A key benefit of good risk management is a safer environment for activity participants, with reduced likelihood and consequences of mishaps. Well planned and conducted bushwalking activities not only have less chance of mishaps occurring, but are also more enjoyable.
- Enjoy activities in a reasonably safe manner whilst acknowledging the risks of injury inherent in their club’s activities.
- Understand that all participants have a duty of care to each other.
- Take responsibility for their own safety within the limit of their knowledge, experience and skills.
The BWA guidelines follow Bushwalking Australia’s (‘BA’) National Risk Management Guidelines (2011). Except for the mandatory requirements in relation to Acknowledgment of Risk (Section 6 of the current Guidelines) the application of these guidelines is voluntary and will not cover each and every circumstance of a club’s activities.
The risk management programs and procedures that BWA encourages Member Clubs to put in place and maintain are also an important factor in ensuring a Club remains eligible for the insurances available to our Member Clubs. An annual questionnaire completed by each club informs the insurers of how the club is actively managing and mitigating risk in its activities.
Bushwalking Adventure Activity Standard
Adventure Activity Standards (AAS) are intended to provide best practice guidelines to be used by skilled outdoor leaders who are responsible for participants in managing risk and safety across a wide range of outdoor adventure activities, including bushwalking. At present WA has its own AAS which is expected to be replaced soon by a national AAS. These standards are voluntary and are intended to provide guidelines to encourage safe and responsible bushwalking activities.
Bushwalking Australia (BA), supported by the member state bodies, including BWA, is concerned that the mandating of standards or competencies for voluntary organisations bushwalking clubs is unnecessarily onerous for volunteer organisations and may have the perverse outcome of forcing bushwalkers out of the club structure, leading to an overall reduction in safety and knowledge of bushwalkers.
As a constructive solution for the clubs, BA is supporting the development of simple, relevant guidelines that enable bushwalkers and clubs to improve the standard and safety of their activities. This will include an online bushwalking manual for national use.
Bushwalking WA will continue to encourage our Member Clubs and other voluntary bushwalking organisations to maintain their excellent safety record through continued good risk management of their activities.