Like many I was shocked to hear of the collapse on the football field of Bolton player Fabrice Muamba. And I’m relieved to hear that, at the time of writing this article, he appears to be showing signs of recovery.
Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest 41 minutes into Bolton’s FA Cup quarter-final with Tottenham at White Hart Lane. According to reports, Bolton’s club doctor said the player was “in effect dead” for 78 minutes before medics got his heart beating again independently.
His recovery has been described as a miracle, but it appears that Muamba may not have survived had it not been for a separate on-field incident which happened 6 years ago. In 2006, Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech suffered a depressed fracture of the skull following a collision with another player in a Premier League game at Reading. As a result of the incident, Cech underwent life-saving neurosurgery.
The then Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho, was fiercely critical of the availability of medical assistance and equipment, and the time it took for an ambulance to transfer Cech to hospital. Chelsea filed an official complaint which led to a Premier League and Football Association review.
A host of measures were subsequently introduced, such as the provision of an exclusive ambulance for the sole use of players on matchdays, the presence of doctors, paramedics being stationed pitchside with essential medical equipment such as defibrillators and advanced CPR training for club staff. Pretty much all of the things that saved Fabrice Muamba’s life.
It’s an important lesson for all workplaces. Risk assessments are hugely important when it comes to health and safety. But they need to be regularly reviewed. It took a severe incident 6 years ago for the Premier League and Football Association to look at the risks to professional footballers and to put suitable control measures in place.
Please don’t wait for a serious incident to happen in your workplace before you review how you control your hazards. Do it regularly, just as the law requires you to.
- Teresa Budworth: See! Health and safety saves lives (17, July, 2013)
- Teresa Budworth: I don’t know whether to laugh or cry (29, May, 2013)
- Teresa Budworth: Permit to work, not to fall ill (11, April, 2013)
- Teresa Budworth: Feeling a bit awkward? Help is on its way! (13, March, 2013)
- Teresa Budworth: Check your waste, it may contain a life (20, December, 2012)
- Teresa Budworth: Warned twice, and then look what happened! (22, October, 2012)
- Teresa Budworth: When you need a break, take a proper one! (19, September, 2012)
- Teresa Budworth: I’m a survivor! (30, July, 2012)
- Teresa Budworth: The stuff of champions! (24, July, 2012)
- Teresa Budworth: Don’t ever rely on good fortune! (31, May, 2012)
- Teresa Budworth: Could your safety measures be making things worse? (25, April, 2012)
- Teresa Budworth: How a fractured skull saved a life! (27, March, 2012)
- Teresa Budworth: What's more valuable, people or data? (14, February, 2012)
- Teresa budworth: Safety at the push of a button (20, January, 2012)
- Teresa Budworth: A potentially useful free gift for Christmas! (22, December, 2011)
- Teresa Budworth: I'd like to say something nice about British Gas! (08, December, 2011)
- Teresa Budworth: Don't forget what nearly happened! (20, October, 2011)
- Teresa Budworth: What would you have done 10 years ago? (14, September, 2011)
- Teresa Budworth:Consultants - Make a wise choice, not a poor one (03, August, 2011)
- Teresa Budworth:Help make the pain go away (22, July, 2011)
- Teresa Budworth: Why safety inductions are so important (28, June, 2011)
- Teresa Budworth: How to make employees look ten years younger (10, June, 2011)
- Teresa Budworth: I'll be OK after a couple of drinks, won't I? (19, May, 2011)
- Teresa Budworth: I'm a bit obsessed with toilets! (12, May, 2011)
- Teresa Budworth: The trouble with 'stress' - Is it the word? (05, May, 2011)
- Teresa Budworth: Do you know where you're going to? (31, March, 2011)
- Teresa Budworth: I like the car, even if it is dangerous (11, February, 2011)
- Teresa Budworth: Let's get health and safety 'burden' into context (13, January, 2011)
- Teresa Budworth: Health & safety - a bit like Katie from X-Factor! (25, November, 2010)
- Teresa Budworth, Chief Executive of the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (25, November, 2010)