Part 1 Risk Management Overview

Part 2 Duty of Care - Responsibilities of participants

Part 3 Insurance

part 4 guests / Visitors - Temporary Membership


MVB Risk Management Overview

Risk Management is a four step process.

Step 1: Identify hazards

Step 2: Assess risks

Step 3: Control risks

Step 4: Review 

Hazard Risk Likelihood Consequence Risk Rating Risk Controls

Bush fire

Injury or Death

Moderate for a midsummer walk in bush or forest
Unlikely in winter or wet conditions




  • Walk leader to check with local land manager before starting a walk in a fire prone area during fire season
  • Carry a radio and mobile phone on extended walks during the fire season to check daily fire status
  • Overnight walkers to take food that doesn’t require a stove
  • Research the walk area in terms of fire zone, emergency exit routes & safe places
  • Consider cancellation of the event
  • No day walks in forest areas on a total fire ban day.


Frostbite, Hypothermia, Death

Likely in alpine areas and wet windy conditions
with high wind chill factor

Critical High
  • Clothing checklist for remote areas,mountain areas
  • Gear checklist for overnight walks
  • Leader must confirm that party members are carrying minimum clothing requirements (include day walks if cold conditions and off trail)
  • Club provides health / safety emergency-response training /education.


Dehydration / Heat Stroke Moderate in Summer Medium Critical



  • Clothing checklist
  • Club provides health / safety emergency-response training/education
  • Gear checklist includes capacity to carry adequate amounts of water
  • Leader (remote and extended walks) must make every attempt to confirm water availability and inform party members if special measures required e.g. carry extra water.

Snake Bite









  • Gear checklist includes gaiters, snake bite bandage
  • Club provides health / safety emergency response training /education



Likely in summer in steep terrain




  • Leader to make effort to ensure water availability and advise participants accordingly as to how much water to carry
  • Provision of training/education to advise of the risks of dehydration and strategies to avoid it

Extreme terrain

  • Events have a grading system so participants are aware of what the event will entail
  • Leaders to advise potential participants of the terrain and the nature of the activity
  • Leaders must be satisified that the participants have the appropriate skills and abilities
  • Leaders must ensure that appropriate equipment is carried

Mine Shafts

Injury or death

Likely in some areas




  • Leaders must warn participants of the danger

Flooded rivers, seas, tidal crossings


Likely in some areas



  • If an event involves crossings after heavy rain in catchment areas or hight tides leaders must determine condition of  bridges or crossing points and plan an alternative route

Electrical storms

Lightning strike or tree fall

Likely in some areas



  • Club provides health / safety emergency response training / education

Property damage

Leaving gates open

Likely in some areas



  • Club protocols about private property, gates, animals, vehicles, control of children etc

Vehicle accident

Accident, injury , death Likely in some conditions Critical Low
  • Club protocols on driving distances, sharing driving, finish time of walks, driving in unsealed, mud and/or snow conditions - overnight stays if appropriate

1. Duty of care has been described as the responsibility to refrain from causing other persons injury or loss.


2. In terms of bushwalking clubs, the test of an activity leader’s or participant’s duty of care could be:


What a reasonably prudent person would do to take reasonable care to avoid exposing fellow participants (having regard to their knowledge, age,experience and skill) to unreasonable risks of injury or loss.


3. Furthermore, in the case of bushwalking clubs there is normally a high level of expectation on the part of club committees and activity leaders that participants will take responsibility for their own welfare and safety in a manner consistent with their knowledge, age, experience and skill. Therefore all participants and leaders need to take reasonable care to avoid exposing any person including guest participants to unreasonable risk of injury or loss.


4. Liability occurs when a duty of care was owed and that duty was then breached. Public liability is when the loss, injury or damage is to person or property although these are decisions for courts to make.


Duty of Care - Responsibilies of Parties


MVB Inc Reponsibilities


Remind members of their duty of care; each and every club member has a duty of care to other club members, guests and the public at large


Event Leaders


  1. Assess risks relating to their activity and comply with the club’s risk management requirements and operating procedures
  2. Ensure visitors undertake suitable activities and are aware of club procedures.
  3. Club members and guests need to take responsibility for their own safety
  4. Exercise a duty of care to all participants
  5. Ensure they have health and/or fitness levels and equipment suitable for the activities they undertake
  6. Follow club operating procedures.


Temporary members (Guests/Visitors)

  1. Must sign an acknowledgement of risk form and comply with club procedures
  2. Take responsibility for their own safety
  3. Exercise a duty of care to all other participants.
  4. Decisions made at Committee meeting #28 October 17 2017
    • Guest / Visitors on Events It was proposed that the first day event be free, however guests will need to pay for equipt hire (canoeing, snowshoes etc).
    •  Days 2 etc will be charged $10.
    • This motion was moved by Peter and seconded by Ro and was carried
    • Tony requested that a flat fee of $10 regardless of a family or an individual be the fee (easier to implement on the website) 
    • Tony agreed to put a system in place as soon as possible to implement these changes and that it be monitored 


Visitors are covered under Bushwalking Australia’s current public liability insurance policy as “temporary members” of a club as long as they submit an acknowledgement of risk that is part of the MVB event booking enquiry system and which complies with the proforma provided by Bushwalking Australia. The main aim of this is to ensure that visitors are aware of their responsibilities and the possible risks associated with the activity they are undertaking.


Our responsibility is to promote to members and guests the importance of managing risk with a primary focus on developing a culture of care within the club so that members can enjoy activities in a reasonably safe manner whilst acknowledging the risks of injury inherent in their club’s activities.


Murray Valley Bushwalkers Insurance

Our clubs's Bushwalking Australian Insurance policy mandates the following procedures:

  1. All members are to sign an acknowledgement of risk form at least once a year
  2. Before commencing any activity with the member club all temporary members (visitors/guests) are to sign an acknowledgement of risk form.
  3. New members joining the club are to sign an acknowledgement of risk form. This is an integral part of the membership applicaton process - but you can also access this form on the website.
  4. Bushwalking Australia website has a comprehensive explanation of our club's insurance policy which is brokered by BA annually - the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS document about insurance for bushwalking clubs is a recommended read.