Health and Safety Policy

Approved by: Acting Chairman April 20th 2023
Date: March 2023
Version Number: 1.0
Status: Draft
Review Frequency: Every 2 year
Next review date: 2025
Relevant Legislation: Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 2013
Related Policy / Document: Health and Safety Risk Assessment
Trips Information Pack
  1. Purpose

    1. Heulwen Trust (the Trust) is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for its employees, volunteers and users, providing safe systems of work, including equipment maintenance, and complying with prevailing legislation. Our Health and Safety Policy is designed to achieve these aims.
  2. Policy Scope

    1. This policy applies to anyone working on behalf of the Trust, including its Management Committee, employees and volunteers who use the boat.
    2. The Trust Boats and Services Committee (Committee) is responsible for the health and safety of employees, volunteers and user groups whilst using the boat by ensuring our policy and risk assessments are fit for purpose and are implemented effectively.
    3. Skippers has overall control of and responsibility for boats, volunteers and passengers, whether he/she is steering or not. Accordingly, he/she will ensure safety briefings are given to all passengers and his/her word on the use of the boat during trips is final. If necessary and in extreme cases he/she will terminate the trip immediately if that is necessary for reasons of health and safety.
    4. It is forbidden for employees, volunteers and users to interfere with or misuse any items of safety equipment or commit any unsafe acts.
    5. Everyone using the boat is required to take care of their own health and safety.
  3. Policy

    1. Using boats presents a number of potential safety risks to employees, volunteers and users that include but are not restricted to:
      • ·Slipping on wet surfaces
      • Tripping over ropes, mooring stakes and so on
      • Walking on narrow decks on boats that tend to rock
      • Stepping on and off the boat
      • ·Crushing against canal walls
      • Operating locks
      • Moving about the boat or being waterside at night
      • Falling overboard
    2. The trusts policy is based on the following key principles:
      • Identification of the principal health and safety hazards to employees, volunteers and users of our services and to appropriately manage associated risks
      • Compliance with relevant health and safety regulations to maintain, so far as is reasonably practicable’, healthy and safe working conditions
      • Meeting the health and safety requirements of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, including conducting risk assessments
      • Maintenance of safe and healthy working conditions, including provision and maintenance of safe equipment
      • Ensuring that our employees are competent to carry out the tasks expected of them and provide appropriate and adequate health and safety training
      • Provision of appropriate health and safety instruction to users whilst using our services
      • Consulting employees on matters affecting their health and safety and that of our users
      • Regular review and revision, as required, of our Health & Safety policy and associated risk assessment document
  4. Policy Implementation

    1. The Trust will hire only suitably qualified and experienced staff. Our skipper will hold a NCBA Certificate in Community Boat Management (or equivalent) and be fully conversant with requirements relevant to safe inland waterways boat operation.
    2. The skipper will provide safety briefings to all volunteers and provide appropriate supervision when conducting potentially dangerous activities.
    3. The skipper will provide safety briefings to all user groups aware that there are hazards which cannot be avoided by Trust by the nature of the canal infrastructure and of essential canal activities such as locking and the variable nature of the canal side against which the boat will be moored, and that it is necessary, therefore, for all user groups, and in particular group leaders, to be aware of these hazards
    4. Give all user groups a health and safety briefing as soon as possible after their arrival at the boat and before departure. There are different briefings for residential and non-residential trips. The contents of theses briefings are set out in writing so as to ensure consistency and to ensure that all essential points are covered, including:
      • Safety guidelines to avoid slips, trips, crushing etc.
      • Moving around outside the boat
      • Safe operation of locks
      • Use of buoyancy aids as appropriate
      • Location of fire blanket, fire extinguisher and First Aid kit
      • Emergency exits
      • Emergency procedures, including fire drill and person overboard
      • Weil’s disease and no swimming rule
      • Steering (where applicable)
      • Hygiene
      • Roof rules
      • ‘No go’ areas
    5. The briefing will also cover how the following work: ·
      • Cooker
      • Alarms – gas, smoke and carbon monoxide Lavatories
      • Shower
      • Rubbish
      • Water
      • Interior lights
      • Power Saving
    6. Our Trips Information Pack contains information on health and safety guidelines we require users to adhere to whilst on the boat. Passengers and user groups are not permitted to:
      • Enter the engine room or to be on the boat forward of the front cockpit
      • Be on the roof when the boat is moving and, in any case, no more than four people at any given time when the boat is not moving
    7. All users under the age of 16 must wear a buoyancy aid when the boat is operating and when outside the boat cabin and cockpit save with the express permission of a responsible adult. The Trust recommends that passengers and user group leaders over 16 also wear a buoyancy aid. The skipper and crew must also wear buoyancy aids.
    8. To ensure a safe environment, The Trust will schedule routine inspections, conduct testing and equipment maintenance and take action promptly to remedy any defects.
    9. The skipper will be responsible for:
      • Identifying all equipment/plant needing maintenance (e.g., engine, gas appliances, electrical equipment, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors)
      • Ensuring effective maintenance procedures are drawn up
      • Ensuring that all identified maintenance is implemented
      • Carrying our monthly checks of buoyancy aids and maintaining records, including gas cylinder expiry dates. (Volunteers to carry out a visual check of their buoyancy aid before each use
      • Carrying our monthly checks of CO2/gas detector
      • Reporting any problems found with plant/equipment to the Boats and Services Committee
      • Recording all incidents of breakages, damage and the need for maintenance in the boat’s log at the earliest opportunity. The boat log will be inspected regularly, and appropriate remedial work programmed for action
      • Checking that new equipment meets health and safety standards before it is purchased
    10. The skipper will ensure he/she has a list of names and emergency contact numbers for all passengers and volunteers. In an emergency, he/she will take control, decide how to deal with an emergency, such as rescuing a person overboard, and whether emergency services are required.
    11. When using of the fire extinguisher:
      • Do not attempt to use an extinguisher on a fire unless you feel it is safe for you to do so
      • If you are using a fire extinguisher on a fire, keep yourself on the escape route side of the fire
      • Aim the jet at the base of the flames and briskly sweep it from side to side
    12. Trust boats carry a first aid kit on board. Contents will be replaced as they are used and inspected annually to ensure sterile items etc. are within their validity period.
    13. Smoking and taking of non-prescription drugs is forbidden at all times on board the boat. Private hire users may consume reasonable amounts of alcohol whilst on board but if so, must not undertake any potentially hazardous activity, such as operating locks.
    14. The skipper may not consume alcohol at any time whilst in charge of the boat.
    15. The Trust expect users to behave in a safe way at all times. However, in the event of inappropriate and/or dangerous behaviours, the skipper has may cancel the trip or offload the offending individual.
    16. Food hygiene is the responsibility of user groups who are expected to use practices such as taught on a basic food hygiene certificate course. Waste must be disposed of regularly. Deep fat frying is forbidden.
    17. User groups must remove all unused foodstuffs on leaving the boat and ensure that the boat is left clean. Basic requirements include:
      • Washing hands with soap and water before and after handling foods, utensils, crockery, etc.
      • Using a dedicated hand towel to dry hands
      • Washing surfaces both before and after preparing food.
      • Washing chopping boards, knives, etc, immediately after use and before use with another type of food – especially important after use with fresh or cooked meats. Cross-contamination is a major cause of food poisoning.
      • Washing up in hot water · Cleaning fridge spillages
    18. All incidents or accidents affecting user groups, employees and volunteers must be reported in the accident book which is maintained on the boat.
    19. The Trust will investigate any incident that actually or might have caused serious injury to a visitor or user. Incidents need investigating in greater depth if:
      • Someone was, or might have been killed or seriously injured
      • Similar incidents could occur elsewhere.
      • Considerable damage has been done to the boat
      • The accident was reportable under RIDDOR
    20. The investigation will cover:
      • What happened (activity and incident details)
      • Who was involved (names, capacity)
      • Where it happened (location, canal, river, lock, weir etc.) · When it happened (date and time)
      • How it happened (immediate causes) · Facilities or equipment involved
      • The weather
      • Physical characteristics of any equipment involved
      • Evidence: Any photographs or video recording; witness statements. (Evidence should be gathered before any changes are made to the site, and whilst the incident is fresh in people’s minds)
    21. The trust will consult employees on all matters of the boat’s operation relating to health and safety and encourage them to make suggestions on how to ensure a safe working and operating environment.
    22. The trust skipper will review our Health and Safety Policy together with the Committee bi- annually. And immediately after
  5. Risk Assessments

    1. The Trust has a risk assessment document to ensure the identification and effective management of potential health and safety risks. However, all user group leaders must carry out their own risk assessments in advance of the trip and must report any risk areas particular to their group to the skipper before boarding the boat.
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