Hazards and Risks

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Types of Hazards

Poor physical fitness or inappropriate physique for the activity:

  • Physical avtivties require at least some level of fitness of the participant.
  • e.g. To be involved ingymnasics you need to have some flexibility to be able to support your own weight.

Poor level of skill or technique:

  • There are many cases of injury caused through inexperience. Individuals new to a physical ativity will not know how to participate safely.
  • e.g. There are more injuries sustained in hockey at lower ability levels relate to inappropriate use of the hockey stick.

Lack of effective perparation:

  • All performers in PA must take appropriae steps to prepare for vigorous activity through an effective warm-up and, following the activity a cool down.

Behaviour of other participants:

  • The correct way of beahving is imortant to avoid injury. e.g if a child throws a discuss out of turn then this may hit another child, causing an injury
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Types of Hazards

Dangerous training practises:

  • Some training methods are not properly recognised, which may prove to be dangerous and cause injury or illness.
  • e.g. In gymnastics spinal injuries caused by pushing young gymnasts too far when they are not ready, with disastrous consequences.

Dangerous environment:

  • Large stones, broken glass and discarded hypodermic syringe needles can cause serious injury.
  • e.g. exercise classes in halls with chairs stacked around the outside my fall and potentially cause injury.

Weather conditions:

  • Sever hot weather can cause dehydration and heat exhaustion
  • Sever cold weather can cause hypothermia
  • In a thunderstorm there is risks of being struck by lightning, especially in water-based activities
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Types of Hazards

Inappropriate/Dangerous clothing:

  • Certain items of clothing can be dangerous if they get in the way of safe activity.
  • e.g. Training shoes must be correctly laced to avoid them coming off or tripping


  • Jewellery should not be worn if participating in activities where others may get hurt. 
  • e.g. Necklaces can get caught in the clothing of an opponent and then experience a serious cut to the neck.

Lifting and carrying of equipment:

  • Incorrect methods of lifting and carrying sports equipment can cause back strains and broken limbs.

Inappropriate/Damaged equipment:

  • The equipment used should be correct for the activity and age/ability of participants.
  • e.g. in gymnastics the vaulting box should be at an appropriate height.
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Reducing Risks

Make sure you are fit for PA. E.g in basketball you are required to stretch suddenlt so make sure that you have worked on your flexibility to prevent injury.

You must reach a particular skill level and have a good technique before performin seriously in PA

Before all PA or sport you should carry out an effective warm-up.

A cool-down is important immediately after exercise.

Follow health and safety procedures. Most activities have health and safety guidelines and officials should know these. E.g. Are the 5-a-side goalposts safely anchored in the sports hall?

Wear safe clothing. Clothing should be suitable to provide enough warmth and also not be hazardous to the owner and others around them.

Do not push yourself too hard, and "listen to your body" and stop if any exercise hurts or you are getting unduly fatigued.

Eat and drink correctly: have a balanced diet that ensure you have enough nutrients and water. Drink plenty of water during and after exercise.

Dont' drink too much alcohol because this interfers with health and fitness levels.

Don't take any fitness or performance-enhancing drugs. They may cause health risks and are banned.

Make sure you have a safe environment - any playing surfaces should also be safe. E.g. football pitches should be checked for brocken glass or large stones. Basketball courts should be dry and not slippery. 

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