Controls: show



[log in] or [register] to leave a comment for this document.

Go to: all documents

return to container details page
previous display
next display

Meeting about the City of Toronto helmet policy for youth/adult “shinny hockey"

pertaining to outdoor artificial ice rinks. 12-Jun-2009 [9452]

Parks Forestry and Recreation staff Sandra Ceolin-Celestino took part in the development of the mandatory helmet policy in 2001. She said that the group was not given any data about injury claims against the city, but they were given injury data from the injury occurrence sheets. They also collected data for a “best practices” chart, which included information from other municipalities, hockey leagues, a figure skating association, and a professional Parks staff association. There were no direct rink user consultations at that time, and shinny hockey was not treated as a distinct game with separate issues.

Action item: Sandra pointed to printed chart on her clipboard, showing the research that was done during the 2001 policy work. CELOS would like an electronic copy of this chart, and also an electronic copy of: injury data presented at that time

Sandra said that Recreation Director Malcolm Bromley has directed her to take charge of a revisit of the mandatory helmet policy for users and staff. The meeting with CELOS was a consultation which Sandra intends to follow up with other data collection. Sandra said that the CELOS observations in the Rink Report, concerning helmet use, would need to be verified by staff, and that new injury and claims data would have to be analyzed. Staff participants in the June 12 meeting also mentioned a recent Ministry of Labour directive in Ottawa, saying that all rink staff without exception must wear helmets whenever they enter the ice. (In Toronto, Local 416 zamboni operators do not wear helmets.)

Action Item: CELOS would like to partner with city staff in a collaborative working group to study the mandatory helmet policy. CELOS does not wish merely to be consulted but to collaborate. As part of such a collaboration, CELOS would like to:

  • revisit selected rinks in the 2009/2010 rink season, together with a city staff member from the working group
  • analyze a collation of all shinny hockey-related injury reports since the helmet policy was established (2001), including the specific type of injury and the specific circumstances around it. This would include shinny hockey injuries that came as a result of players’ collisions with hard surfaces, including helmets and other player armour
  • study several samples of the “numerous guideline documents” referred to in a Risk Management office e-mail, preferably sample documents that would relate to this helmet issue
  • study any relevant “precedent advice on specific operational matters” relating to the helmet policy, obtained from the Risk Management office.

City staff at the June 12 meeting suggested that issues related to shinny hockey helmet use might be documented through (a) focus groups and (b) surveys. CELOS would like to propose instead that A.I.R. rink coordinators, observing and asking questions directly during their various rink visits, and front-line A.I.R. rink staff (both CUPE Locals 79 and 416) be asked to monitor helmet use during shinny hockey at those rinks. This would

  • save needless extra cost and
  • make use of extensive existing staff experience
  • increase the rink supervisory staff’s knowledge base
  • encourage direct, hands-on contact for members of the helmet policy working group who may join in some of the visits.

It’s essential that front-line rink staff would be given encouragement to report what they actually see, not what they might think supervisors want to hear. At least ten such visits would be coordinated with CELOS rink visitors.

Action Item: Set up a tentative joint schedule of outdoor artificial ice rink visits at selected rinks, basing the schedule of visits on youth/adult shinny hockey times, and covering different geographic and/or economic areas of the city. Sample rinks to be included, at a minimum, would be:

  • West Mall
  • Buttonwood
  • High Park
  • Giovanni Caboto
  • Wallace Emerson
  • Harry Gairey
  • Regent South
  • Monarch
  • Greenwood
  • Glen Long

Action Item: Set a schedule of a minimum of eight well-advertised multiple-rink outdoor rink meetings aimed at youth/adult shinny hockey players. These meetings would emphasize, but not be limited to, discussion of the mandatory helmet policy, and would take place in December and January. Since such meetings would take staff time, it would be best to use the opportunity to engage rink users about their general experience of the outdoor rinks at the same time as helmets are being discussed. It seems to CELOS that such an opportunity is felt by many rink users to be long overdue, and will be appreciated.

At the end of the 2009/2010 rink season, the joint City/CELOS helmet policy working committee could then report back to the director with their findings.