An Investigation of Selected Risk Management Practices Among Local Government Park and Recreation Departments in North Carolina


  • Graham Cuskelly
  • H. Douglas Sessoms


Risk management, risk evaluation, risk treatment, programming, facilities, supervision.


The purpose of this investigation was to explore the use of selected risk management practices by local government park and recreation departments to ascertain the means by which their administrators manage risk to tort liability suits that might result from injury to recreation program participants. Using the total design method, a self-administered mail questionnaire was sent to 175 park and recreation directors in North Carolina; 149 (85 percent) responded. Results: one out of five of the responding departments had adopted a risk management plan; of that group, two-thirds had had the plan in effect for less than two years. Significant relationships were found between the existence of a risk management plan and the implementation of selected risk management strategies. The relationship between risk treatment and risk evaluation was less significant. Differences were found between the ways departments manage risks resulting from supervision and programming efforts as opposed to those associated with facility design and maintenance. It was concluded that while the approach ofN orth Carolina administrators to risk management is undergoing change, most directors seem unfamiliar with the concept and the use of a risk management decision matrix and rely upon more conventional methods when making program decisions.





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