. are not suitable and the club instructor should advise students which items are approved for use in dojo training situations and competitions, as these may not necessarily be the same.


  1. Competition mitts. These should be WKF approved or similar quality. NB These items are compulsory for Kumitecompetition. (However for dojo training, cotton mitts with a minimum thickness of padding of 1cm may be allowed at the instructor’s discretion.


  1. Gum-shields. These should be individually fitted. NB This is acompulsory item for Kumite competition; however their use is also advised during dojo sparring sessions.


  1. Chest protector (females). This is not a compulsory item; however use is advised during Kumite competition.


  1. Groin guard. This is not compulsory item for Kumite competition; however use it is recommended for competition and sparring sessions.


  1. Shin protector. This is not a compulsory item and where used should be of an approved soft type.


4. First Aid

  1. Under the Health &Safety Regulations 1981, premises must have first aid provision.


  1. At least one first aid box should be kept on each of the premises used or occupied by any of the Association’s member clubs. Where applicable a qualified first aider or responsible person shall be expected to maintain the box. It is suggested in addition each club instructor to carry a small first aid kit to all training sessions.


  1. A ‘responsible’ or ‘appointed person’ is someone who is authorised or expected to take charge of a serious situation (e.g. to call an ambulance) if there is a serious illness or injury. The person will act in the absence of the trained or qualified first aider, or where a qualified first aider is not required.


  1. A qualified first aider is a person who must have undertaken training and obtained qualifications


  1. All WKU instructors must have completed an approved first aid course as required by Karate Wales This will require to be renewed regularly as required by the WKU


  1. A record (Accident Book) must be maintained in conjunction with the first aid box. In addition each instructor must maintain a suitable accident book as a requirement of WKU insurance broker.


5. First Aid Special Precautions

  1. First aiders who may be called upon to give Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation. Although the risk of infection is minimal the First Aider should always use mouthpieces ‘if’ available for this procedure. It should be noted that the correct protocol is always Dial 999 in the event of an emergency.


  1. In any situation requiring first aid certain precautions should be taken in order to reduce the risk of transmitting infections diseases.


  1. Cover any exposed cuts or abrasions they may have with a waterproof dressing before treating any casualty whether or not any infection is suspected.


  1. Should also ensure that their hands are washed both prior to and following the application of any dressings.


  1. Whenever spilled blood or other body fluids require to be mopped up, disposable plastic gloves should always be worn and paper towels used. These items should then be placed in plastic bags and safely disposed of, preferably by burning. Clothing may be cleaned in an ordinary washing machine using the hot cycle.


  1. If direct contact with another person’s blood or other body fluids occur, the area should be washed as soon as possible using ordinary soap and water. Clean cold tap water should be used if the lips, mouth, tongue, eyes or broken skin are affected and medical advice sought.


  1. With regards to Broken Bones – minimal movement is critical. Immobilize wherever practical - dial 999 , advise hospital treatment in minor injuries.


  1. It is critical that all injuries are recorded and witnessed in the accident book. Note accident that require an ambulance or hospital treatment notify the Chief Instructor as soon as practicable.



6. Competition Safety

In addition to the requirements listed elsewhere in this Health & Safety Policy, it shall be the duty of all competitors and officials/organisers to observe the following requirements.


  1. Medical - at all major competitions other than club level, a medical qualified person must be in attendance in addition to first aiders and equipment.


  1. PPE

    1. Gum shields – kumite only

    2. Head guards – for some junior categories (kumite only)

    3. Hand Mitts – kumite only

    4. Shin guards – can be worn at the discretion of the Chief Referee


  1. Floors - Mats (preferably) or sprung timber or cushioned floors (where mats are not available). For competitions, which involve foot sweeps, throws and takedowns – matted areas only.


  1. Licenses - Every competitor must produce a valid licence to any official with a legitimate right to request sight of same in order to validate member to member insurance cover.


  1. Referees - shall endeavor to ensure that the safety of the fighters are their first priority and must stop any kumite competition at the first sign of any distress or any inability to defend.


  1. Rules - all competitions other than at club level, must be held under approved rules of Karate Wales /WKU as amended from time to time.


  1. Injury /Incident – must reported to the medical staff and Chief referee.


  1. Existing Injuries or Disabilities – must be brought to the attention of the chief Referee


9. Disciplinary Procedures


Failure to observe the rules and guidance as laid down in this Health & Safety Policy may lead to disciplinary action being taken by the Executive Committee.

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