Team Building Safety & Accident Avoidance

Team Building Malaysia @ Cherating Lagoona Villa Resort

Team Building Safety & Accident Avoidance

Team Building Malaysia @ Cherating Lagoona Villa Resort

Team Building Safety & Accident Avoidance

First, don’t get hurt!

(before doing good, do no harm!)

5.1. First concern: participants’ safety

Instructors will conscientiously adhere to all safety rules. The rules of games and activities will be adapted to the characteristics and abilities of the participants and the group, such as age, gender, degree of disability, etc. The group’s ability will be constantly monitored and carefully evaluated. No activity will be initiated that the group does not seem capable of completing without risk of injury.

Before starting activities indoors or outdoors, players’ clothing and footwear are checked.

Substantial contribution to accident prevention is made by good session organization, with a judicious sequence of game difficulties (see #4.4.) and avoiding forced student participation (see #4.11.).

Assisting teammates helps prevent injuries from falls. Assisting colleagues is a vital accident prevention technique for some games, for which we have included special instructions in this regard. They will be carefully studied by the instructor. The person providing assistance is called the “rescuer.”

If necessary, additional supervisors and rescuers are brought in from outside the group (adults, etc.).

The game will be stopped immediately if there is any risk of injury, no matter how small. The activity will be interrupted before the accident occurs – not after!

During games, participants’ falls are inevitable. Personal safety is the responsibility of each player, so every participant must ensure themselves, meaning they seek to avoid serious consequences in case of a fall without any help. The fact that they bump into something (lightly), fall to the ground, or that both they and the rescuer fall, does not mean that only the rescuer made a mistake or “skipped” – but rather that “the victim is to blame for what happens!” (because they were not careful, did not concentrate enough, etc.).


5.2. The increasing difficulty of activities

The concept of “progressive difficulty in activities” for structuring the lesson plan involves selecting games suitable for the participants, which become progressively more challenging, each one building on the lessons learned from the previous game.

Games will be chosen with care, suggesting only those activities that participants can carry out without the risk of injury. In many cases, more complex games pose a greater risk of injury. The skill and maturity of the players will be evaluated after each game. Evaluation questions will be posed to gauge how well participants understand what is happening and what dangers exist. The group will be granted permission to participate in solving a game only after they have earned the right to do so.

Games that the group can successfully complete will be selected. The instructor will focus on activities that help the group address its weaknesses.

The instructor needs to remain flexible. If the progression of the game is unsatisfactory, it will be promptly halted to move on to another activity more suitable to the group’s capabilities.


5.3. Only voluntary participation!

Participation in all activities is strictly voluntary (see also #4.11). No one will be compelled to participate in any game if it exceeds the comfort level of the respective participant. The instructor will reiterate this rule at the beginning of each game and will emphasise everyone’s right not to participate.

However, those who do not directly participate in the game will not remain idle. They will take part in group activities, for example, by assisting their peers or in another manner as directed by the instructor.


5.4. Ensuring Playmates’ Safety

In some activities, ensuring the safety of players (among themselves) becomes mandatory.

For proper assurance, the rescuer must:

For proper assurance, the rescuer must:

  • be attentive (continuously monitoring the player under care),
  • maintain a good posture: stand with a balanced and stable body, bent knees, hands up (towards the assured player), and
  • always position oneself next to and below the player under care.

To ensure a fellow player means positioning yourself so that you can slow down their fall, and exceptionally even stop it.

Although rescuers will be in positions allowing them to catch a falling player, it should be emphasised that they should not do so, as catching (stopping) a falling object from any height is dangerous. Both the rescuers and the players must understand well that “assurance” means only supporting the head and upper part of the trunk in case of a fall, to protect these vital parts from serious injuries.

The rescuer’s task is to slow down the fall of the assured person so that the impact upon contact with the ground is bearable (if the assured person also does what is necessary, i.e., absorbs their fall), and to avoid injuring themselves.

Throughout the lesson, the instructor will repeatedly emphasise to the students the importance and necessity of ensuring their peers, closely supervising the group.

Preparation for assurance and rescuers is done as follows:

  • The principle and understanding of the assurance action are explained;
  • The difference between assurance and aid actions will be explained;
  • The connection between assurance and mutual trust is demonstrated and emphasised;
  • Rescuers must understand and accept that their task involves sacrifice and that assurance is a dangerous activity;
  • Rescuers will be carefully supervised and guided by the instructor;
  • Rescuers will observe and mimic the movements of the assured persons;
  • Rescuers change and rotate to ensure everyone passes through different positions, and the sturdiest do not do all the work alone;
  • Upon taking on the task, each rescuer will exchange a few words with the player under care;
  • The minimum number of rescuers for any situation is two. Sometimes, various factors such as size, strength, weight, degree of fatigue, of both the assured and the rescuers, require an increase in this number. In safety, there are no cost-cuttings!

But having too many rescuers is also a mistake: no one will be convinced of the importance of the task anymore, they are not attentive because each will think that “He won’t be needed, the other rescuer will step in, there are enough others.”

The instructor must organise the work so that each rescuer is (appears) essential for the respective task. If there are more rescuers than strictly necessary, they will be rotated through various positions and responsibilities.

  • Each rescuer must understand and accept that their task can sometimes be better accomplished together with another colleague, not by acting alone;
  • The instructor will stimulate the pride of accomplishing the rescuer’s task.

Learning assurance is done in controlled situations – see for example # 14.1.


5.5. Falls

The skill of falling without sustaining injuries is necessary to achieve the goal of proper education: personal development.

This skill should be learned by every individual as part of the survival competence required for any responsible person. Unfortunately, today’s society wrongly teaches its members to live in an unreal world, devoid of any natural danger, where “prosthetics” (houses, lifts, cars, etc.), state authorities (police, firefighters, emergency services, etc.), politicians, and the media join hands to shield the individual from anything that could disturb their tranquility. When faced with the smallest physical danger, contemporary citizens “panic.”

The skill of falling without consequences enhances the safety of those engaged in simple activities that can become “risky”: a game of football in the park, cycling, commuting to school or work; it reduces the chance of injury in case of tripping or involuntary slipping (on ice, mud, etc.); it boosts an individual’s confidence in their own abilities and capacity to cope in critical situations.

In collaborative games, the skill of falling without harm increases the desire to participate and the courage to attempt actions towards the limit of personal capabilities (usually underestimated, believing they are smaller). The most common accidents resulting from falling forward or backward during movement are due either to body or hand friction on the ground or to absorbing the impact with the hands.

The basic principle for avoiding injury when falling is to distribute the force of impact of the body with the ground over as large an area as possible (to reduce the pressure of contact), which is achieved through rolling and relaxation.

Rescuing from forward or backward falls from horizontal movement can be cushioned by rolling over one shoulder (the one in front). During cushioning, leaning on the ground with prominent body parts such as the elbow, knee, palm, or back of the hand is prohibited. Also, touching the ground with the head, which during the fall should be kept bent, chin to chest and ear backward toward the shoulder, is prohibited.

Vertical falls are mitigated by absorbing most of the shock force through bending the legs, and the remainder by using the arms and placing the body on the ground.

For learning falls, it is advisable for the student to wear loose and thick tracksuits, and the practice surface should be soft: mats (for sports), tall grass, etc.

Next are described the technique and methodology of learning only for rescuing from falls forward and backward, with cushioning through rolling.

Other rescue techniques that should be learned include: falling forward, landing face down (and cushioning by striking the ground with the forearms); sideways falling, landing on the lateral side of the body (and cushioning by arching the body laterally plus striking the ground with the lower forearm); falling with a backward jump, cushioned by striking the forearms on the ground, and so on.


5.5.1. Falling backwards with shock absorption through rolling

It is learned individually, in stages:

A – starting from a crouched position, with the trunk at a 45º angle to the direction of the fall, with one shoulder forward and the opposite hip back. The arms come together with palms facing outward, next to the forward cheek, contributing to shock absorption and supporting the weight of the body. The cheek will be pressed against the back shoulder (or in other words: look under the back arm – in this case towards the direction of the fall). Then the student gently pushes with the legs and begins a slow backward roll over the shoulder (NOT over the neck!), but with enough momentum not to stop in a position lying on the back with the legs up.

Attention: to fall without accidents, a minimum horizontal speed is necessary! See figure 5.1.

During the roll, the body should be like a sphere, with the legs together and the soles kept close to the buttocks. The head must not touch the ground! During the fall, the contact of the spine with the ground will be on a diagonal line, starting from the shoulder to the opposite buttock. During the fall, the trunk is oriented at about a 45º angle to the direction of movement, neither at 0º (with the head forward – falling on the neck), nor at 90º (falling on the hips or kidneys). The roll ends when the trunk reaches above the legs, after which the student repeats the fall on the other shoulder.

Repeat 10-20 times, alternately on both sides (shoulders).

Figure 5.1. Backward rolling, starting and ending in a crouched position

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B – after the student gains some skill with starting the roll from a crouched position, they will move on to starting the fall from standing. The sequence of movements will be: from standing – crouching – rolling – crouching – standing up (see figure 5.2); repeating the fall, on the other shoulder.

Figure 5.2. Falling backward, starting and ending while standing upright.

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Repeat 10-20 times, alternately on both sides (shoulders), without haste.

Attention: learning to fall is quite difficult, in about 10 sessions of 10-15 minutes, over about 3 weeks!


5.5.2. Falling forward with shock absorption through rolling

The movements of falling forward are opposite to those of falling backward.

Falling is also learned individually, in stages:

A – first: starting from the crouching position, with the torso rotated 45º towards the direction of the fall, with one shoulder forward. The front arm plays an important role: it is tense and arched forward (with the elbow up) and the palm is placed on the ground; the back arm also contributes to shock absorption and supporting the body weight. The cheek will be pressed against the back shoulder (or in other words: looking under the back arm). Then the student gently pushes with the feet and begins a slow roll over the shoulder (NOT over the head!), but with enough momentum to avoid stopping while lying on the back, with the feet up.

Attention: to fall without accidents on a shoulder, a minimum horizontal speed is necessary; vertical static falling directly on the shoulder is prohibited (especially on a hard surface)! See Figure 5.3.

Figure 5.3. Forward Roll, Starting and Ending in a Crouched Position

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During the roll, the body must be like a sphere, with the feet together and the palms kept close to the body. The head and neck should not touch the ground! During the fall, the contact of the spine with the ground will be on a diagonal line, starting from the shoulder to the opposite hip. For this purpose, the trunk is oriented at about 45º to the direction of movement, not at 0º (with the head forward – as it would fall on the neck), nor at 90º (it would fall on the hips or kidneys). The roll ends when the trunk reaches above the feet. Then the student repeats the fall on the other shoulder, repositioning into the starting position (crouched).

Repeat 10-20 times on both sides (shoulders).

B – after the student gains some skill with starting the roll from the crouching position, they move on to starting from standing. The sequence of movements will be: from standing – crouching – rolling – crouching standing (see Video 5.4); then repeat the fall on the other shoulder.

Repeat 10-20 times on both sides (shoulders), without haste.

Video 5.4. Falling forward, starting and ending in a standing position.

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Attention: Learning to fall forward and backward takes about 10 sessions of 10-15 minutes each, over a period of about 3 weeks.


5.5.3. Group falls

Group falls turn learning falls into a game:

  1. The group is divided into groups of 4-5 students. The members of each group line up in a row, with intervals of 2-3 m between them, and at a signal, they start to fall forward (or backward) to another line, parallel to the first one, about 20 meters away. Attention: falls are done without haste, on both sides (alternating left – right)!
  2. The group is divided into two equal groups, which line up facing each other in two rows, at an arm’s length apart. The members of one row turn their backs to their partners, who at a signal will gently push those in front to fall, giving them a friendly push with both palms on the shoulder blades. Attention: the push should be friendly! Repeat 4 times, alternately falling to the right and to the left. Then roles are reversed. No hurry!
  3. The group is divided into groups of 4-5 students. The members of each group line up in a row, with intervals of 2-3 m between them, and at a signal, they crouch down, then make a frog jump forward, followed by a forward fall. Repeat several times. Then move on to a succession of: frog jump – forward fall – frog jump, etc.
  4. The group is divided into groups of 4-5 students. The members of each group line up in a row, with intervals of 2-3 m between them, and at a signal, they start to perform a series of two consecutive falls: one forward and the next backward, to another line, parallel to the starting one and about 20 meters away. Movements should be as smooth as possible.

Attention: during group falls, students may collide with each other. The instructor will insist on the need for careful monitoring of their neighbors’ activities.

Note: for mastering the techniques of falls, it is strongly recommended for instructors to at least study books and videos about Aikido, but even better to take Aikido lessons.


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