Every weekend people across the nation flock to city trails and open spaces to enjoy the outdoors. OneBeacon Government Risks wants your public entity to understand the risks associated with trails and open spaces to ensure you are properly managing the exposures. Below, we’ve listed some important items to include on a conditions report and during inspections at your trails and open spaces to promote a safe environment for all visitors.
Inspections should occur at least once annually. If trails or open spaces have technical features such as a man-made structure, then inspections should occur twice annually. Inspection frequency may also increase for a trail depending on the trail’s classification. Every inspection needs to be properly documented and saved. If necessary, work orders should be submitted for repairs.
Trail Head or Open Space Signage
Upon arriving to the trail head or open space area, there should be signs indicating the followings items:
- Descriptions of the trail or open space area
- Notices for any known dangers or wildlife in the area
- Rules and regulations
- Be prepared for weather changes
- Notices posted if weather changes are to be expected and what they are (i.e. thunderstorms in the afternoon, snow, heat, lightning, etc.)
- Phone numbers to report issues
- For emergencies, call 911
Trail Signs and Markers
Throughout trails and even in open space areas, it is important that all signs and markers are installed properly. During inspections, all signs and markers should be inventoried and the status of their condition should be noted. If necessary, install additional cautionary and hazard signs in areas of concern for visitors.
During inspections, check for the following items:
Remember, the above are sample items for your public entity to consider regarding trails and open spaces. It is important to determine your public entity’s trails and open spaces specific needs when creating a conditions report. Consult with your legal team, management and staff to determine what suits your public entity best.
If you would like additional information on the topics discussed in this article, please contact us at RiskControl@onebeacon.com.
To learn more about OneBeacon Government Risks visit onebeacongov.com.