Hammer throw


​​​Guideline review date: 28 October 2021​​

This guideline is provided to support schools in implementing the managing risks in school curriculum activities procedure.

The CARA planner must be used for the specific school context in conjunction with this guideline considering additional risks, hazards and controls and including environmental, facility, equipment and student considerations.

For activities beyond the scope of this guideline, complete a CARA record using the CARA generic template.

Activity scope

This guideline relates to student participation in hammer throw as an activity to support curriculum delivery.

For activities conducted at a non-Department of Education venue, and/or when engaging external expertise, request written risk assessment advice and attach it to this CARA record.

For activities conducted off-site, schools must comply with the school excursions procedure.

For activities conducted as part of representative school sport programs, schools should consult with Queensland School Sport.

Risk level

Extreme risk:
Hammer throw activities involving standing or turning throws.

Activity requirements

If any requirement cannot be met, the activity must not occur.

If any other safety recommendation cannot be met, modify the activity (or elements of it) and/or identify and use the hierarchy of controls to implement alternative control measures to meet or exceed the minimum safety standard.

Small, specialised groups only. This activity is unsuitable for class groups.

Competition rules and procedures with additional or more stringent safety requirements take precedence.

Throwing to occur from the hammer cage only.​



Principals make final supervision decisions for the activity. Sufficient adult supervision must be provided to manage the activity safely (including emergency situations).

For activities with students with a medical condition or disability that may impact on safety during the activity, consultation with parents is required prior to allocating supervision to determine the impact of students' medical condition or disability on safety during the activity.

The number of adult supervisors required to fulfil emergency and supervision roles must consider the nature of the activity, students' ages, abilities and specialised learning, access and/or health needs.

Before the activity, all adult supervisors:

  • must be familiar with the contents of the CARA record
  • must assess weather conditions prior to undertaking the activity, inspecting the intended location in order to identify variable risks (e.g. wind), hazards and potential dangers.

During the activity, all adult supervisors:

  • must be readily identifiable
  • must closely monitor students with health support needs
  • must closely supervise the cage, surrounds, throwing and landing areas at all times. Participants must not throw until these areas are clear
  • monitor and enforce the correct approach, throw and retrieval safety procedures
  • must allow only one thrower in the cage whenever throwing is in progress
  • must comply with control measures from the CARA record and adapt as hazards arise
  • must suspend the activity if the conditions become unfavourable (e.g. poor visibility, extreme temperatures, thunderstorms)
  • must not allow return throwing.

Supervisor qualifications

Principals make final decisions in determining supervisor capability (competence, relevance and currency) and are responsible for encouraging and enabling school-based activity supervisors to raise their qualifications to improve safety standards.

All adult supervisors must comply with the working with children authority - Blue Cards procedure and be able to identify, and respond to, risks or hazards that may emerge during the activity.

A registered teacher must be appointed to maintain overall responsibility for the activity.

At least one adult supervisor is required to be:

For standing throws:

  • a registered teacher, or other adult supervisor working under the direct supervision of a registered teacher, with current level 2 club coach accreditation from Athletics Australia and experience in coaching hammer throw.

For turning throws:

Facilities and equipment

The qualified adult supervisor of the activity, in consultation with the principal, determines the requirements for facilities and equipment appropriate to the local context.

Location must be suitable for the activity being undertaken, including sufficient space to ensure safe participation and that safety rules and procedures can be followed.

U-shaped hammer cage capable of stopping the hammer head moving at speed and provide protection from ricocheting or rebounding back towards the athlete or over the top of the cage must be used. Additional cage requirements for when activities occur simultaneously with other events are found at World Athletics - Manuals and Guidelines (see Competition and Technical Rules rule 192).

Clearly defined throwing sector that extends beyond the ability of the group must be used. Consult the World Athletics - manuals and guidelines (see competition and technical rules rule 192) for specifications.

Throwing and landing areas must be defined using highly visible markers.

Lines must be marked in accordance with the line marking sports fields fact sheet.

Participants must wear personal protective equipment appropriate to the activity (e.g. appropriate footwear for the type of activity [i.e. training or competition], surface and age of participants).

Equipment must be sized to match the ability and strength of students.

Consider using a whistle for command signalling.

All equipment must be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

Common hazards and controls

Further to those listed, include any additional hazards and control measures considering the local context of the activity.

Environmental hazards Control measures
Biological material
Body fluids (e.g. blood, saliva, sweat)

Manage bodily substances (e.g. blood) and open wounds before, during and after the activity. Consult infection control guidelines and Queensland Health's exclusion periods for infectious conditions poster for hygienic practices and first aid.

Follow appropriate cleaning and hygiene management practices when using shared equipment (departmental staff search 'practical subjects cleaning equipment' in OnePortal).

Environmental conditions

The school's sun safety strategy must be followed.

Dry equipment (including grips) before each throw if conditions cause dampness.

Follow the managing excessive heat in schools guidelines when participating in very hot or extreme heat conditions.

Ensure drink breaks occur regularly. Make water available for individual participants between drink breaks.

Facilities and equipment hazards Control measures
Boundary clearance

Mark an exclusion zone at least 4 metres from an approved throwing cage. Non-throwers are to be behind the cage outside the exclusion zone.

Instruct non-participants to remain behind the cage, well clear of the wire and outside the exclusion zone.

Fast moving objects
Instruct participants to check the throwing and landing areas are clear before commencing preparation to throw.
Faulty or dangerous equipment

Check equipment for damage before and during the activity (e.g. the wire is secure at the handle and swivel end of the hammer head). Withdraw any damaged equipment from use.

Change wires regularly to avoid metal fatigue.

Consider the use of gloves when throwing.

Playing surface

Conduct a field check to identify and manage surface hazards. Clear the approach and throwing areas from loose items or debris. Do not participate on a slippery surface.

Perform turning throws on a firm surface only, preferably concrete.

Student considerations Control measures
Manual handling
Lifting and carrying equipment

Transport/carry hammers safely.

Drag, not carry, hammers to the throwing area.

Use correct manual handling processes when lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling or carrying.

Physical exertion
Exhaustion and fatigue

Ensure activities are planned appropriate to age and skill level and are biomechanically sound.

Conduct warm-up/cool-down activities.

Continually monitor participants for signs of fatigue and exhaustion.

Student issues

Remove accessories (e.g. jewellery, lanyards) before participating.

Ensure fingernails and hair and clothing (e.g. pockets, loose shirts) do not interfere with the activity.

Implement procedures (e.g. roll marking mechanisms) to prevent separation from the group when participating off site.


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Last updated 06 September 2023