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Health & Safety

The ARU Health & Safety Policy is contained in the ARU Policy book.

Commanding Officers, Officer Commanding and Unit Rugby Officers should be aware of their health & safety responsibilities with regards to playing rugby some of which are detailed below:

  1. The current Army policy regarding the provision of pitchside medical cover for sports events is contained in the Duty Holding (DH) in the Army FRAGO Sport and Adventurous Training.
  2. Details and advice regarding rugby related health and safety issues can be found on in the RFU web site (England Rugby –
    • General health issues can be found in their Healthcare section
    • Tackling – All ARU club coaches are urged to attend regular CPD to ensure they are coaching safe tackle technique.
    • First Aid and First Aid Boxes – Details regarding First Aid issues can be found on the RFU’s First Aid page. First Aid Boxes content can be found in the ARU First Aid Kit Check List (pdf 27kb) it must be noted that once an item is used it must be replaced at the earliest opportunity prior to the next match at which it may be required.
  3. Risk assessments
  4. Reporting of Serious Injury
    • Please use this form to report any injuries that occur whilst playing rugby or taking part in organised rugby squad training sessions that fit any of the following definitions:
      1. An individual who sustains an injury which results in their being admitted to a hospital. This does not include those taken to an Accident or Emergency Department and allowed home from there.
      2. Deaths occurring during or within 6 hours of the game finishing.
  5. Understanding the RFU’s new concussion standards
    • headcaseLast week the RFU launched new standards relating to the management of concussion and extended the reach of our concussion education initiatives – but what does this mean for you?

      As part of the rugby family, you’re bound to get asked about why we need to change things, and what coaches, referees etc. can do to keep people safe on the rugby pitch – here are some of the answers

    • The RFU works hard to:
      • Protect the welfare of players
      • Take on board the latest available medical evidence & advice on concussion
      • Work with the IRB and different playing levels in England to have a consistent approach that’s easy to follow
      • Not keep players out of the game longer than necessary
    • Part of this work has resulted in the updated return to play guidelines which have been published by the RFU this week which say that the minimum amount of time a player should be out of a game following a concussion is 19 days for adults and 23 days for U19s.

      This can be reduced only in an “enhanced care setting” that is typically only currently accessible at the professional level for adults and within the Academies for the U19 to U17 age group where players have regular access to medical practitioners with expertise in concussion management. It is anticipated that access to the “enhanced care setting” will broaden to include selected schools/further education colleges over time as care pathways develop.

      Players should rest, and then only return to play after they have followed a step-by-step process to test them with different types of activities to ensure they are able to cope with full training and matches. This is a Graduated Return To Play (GRTP), and full information about this, and all you need to know about concussion is covered in the RFU’s concussion education package available at

      These updated guidelines replace earlier, complicated protocols or “three week” rules which were applied to all players regardless of their symptoms or how quickly they recovered. This meant that some players got frustrated at not being able to play when they felt fine, and others returned to the game too quickly and felt worse for it. They also now account for the different settings that people play in as some players have access to specialist medical expertise, and some will be relying on GP advice and their coaches, parents and teachers to support them through recovery.

      Prevention of injury is always the best cure though, so pointing coaches, medics and referees to RFU courses (which have player safety and concussion prevention info in them) and players, parents, teachers (and anyone else who’s interested!) at will help spread the message far and wide.
      Recognise-Recover-Rest-Return – don’t be a HEADCASE!

If you have any questions regarding Health and Safety at rugby matches contact Chris Fowke, ARU Secretary on (tel: 94222 7080 or 01252 787080).

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