SWA HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY DOCUMENT

 

a)  POLICY

 

The Association believes that by producing this document, it will offer guidance to officials, model boat operators and spectators to minimise risks to Health and Safety as far as is reasonably practical.

 

 

b)    HAZARDS AND RISKS

 

 

(i)              HAZARDS

 

Unprotected water edges, deep water, rotating propellers, rechargeable batteries, transmitter aerials, water borne disease, radio frequency clash.

 

 

(ii) RISKS

 

 - Slipping, tripping, falling, the people most at risk are officials and operators at the waterside - spectators are also at risk

 

 - Drowning, everyone at the waterside is at risk, especially non-swimmers and young

 children.

 - Risk of injury to hands from moving propellers. At risk will be assistants and operators working on the boats out of the water, spectators if not segregated.

 

 - Eye injuries from transmitter aerials, at risk are the officials, operators and assistants in the operating area.

 

 - Water born viruses and disease from moving, still or stagnant water, or where waterfowl and wildlife is evident

 

 - Risk to all of injury from re-chargeable battery disintegration or fire within a model boat or while the battery is being charged.

 

 - Where radio control is used, risk of frequency clash for transmitters operating on 27 and 40 MHz frequencies.

 

 

c)  EVALUATION OF RISKS

 

Where boats are to operate, a Responsible Person will be nominated to carry out a Risk Assessment.

 

(i)  SLIPS,TRIPS AND FALLS

The Responsible Person must look at the slipping/ tripping/falling risks and make an evaluation to decide if there needs to be an exclusion zone or safe spectator area should this risk manifest itself due to uneven surfaces, steep or wet banks, debris and rocks, such that a fall would lead to a person going into the water, especially spectators. Having put appropriate precautions in place, including highlighting any risks to the operators, nominated members should be used to steward and advise spectators of this risk as necessary.

(ii)  DROWNING

The Responsible Person must satisfy himself that he has assessed the conditions at the lakeside, i.e. depth of water at jetty/side/beach entrance, could you stand up if you fell into the water, is it suddenly shelving, is there a lifebelt and/or rope at hand and are they in good condition, is everyone at the event aware of the dangers. The risks are then evaluated and measures put in place to inform and to protect all involved. In exceptional circumstances the possibility of providing a lifeguard may need to be considered.

 

 

(iii)  THE RISK OF INJURY BY ROTATING PROPELLER

This risk category applies to any motorised boat operated by an SWA member. Evaluate the risk on the basis of the particular circumstances - assessed historically as low risk, but should always be brought to the attention of participants and spectators.

 

 

(iv)  INJURIES TO EYES BY TRANSMITTER AERIALS

The Responsible Person should ensure that all transmitters, if fitted with telescopic aerials, have a device to reduce the risk of eye injury, i.e. a practice golf ball, or foam ball, or some such other device. Operators wearing glasses reduce this risk. Again this is historically a low risk but should be assessed on each occasion.

 

 

(v)  RISK OF WATER BORN DISEASE

The Responsible Person should evaluate the risk based any past experience. They should remind officials, operators, assistants, and spectators of the dangers of still, or stagnant water and point out the need for personal hygiene at all times and suitable hand protection if applicable. Previously this risk has been assessed as low or less (see information at www.hpa.org.uk or hard copy available on request), but this does not mean it should be ignored at any event.

 

 

(vi)  RISK OF INJURY FROM RE-CHARGEABLE BATTERIES

The Responsible Person should evaluate the risks separately for each cell technology. The following technologies are currently in common use:- Lead Acid (Pb), Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cad), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) Lithium Polymer (LIPO or LiPoly) and Lithium Ion (LiFePO4). New technologies must be subject to a full risk assessment before their use is permitted.  Separate assessments must be made for operational use within a boat and charging in the display area. The risk of injury while the battery is within a running boat is usually low while the boat is in the lake, but the risk when a boat comes ashore must be considered. The  Responsible Person should ensure that batteries are charged in a suitable manner with precautions appropriate to the cell technology in use. The conditions for charging prevailing at each event should be evaluated (e.g. dry or damp).

 

(vii) RISK OF RADIO FREQUENCY CLASH

The Responsible Person will ensure that, where required, frequencies are controlled by the use of a “Peg Board” or similar system. The appropriate frequency pennants should be flown on all 27 and 40MHz transmitters throughout an event.

 

 

 

ALWAYS ASSESS THE RISKS, BASE ASSESSMENTS ON CURRENT OBSERVATION AND HISTORICAL EXPERIENCE - IS THE RISK MORE OR LESS THAN USUAL? - CAN IT BE REDUCED OR ARE ADDITIONAL PRECAUTIONS NEEDED?  IF IN DOUBT, SEEK A SECOND OPINION.