Like all activities travel is a requirement but does pose risks and a shared responsibility for ensuring a safe environment.
The following are guidelines to help you monitor off-ice safety hazards with your activity:
Traveling to and from
- Monitor weather and road conditions during all events and keep all drivers informed; do not take any chances with unsafe road conditions.
- Review the route and check the weather reports before leaving, if traveling individually agree on a route and account for each other.
- Wherever possible stick to main highways, which are better maintained during inclement weather, even if it means slightly greater mileage.
- Those involved with transporting teams, organizers, officials and other participants must never consume alcohol before operating a motor vehicle, and no one involved in the tournament should ever have alcohol in their possession while traveling in a motor vehicle.
- Select only reliable, responsible adults to transport participants during the event and to drive any courtesy automobiles.
- Each team or club should establish a policy for players who are of legal driving age in regard to their driving themselves and/or other team members to games, practices or out of town tournaments. Once the policy is established, it should be clearly communicated and no exceptions should be made.
- Alcoholic beverages should be prohibited during meal stops on out-of-town trips for both passengers and drivers.
- Any vehicle associated with a team outing, game, practice or tournament must have third party liability insurance of at least $1,000,000. If a rental vehicle, such as a van or bus, is involved, make sure that the vehicle is covered for the number of people who will be making the trip. Buses should have insurance coverage for all passengers.
- Any vehicle used regularly for transporting players, such as a team bus or van, should be safety certified on an annual basis, preferably in the fall, at the beginning of the hockey season. The driver’s license of all volunteer drivers should also be reviewed each year to ensure that they are licensed for the class of vehicle to be driven.
- School buses have emergency exits at the very rear. For this reason, player equipment should not be stowed at the rear, blocking the exit. The middle section of the bus should be used as equipment seats.
- Parents and/or volunteers who use their private vehicles to transport players to functions and who have their mileage reimbursed must notify their auto insurers to make certain they have proper coverage.
- Do careful research in selecting the proper hotel for your team. Don’t let price be your only consideration. Find out about the neighborhood in which the hotel is located, its proximity to the arena, other facilities and its reputation.
- Request that all rooms are on the same floor and, if the group is small, that the rooms are close to the fire exits. If you have chosen a high-rise in a major city, request rooms below the 8th floor (this is generally the height limit for fire department ladder trucks). Request a non-smoking floor.
- Designate the individuals who will implement the EAP and the person who will be responsible in the event of an emergency.
- Make sure players, coaches, and families understand what they should do when they smell smoke or the hotel fire alarm sounds. Emphasize that the elevators are never to be used in the event of a hotel fire. Ensure that all team members leave the hotel during any fire alarm and proceed to the pre-determined meeting location. The following is from the Hockey Canada Emergency Action Plan and can be used as a model:
In the event of a fire at Hotel, [Main Contact] will ensure all players and staff have left their rooms and proceeded to the muster point [set meeting place]. Once at the muster point [Main Contact] will take attendance and ensure that no one is missing. If [Main Contact] is not present then [second contact] will ensure all players and staff have left their rooms. Ensure that you inform every player and staff member of where the common meeting place is, so in the event that no staff are present to guide the team everyone knows where to meet. (Note this may be identified in the hotels evacuation plan.) If anyone is missing when the roll call is completed, advise the hotel and EMS, do not re-enter the hotel.
- Implement a "buddy system" so that everyone can be accounted for in the event of an emergency.
- Upon Arrival review emergency procedures with all players including location of the emergency exits on the floor and the specific procedures for the hotel, which are posted on the back of the door in every hotel room.
- Designate a meeting area outside the hotel should an evacuation be necessary. This location should be pointed out to all players.