Whether on expedition, fieldwork or outdoor programmes, water safety usually features in some form or another. They constantly change and potentially pose the greatest risk to any activity in the outdoors – they are a key element in field safety!
A well managed and supervised activity near water by well trained leaders and staff is key to good safety practice. Elements of water safety management include considering the following:
- Location – remoteness and access
- People – background, experience, fitness, behaviour
- Environment – climate and weather, moving, still, lake, beach, sea
- Activity – working near, on or in water, working in groups or on own
The emphasis on good management and access to trained staff and leaders is demonstrated in UK based drowning statistics. 86% of all drownings in the UK occur in outdoor, open water environments where there is little or no access to help or rescue services. Only 3% of drownings occur in a swimming pool where it is well managed and supervised.
The RLSS National Water Safety Management Programme has been designed to address this very problem by providing a pragmatic, principle based training programme for people working near open water in the outdoors. We are an RLSS Centre and now run this course. Our next course will be on 13-14 April 2013. To book please get in touch with the office or see our website.