Safety

Safety Policy

Offaly Rowing Club is committed to providing a safe place for members and visitors, safe equipment, and to ensure that members and guests behave safely (safe people).

Offaly Rowing Club will strive to conform to the requirements of all relevant legislation and the IARU Water Safety Code (www.iaru.ie).

Hazards, Risks and Controls

Boathouse

Hazard: Walkways in the boathouse may be obstructed by objects on the ground or boats on racks.
Risk: Injury due to slips, trips and falls.
Control: Place riggers, trestles and other objects in designated areas. Use caution when passing from one bay to the other or when walking near to boat racks. Place boats carefully on racks and ensure that they are properly supported by the boat racks.

Hazard: Unsanitary conditions, vermin (including birds) and contaminated water. This arises because of the proximity of open country, bird nesting, inappropriate disposal of rubbish and mis-use of water.
Risk: Contamination and disease.
Control: Do not drink the water at the boathouse.  Bring water with you in sealed, cleaned containers. Wash and disinfect water bottles regularly. Dispose of rubbish in sealed bins only. Wash your hands before eating or drinking.

Roadway

Hazard: Road users including cars, trucks and agricultural vehicles.
Risk: Collision / Road Traffic Accident.
Control: Remember that the roadway is a public road and use appropriate caution. Ensure the road is clear before crossing it with boats.

Canal

Hazard: Still water (approximately 1.5m deep), with a muddy bottom and marginal aquatic weeds, trees and vegetation.
Risk: Overturning or collision with the banks, leading to an unplanned swim with potential for hypothermia, contamination or drowning.
Control: Row along the centre of the canal where possible. Avoid collisions with the bank and crabs caused by aquatic weeds. Be aware of bends, weed banks etc. Ensure that the safety equipment in the boat (heel straps, quick release) is operational before launching. Do not row without supervision suitable to your level of competence. In the event of falling into the water, apply the overturning drill. Get out of the boat, turn it the right way up, use it to make your way to the bank. Get out of the water and get dry as soon as possible. Make the boat as secure as is reasonable based on temperature and wind.

Hazard: Other boats, cruisers etc.
Risk: Collision with boat or cruiser travelling in the opposite direction (or the same direction when boat speeds are very different).
Control: Be aware of other users – check who is out already and look ahead frequently (every 10 strokes). Communicate with other users. Pass on sculler’s left / coxes right, overtake on the opposite side. When training or racing at a scheduled time, move from end to end as a group and let others know when you will be turning. Crews / scullers leaving the boathouse end should give way to crews / scullers returning from the other end. Allow for different levels of skill and experience.

Other locations

Hazard: Unknown obstacles, flow, tides, traffic, local rules etc.
Risk: Collisions, injury and worse.
Control: Become familiar with local conditions and hazards when you are a visitor. Be vigilant and cautious.

Offaly Head of the River

Offaly Head of the River caters for up to 120 scullers in four races.

Hazard: Rowers unfamiliar with the location, extra numbers.
Risk: Increased risk of collisions, falling in and road traffic accidents.
Control: Observe controls identified above. Marshals provided to manage competitors at launch area, start and along the canal. Designation of areas for boat storage, parking and watching races.

First Aid

Injured persons should be brought for appropriate medical treatment, or an ambulance called as soon as is practical.
Limited first aid supplies are stored in the boathouse for minor cuts, grazes etc.. Cuts etc. should be cleaned as soon as possible using water from a domestic supply and suitable soap.

Accident reporting and investigation

Any incident should be reported to the coach.
The coach will establish whether there are any issues requiring a systematic response.

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