here to download the BCA Health and safety policy (PDF)
If you have any enquiries about this policy, please do not hesitate to contact
Email the BCA
Braille Chess Association
Registered charity no. 263049
Health and safety policy
Braille Chess Association (BCA) is a very small organisation and has only two
paid employees, our treasurer and our fundraiser, who are
part time and work from home. The Association is run by a Board of
Trustees, largely blind or partially sighted chess players, drawn from the
membership. However, we also have a number of sighted volunteers to
help with various activities.
working usually occurs only in the context of coaches visiting members in
their houses/schools or at international events to give training.
BCA expects those engaged in such activities to provide their own insurance
main health and safety concerns arise at the chess tournaments that we
organise for members of the Association. These tournaments are held
in various hotels around the country.
The tournament organiser plays a key role in
ensuring that high standards of health and safety prevail. He/she meets the
hotel management prior to the tournament to discuss the hotelís health,
safety and emergency procedures, with the aim of establishing whether there
would be any problems for blind or partially sighted members and agreeing
what extra help the hotel might need to provide. The tournament organiser
tries to ensure that BCA members are located in the same areas of the hotel
and on lower floors as this would tend to make things easier, both for the
hotel staff and for the members, in case of an emergency. Similarly, he/she
provides the hotel with a preferred room allocation so that the sighted BCA
guests are equally located among the blind guests as this could be helpful
in an emergency evacuation of the building in the night. He/she also lets
the hotel know which guests are likely to need assistance in an emergency,
particularly those with serious hearing loss or walking difficulties.
The association carries appropriate insurance
against public liability.
Selecting venues for events
1. We consider the risk to visually impaired
people from obstacles such as potentially dangerous steps.
2. We ensure the fire procedures are
satisfactory and we now arrange for vulnerable members, such as physically
disabled people or thos with serious hearing loss
are catered for in this regard.
3. We check the venue is suitable and safe for
guide dog owners.
4. We check the facilities for those with
walking difficulties including wheelchair users. If we consider a venue is
less than reasonably suitable for wheelchair users we in clude this information in notices for the event and
where possible we prefer to avoid such venues. We have rejected far more
venues than we have accepted.
5. The BCA has no control over the selection of
venues for international events held outside the UK to which it regularly
sends teams; however it expects the International Braille Chess Association
to exercise the same level of care in venue selection as the BCA does when
choosing venues for national events.
During the event
1. We make a point of requesting more easily
accessible rooms for those with walking difficulties and wheelchair users.
2. Our sighted members regularly assist our
visually impaired members by guiding them round venues and helping at
mealtimes, but cannot be expected to take on the role of a full-time carer. If a member attending one of our events has very
particular care needs, they will be asked to make suitable arrangements
themselves, for example by attending with a friend who has agreed to help
3. Although the association accepts its
responsibilities regarding health and safety as outlined in this policy,
members must understand that when they attend our events they take responsibility
for their own health and safety as well. They must behave in a way that
does not put themselves or another member at unreasonable risk. They must
also take responsibility regarding any particular medication they use.
4. We have a document (see appendix 1) which we
make available to members stressing the need for them to familiarise
themselves with fire evacuation procedures at the hotel and to make sure
they know where the nearest fire escape is located.
5. We advise those with special needs they may
leave a sealed envelope at hotel reception containing information about
medication and contacts in case of illness.
6. We have considered possible risks to other
guests posed by guide dogs. Such risks are kept to a minimum by
exceptionally rigorous training of the guide dogs with their owners but, in
addition, the risks are covered by Guide Dogs Association insurance.
7. Hotels we use for our events must take
proper measures to ensure the health and safety of our members during their
stay, for example by ensuring electrical sockets in rooms are safe and by
maintaining appropriate standards of food hygiene.
Fire safety and evacuation procedure
BCA would like to highlight the importance of fire safety at all events.
Hotels have a responsibility to ensure that guests are made aware of fire
evacuation procedures. However, members should also ensure for themselves
that they are fully conversant with these, and in particular where their
nearest fire exit is located. Please, therefore, when being shown to your
room on arrival, make sure that you know the location of the appropriate
you feel you may have particular difficulties in the event of a fire
evacuation, then please inform the Hotel Reception of this. In some circumstances,
e.g. difficulty in hearing the alarm at night, you may consider letting
another member of the party have a key to your room. If you are going to do
this, then please let the organiser know as soon as possible so that
arrangements can be made for the rooms to be located close together.
addition, members are reminded, that in case of a medical emergency, and if
they feel it would be helpful, they can give the Hotel Reception a sealed
envelope containing appropriate medical details and contact details of a
person at home.
Last reviewed in April 2014.