As one of the world’s leading operators of fundraising challenges, Charity Challenge considers the welfare and safety of all its participants, staff and crew to be a top priority and has one of the most advanced and thorough safety management systems in the industry.
People can be injured or die in accidents or succumb to illness when travelling overseas, just as they can at home. It is important to keep this issue in context, although for our groups we have a Goal Zero policy; it is our primary objective to prevent any incident of injury, illness or fatality at all costs.
In 2013, we decided to consolidate all the years of existing knowledge, learning and experience gained from our own staff and from our colleagues overseas and collate it all into one tailored and unique safety management manual called Challenge Safe, complete with its own brand and logo. This manual brings together existing processes and formalises the ethos, objectives and procedures we use to manage company welfare and safety. It aims to provide a quantifiable approach to managing risk and sets out a process for auditing all aspects of our operation and consequently identifies a strategy over the coming years for rolling out these procedures, consequently further improving our standard of safety management by means of a set of practical and achievable objectives.
We took the decision that despite local and national regulations, there remains a distinct lack of any international agreed standards of safety and this can place our participants at risk in destinations where these standards may be lower than those enjoyed in their own country. Our aim is to work closely with our suppliers to raise the profile of safety based on the legal norms of their country of operation, so that real improvements can be made.
Challenge Safe determines that all aspects of our operation are fully risk assessed and control measures put in place using a series of standard operating procedures. For example, with our accommodation, we aim to follow good practice guidance that in essence will limit the potential for a fire incident to occur, restrict the spread of smoke and fire in a fire situation and ensure all occupants can be evacuated quickly and safely. Similarly, we are developing other standard operating procedures including ones for vehicles, vessels, camping, trekking, cycling, water based activities, horse-riding – it is our objective that for all activities undertaken on our challenges, there will be a standard operating procedure.
One important function of Challenge Safe is to ensure that all personnel across the business as well as those of our overseas suppliers and crew, are fully aware of their responsibilities and the procedures set out for the discharge of those responsibilities.
Challenge Safe sets out the terms on which we buy from our suppliers and aims to provide appropriate safety information to our participants before and after the purchase of their challenge from us. We encourage participants and empower our leaders and crew overseas to feedback to us on all safety related matters and it is vital to follow up on these to ensure any preventable safety failures are avoided.
Challenge Safe impacts on everything that we do for our groups to reduce the risk of injury, illness or death whilst travelling with us. The programme is an investment which will, over a period of time, ensure that we raise the standard of safety for our groups and subsequently the quality of our challenges, whilst mitigating any potential claim or compensation.