Club Policies and Health and Safety
The Northern Rivers Sailing Club (NRSC or “the Club”) has a proactive approach to health and safety based on community engagement, identifying and managing risk in a timely fashion, and regularly monitoring the effectiveness of the Club’s policy and practice in the light of experience and best practice. Whilst the Club makes every effort to provide a safe environment in which to enjoy sailing and social events, each Club Member and guest or visitor must take responsibility for their own safety.
Health and Safety Management System (HSMS)
The HSMS is an overarching framework approach which ensures the effective implementation of this policy and all the associated risk assessments, instructions and guidance for the Club’s waterborne and shore-based activities.
The HSMS Folder contains a copy of this policy and all duly authorised risk assessments, advice and instructions. This is kept for inspection and reference in the Anchorage and copies are also available on the Club website.
Responsibility for the HSMS
Responsibility for maintenance and implementation of the NRSC HSMS rests with the Club’s Commodore and Committee. The point of contact is the Vice-Commodore, who instigates and monitors risk assessments across the Club’s activities, calling upon available expertise to assist in their preparation, and then bringing them to the Committee for final approval. Health and safety (including Safeguarding) is a standing item on the agenda for meetings of the Club Committee and is regularly reviewed and addressed.
Health and Safety Log
This is a hard copy manual in which Members are asked to record any accidents and incidents of concern. These include any matter concerning health and safety, however minor, including “near-misses”. The log is kept in the Anchorage and reviewed regularly by the Vice-Commodore, who may also be contacted directly (details in the Red Book ). Remedial actions, both in policy and in practice, may be recorded in the log and circulated by email through the Club’s Newsletter.
On the Water
Members are responsible for the safety and management of their own boats during racing and cruising and must familiarise themselves with the Sailing Rules and Race Instructions contained in the Club Details provided to all Members annually in the NRSC Red Book.
Specific instructions for each Club regatta are distributed to entrants by the Club’s Sailing Secretary and the Officer of the Day. Valuable information on the avoidance of collision and other hazards may be found in the RYA’s Racing Rules of Sailing 2017- 2020 and later editions, Handy Guide to the Racing Rules 2017 - 2020 and later editions, and Racing for Yachts and Keelboats. Despite their titles, these documents are invaluable sources of information for
cruising as well as racing. Information is also available in the Green Book published annually by the Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association, including advice on the Broads Boat Safety Scheme, use of life jackets and safety-first practices.
The Club is not an accredited RYA training organisation but has contact with local organisations that provide courses. However, many Members are highly qualified and experienced and it is a strong feature of the Club that help is generally available.
A list of qualified First Aiders is posted at the Anchorage near the First Aid box.
Procedures for Land - Based Operations
Health and safety hazards may occur as a result of almost any aspect of the Club’s land-based activities and NRSC pays particular attention to such hazards at the Anchorage. Detailed risk assessments have been carried out for many social activities and routine maintenance tasks at the Anchorage. These assessments, together with the associated advice and instructions are listed in the Appendix to this policy.
The Red Book contains Safety at the Anchorage , a summary for all Members which is reviewed annually.
Whenever one of these routine activities or tasks is undertaken, Members must take personal responsibility for familiarising themselves and their colleagues with the relevant risk assessment and the advice and instructions given. On this basis, many routine tasks (for example strimming and mowing, starting the generator, minor
repairs, replacing gas bottles, lighting the BBQ) are undertaken on an informal and voluntary basis by volunteers, including Club Officers and Committee Members.
It is imperative that any person undertaking a routine maintenance task at the Anchorage should be accompanied by at least one other person. From time to time the Club organises a Work Party for a particular project. These
projects will always be authorised in advance by the Committee. The leader of the Work Party (often the Club’s Boatswain, one of the two Coxswains or a member of the Committee) will undertake a risk assessment for the project and ensure that all members of the Work Party are familiarised with its recommendations.
The Club considers the safety and welfare of children to be paramount and adheres to the RYA's Safeguarding policy and guidance. For the purposes of this, and as defined by the Children Act 1989 , NRSC considers anyone under the age of 18 to be a child.
Appendix to NRSC Health and Safety Policy
The documents listed are to be made available to all Members in the HSMS Folder at the Anchorage, and, with the exception of appendix 10, are viewable below. The list and the documents will be updated from time to time. Any shortcomings should be reported to the Vice-Commodore.
1. Risk Assessment Template
2. Safety at the Anchorage
3. First Aid, including Defibrillator
5. Opening and Closing the Anchorage for Events
6. Grounds Maintenance
7. Working on Quay Headings
10. Kitchen Equipment
12. Photovoltaic System
Northern Rivers Sailing Club - policy documents