Thursday, 24 September 2015

At your own risk

Thanks to all who so kindly commented, emailed and/or tweeted in response to my last post. I now feel well and truly armed and ready for the NCT fray in Coventry on Saturday. Maybe I'll see you there?

Anyway, that's not all I'm up to at the moment. Next week sees me starting a creative writing class on behalf on Transported Arts. They want someone to lead a couple of taster sessions, with a view to establishing what they describe as a 'user-led' group. Fine my me. I'm looking forward to meeting the group.

What was slightly less fine was the paperwork involved. Although they - Transported - conduct a Risk Assessment of the venue (the local library, as it happens) I am required to provide a separate inventory of risks associated with my activities. That is, creative writing activities.

Now I know I sometimes style myself as a creative writer (or 'artist', as the contract for this gig has it) but my creative juices were a bit thin as far as this assignment was concerned. Risks associated with a creative writing class? What on earth did they expect? Paper cuts? Injuries sustained while using over-sharpened pencils? Possible ink-poisoning?

A brief conversation with others in a similar position confirmed I wasn't alone in finding the exercise... challenging. So, for the benefit of anyone else who might find themselves required to produce a risk assessment for a creative writing class, I share mine below for the free use of everyone and anyone to whom it might be of any use.

At your own risk.

Manual handling of paper, writing equipment etc.
Likelihood: 2 (unlikely)
Ensure assistance is provided as required to avoid injury

RSI/pain/discomfort arising from sedentary nature of activity
Likelihood: 3 (possible)
Ensure adequate opportunities to stand, move etc. are integrated into the session 

Possible eye strain associated with extended written work
Likelihood: 3 (possible)
Include activities that allow participants to adopt distant focus or to temporarily exclude visual 
stimuli entirely. 

Danger of emotional disturbance caused by personal nature of creative endeavour
Likelihood: 1 (highly unlikely)
Ensure level of disclosure required for writing activities is appropriate to the age/ability of the group members

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