Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
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Health and Safety: Teaching Tools

Hazard Recognition

In this activity, the learners will examine closely one of their favourite activities - rollerblading. While it is a very enjoyable hobby (or even a method of transportation!), it is not as easy as it looks. This sport involves moving at high speeds on small wheels on irregular surfaces. This combination of hazards requires a person to have good skills as well as quality equipment that is kept in good condition.

Have students think about the following:

Recognition -
Have they been rollerblading before?
Where do people go roller-blading?


Assessment -
What parts of the body are most at risk?
Are they familiar with the surface they will be skating on (pot-holes, bumps, etc.)?


Control -
Do they wear the proper type of protective equipment?
Are they keeping an eye out for surface irregularities?


Most rollerblading accidents have the following risk factors:

  • failure to wear protective equipment
  • loss of balance
  • skating too fast
  • irregularities of the surface.

Knowledge of these risk factors should help them understand why the following safety steps are important:

WEAR protective clothing, including gloves, knee protection and a helmet.
SKATE where you know what the surface is like such as a roller-blade park.
BE on the lookout for potholes, cracks in the pavement or other bumps if using public trails (such as a city bike path). Some cities may have by-laws that do not allow skating on streets or sidewalks. They might want to call their local city hall or municipal office to see what the local law is.
WARM up muscles before skating to prevent strains and pulled muscles.

Source: Adapted from "Safety Sense at Play" by H. Grafftey. Safety Sense Enterprises, Inc. Ottawa, ON