Finding the Right Safety Coordinator

You know your club members better than we do, so you could already have a perfect person in mind, but just in case you are on the fence, here are some suggested skills that you might want to consider in finding the best person for the job.

Your safety coordinator should be a person who will mentor, serve as a role model and educator, and a promoter of safety awareness. He or she should also have the ability to assist in the development of club activities from a safety aspect and provide support in running such activities. It is important to remember that the safety coordinator is not the “club field police officer.” Rather, he or she is the person who displays a positive attitude and willingness to teach others regarding to safety at the club field.

Role Model: Your safety coordinator should be knowledgeable about our hobby, maintain high standards, and display a positive attitude when dealing with safety issues. If you lead, they will follow. This statement pretty well sums up how the safety coordinator can affect the club. A good leader, with a positive attitude who knows the ins and outs of the club rules and bylaws, will assist in club members gaining trust and respect for the safety coordinator. In turn, club members will have an encouraging resource to turn to with any safety issues that might arise.

Educator: Education, education, education! We can’t say this enough. Many accidents and injuries could be avoided if only pilots were more educated on the aspects of safety. Start by looking at a person’s interpersonal and communication skills. A safety coordinator who can work well and communicate effectively with the club officers and members will be more effective in teaching safety than a person who is not as efficient in this area. Safety coordinators should work with club officers to develop an ongoing educational plan for the club members. Offering quarterly safety meetings, providing special safety classes for newcomers, and implementing any additional preventative measures the club finds necessary, would be important steps in creating an effective educational program. The Safety Coordinator would play a leading role in the development and implementation of all safety education programs, and having skills to educate would be a benefit to the club.

Promoter: Promotion of safety within the club is a must and your club will want to look for a good promoter. An ideal candidate for the safety coordinator might work in sales or is a marketing professional. Working in sales, personal products, or service promotion is a must. If someone has been in the profession for some time, you would assume he or she has abilities in this area. A marketing professional would have a knack for promotion because this profession would require such skills. This is not to say that someone without a background in sales or promotion couldn’t effectively be a good safety coordinator, however, someone with this type of background could be a bonus to the coordinator position. Effective safety promotion will encourage members to become more aware of their surroundings at the club field.

Final Thoughts: When choosing a safety coordinator, the club should find a person who will appreciate the importance of creating an atmosphere of safety. Yes, they should be responsible for promoting safety first and foremost; however, as previously mentioned, this person should not be the “club field police.” Appropriate avenues should be established by the club to handle any safety matters that might surface (e.g. proper steps for the safety coordinator to take could be established in the club bylaws). Good judgment and communication skills are important for your safety coordinator to have. He or she should not be the one to make the final decision on safety concerns. These issues normally would be voted upon and decided by the club officers or board of directors. However, the coordinator should be able to use good judgment, make decisions based on facts, and relay any concerns or observations through the proper channels so the club can make an informed decision and take any needed preventative action.

Safety comes first!

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