The club does have a very good safety record, and it’s important members are well informed of the risks involved so that the likelihood of accidents is minimised.
Accidents at the Club resulting in serious injury are very rare. From the member survey of 2009 a high proportion of members made special mention of the safety of windsurfing at Hickling Broad. However, a level of risk remains and members need to be aware of the risks. If in any doubt then ask for advice. Care needs to be taken when at Hickling, just as you would when crossing a road or driving a car. The risks are different but potentially just as serious.
This page sets out the Club’s approach to health and safety. On joining that the Club members accept that safety cover is not provided and that members sail at their own risk. The Club feels it has a responsibility to communicate known risks, and to suggest ways to minimise the likelihood of accidents. The Club will also take on a central role to review accidents, and to take corrective action if appropriate.
- To assess the risks facing members, and to reassess those risks at regular intervals or when a new risk occurs.
- To make members aware of the current risk assessment. This will be published on the club’s web site, members will be made aware of its existence on joining and at annual renewals.
- To provide an ‘Accident Log’ for members to record accident details.
- To review the ‘Accident Log’ and to follow up with recommendations if appropriate.
- To take heed of safety advice for the benefit of their selves and other club members.
- To record accidents.
- To report safety concerns direct to the club chairman.
- To address any safety issues on the spot where appropriate.
The Club is open all year and there is no safety cover provided, except for annual public ‘Come and Try’ day and possibly for the occasional training session.
First Aid kits. The club currently has two first aid kits, one in the changing rooms the other in the boat.
First aiders. Some members of the committee are trained first aiders.
Boat. The club boat can be used for rescue should a member with RYA power boat qualification be available.
Phones. The Club does not have a phone line. Contacting the emergency services will need to be via private mobile phone.
- Dial 999,
- Give the location as Staith Road, NR12 0YW and arrange for someone to meet the emergency services.
The location of the club car park is on the opposite (North) side of Whispering Reeds boat yard. The beach is on the East side of Whispering Reeds boat yard with a metal gate leading to the beach.
- Record all accidents in the Club Accident Book held in the changing rooms.
The risks that Club Members may be exposed to include:
|Hazard||Comments or risk reduction||Level of risk after risk reduction|
|Equipment failure||Check the condition of equipment and any repairs. If in doubt replace defective items.Sail with others, and be prepared to get back if your kit fails.
Wear a suitable wetsuit to keep out the cold. Even in the summer a wetsuit is necessary, particularly if a long swim/walk back to the beach is required.
|Underwater obstacles||Dangers include submerged objects, floating in the water or on the bottom. Hazards include: logs, glass bottles, cans, concrete moorings, posts, and sharp stones.Wear sturdy boots/shoes, and be careful when getting into the water. The risk of landing on a submerged hidden post is a concern.||Low|
|Loosing control||Sail within your abilityConsider wearing head protection, particularly if you have a tendency to get catapulted.||Low|
|Wind direction||Some wind conditions, notably Northerly winds can make sailing back to the beach difficult and physically demanding.Be aware of how much effort may be required to return safely particularly if sailing on a very small board in gusty conditions.||Medium|
|Collision with other windsurfers and water users.||Check your path is clear before turning and gybing on the water.Keep a safe distance from other water users.
Keep well away from mooring / marker buoys, moored boats and channel marker posts.
Be aware of the Rules for avoiding collisions and that whilst “power gives way to sail” rental boat drivers may be unaware of the rule.
On Sailing club days it can get very busy near race course buoys. Be aware of these buoys, usually a white buoy with yellow triangular flags at the start line and orange/red buoys marking the course. It’s recommended you keep well from these areas for your own safety.
Fishermen. Keep well clear (50m+) of fishermen so as not to snag their lines or ruin their day. Be very careful in winter as very long lines are sometimes used to float hooks etc down wind (100m+).
Always avoid conflict with other water users, be courteous and polite if confronted, and direct their complaints to the club chairman. We have only had one complaint in about 20 years.
|Weed||There is little weed in Hickling Broad.The wearing of buoyancy aids is recommended particularly for small children||Low|
|Trips||Members should leave a free passage to the launching area to minimize the risk of tripping when moving around, particularly when carrying equipment to/from the launch area.||Low|
|Launch area||To be kept clear at all times.Refrain from both freestyle sailing and sailing fast within the beach area.
No swimming is allowed from the beach.
|Road crossing||The road crossing is a minor lane, traffic does pass slowly and does not appear to require any special advice.
|Blue-green algal blooms||Hickling Broad carries a very low risk of blue-green algae.If notices are posted identifying the hazard, then members are to take the advice given.||Low|
|Water infection||Cover exposed cuts and avoid ingestion of the broad water.||Low|
|Weil’s disease||This is carried via Rat’s urine, and so could be caught from the beach area rather than on the water. Risk could be minimized by keeping food wrapped and cleaning hands before eating. Cover open cuts.If you feel unwell (flu like symptoms) inform your GP you have been sailing in an area where Weil’s disease may be present.||Low|
Come and Try Day / Instructor led sessions:
|Hazard||Comments and Risk Reduction||Level of risk after risk reduction|
|Use of equipment and windsurfing techniques.||Instructors delivering instruction should be RYA qualified. Windsurfing safety and the correct safe use of equipment should be aligned to the RYA material as appropriate.This includes but not limited to…
Ensure all participants are sufficiently capable swimmers and comfortable in the water.
Advise on the correct method for pulling the sail out of the water.
Advise beginners to disembark carefully when getting off the board and into the water. Stout shoes such as old trainers are recommended.
Advise on the correct method for carrying equipment and parking equipment on the beach.
Advise of the sailing area and signals to return to the instructor and/or the launch beach.
Advise how to signal distress and when it should be used.
Consider providing safety boat cover.
|Buoyancy aids||Buoyancy aids are to be worn by novice windsurfers, including all members of the public for the ‘Come and Try’ days.||Low|
|Safety boat||The Club has a power boat which may at times be designated a “safety boat”. All drivers are to be RYA qualified to ‘Power boat level 2’.||Low.|
Approved by: The Club Committee Date: September 2011