Safety arrangements for sailability (1 reply)
Our landlord, the local council, wanted to understand the "industry standard" for structuring our safety procedures. To answer this question, I did some research on what a number of other sailability centres were doing. Attached is a summary fo the research. Many thanks for the responses I received- let me know if there are any errors or updates requred.
The research focused on: the skills and experience of the person in charge each day, the safety boat skills/ qualifications required, and organisational accreditation. More generic requirements, such as risk assessments and documentation of procedures were not covered.
An update as at April 2019.
We are now able to operate independently without having SI cover on site each day. The main driver for the change in heart was money and the absence of any good reason for not doing it- the RTC wasn’t prepared to pay to have an SI on site each day just for us, we weren’t prepared to pay for someone from whom we secured no benefit, and the council wanted us to provide services to our clients on those days. Meanwhile no one could really say what the SI was actually going to be doing.
As a separate measure, after we had achieved this, we have also now gained an AALA licence- which provides accreditation that our procedures comply with the relevant H&S legislation.
It was borderline whether we were legally obliged to secure AALA accreditation. The legislation applies to adventure services for youngsters but contains a number of exemptions, the most important of which is for clubs, which we are. Almost all of our activities clearly fell within the scope of one or more of the exemptions, but there is no de minimis limit for a small level of activity that is not covered by an exemption- the choice is either don’t do it, or get registered for everything.
The one activity where we might not have been exempt is for regular attendance by a school group. In our view to be exempt we would have had to get parental permission for each pupil, which would have created quite an admin burden on us and the school. AALA accreditation avoided this, and also provides a backup in case there is an operational incident and someone questions our procedures.
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