Overall, the person responsible for their safety and happiness on a walk is the individual. The walk leader will show the way but it is up to the individual to be careful in following them and to know their own capabilities and limitations. Petersfield Ramblers’ walks have public liability insurance cover, however, this is not personal accident insurance and all members must be aware they walk at their own risk. Everyone has a role to play on a walk to ensure it is completed successfully and safely. Please familiarise yourself with the various roles and associated responsibilities set out below:
- Submit your walks to the programme secretary in good time and in the format requested.
- Pre-walk your planned route to gain an idea of the timings, conditions, potential hazards and places to stop for comfort breaks, coffee and lunch.
- If conditions mean that you need to cancel the walk, telephone or text the programme secretary, giving as much notice as possible. (07791 222647) If short notice is unavoidable, the walk leader must go to the start of the walk to “catch” those who may not have been informed (or make arrangements for other people to do this).
- Carry a map, fully charged phone, basic first aid kit and a whistle.
- The first aid kit should have: gloves, mask, plasters, antiseptic cream, aspirin, paracetamol, bandage, tape, alcohol wipes.
- Provide everyone with a briefing before setting off. It’s important everyone understands what will be encountered during the walk and is confident that this is within his / her abilities. Warn members about possible hazards e.g., stiles, busy roads and if walking by water.
- Designate a back marker and walk first aider.
- Regularly check that everyone is following at an acceptable distance and not becoming too spread out.
- Take breaks to give walkers a rest and time for refreshment.
- Take on overall responsibility in an emergency situation, specifically taking responsibility for communication and logistics, not first aid.
- Maintain the pace of the walk so that the group does not become too strung out. The leader should be able to see the backmarker at all times. At intervals, and especially after breaks, count the number of walkers to ensure that no one is missing.
- Where a road is encountered, make walkers aware at the beginning of the road section. Instruct people to walk in single file, paying attention to the traffic. Make walkers aware of oncoming cars. Walk on the right hand side of the road, unless approaching a right hand bend, when the left hand side is safest. If this involves crossing the road, this should be done before the bend and with great care.
- If conditions dictate, leaders may vary or shorten the route.
- Ensure that everyone has returned and thank the backmarker and first aider.
- Come suitably prepared – adequate clothing, foot wear, water and food.
- Carry a card/piece of paper in a backpack with the following information: name and number of who to call in an emergency, details of any pertinent medical conditions and medication. This is confidential information and will only be accessed in the event of a medical emergency.
- Carry medication if it might prove useful in an emergency.
- Walk behind the leader and in front of the back marker.
- Notify the leader or another walker if not feeling well or finding the walk hard-going.
- Notify someone if you are taking a comfort break.
- If any member brings a dog, they are solely responsible for the conduct and well-being of the dog during the walk. They understand that should the dog run off, the walk will not be interrupted. If necessary, especially whenever requested by the walk leader, the dog should be put on a lead.
Back Marker Responsibilities
- Remain at the back of the walk for the duration.
- Keep an eye on walkers in front.
- Communicate forward to the leader in the event of a problem.
- Assist the walk leader in the event of an emergency situation.
Walk First Aider Responsibilities
- Be prepared to provide basic care to someone who is injured or not feeling well.