Safety Management Plan

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Date of last review: 05/2020

To be reviewed yearly by the Coaching and Safety Officer.

  1. Safety Management Roles
    1. Certain positions within the Committee have particular responsibilities. The President will ensure that those seeking election to the committee are aware of these responsibilities before they stand.
    2. The President is responsible for running the Club and Committee in a manner that promotes a safe ethos within the Club. He/she must support the committee members with particular responsibility for safety and ensure that they, and all members, are playing their part in the safe running of the Club.
    3. The Coaching and Safety Officer is responsible for:
      1. Seeking and disseminating information on ‘best practice’ including BC information
      2. Updating the risk assessment, this safety policy and other relevant paperwork
      3. Organising and promoting appropriate training for Club members at all levels
      4. Liasing with the university sports department and ensuring that club procedures are, as far as possible, compliant with University policy
      5. Authorising club trips and ensuring a home contact has the relevant details of the trip and all members on the trip
      6. Maintaining records of the experience and qualifications of club coaches and leaders 
    4. The Equipment Officer will oversee the following activities, delegating responsibility to other Club members or external experts as appropriate:
      1. Updating equipment inventory with details of new equipment, including date and value of purchase
      2. Labelling equipment to identify it as belonging to the club and for traceability
      3. Storing and maintaining all equipment in accordance with manufacturers’ guidelines
      4. Carrying out regular checks (at least once a term) of Club equipment and keeping a record of these checks
      5. Taking damaged or suspect equipment out of use and destroying any equipment that is no longer serviceable
    5. The Equipment Officer should discharge their responsibilities with reference to BC guidelines where available and should seek out best Practice as required. Current BC guidelines (Paddlesafer V2.1 June 19) recommend that:
      1. All kayaks should have airbags back and front where possible
      2. All buoyancy aids should be visually inspected and tested in accordance with BC guidelines
      3. Helmets should be discarded after 5 years or before if showing any signs of degradation – rust on rivets, white streaks in the plastic, buckles fail to take load
      4. Throwbags should be stored unpacked and replaced every 5 years or sooner if damaged or worn
    6. The Captain will be responsible for overseeing safety in competitive canoeing. They will seek to identify and implement ‘Best Practice’ in competitive canoeing and provide advice and guidance to members as appropriate.
    7. The Captain will ensure competitions the club attends provide appropriate safety and first aid or, using the guidelines in the leadership sections ensure that the club provides sufficient cover for its members.
  2. Leadership Roles
    1. These guidelines can be used for any paddling activity. 
      1. For activities on the Cam there is no requirement for trip registration or a safety meeting, but the identities and responsibilities of the group leaders and coaches on the river should be clear.
    2. Any member may be appointed as a ‘trip leader’ and organise the logistics of a canoeing trip. At an early stage they should identify the most competent and experienced paddler, who then becomes the trip’s ‘river leader’. The river leader may choose to appoint ‘group leaders’ to lead groups on the river. Club coaches should follow the same guidelines as group leaders.
    3. Trip Leaders
      1. The Trip Leader should ensure that the activities planned are safe and conform to BC guidelines and recognised Best Practice. They may wish to consult with the river leader in this regard.
      2. The Trip Leader should satisfy themselves that those driving vehicles on a trip are competent and responsible individuals.
      3. For a trip, Trip Leaders must fill in a trip registration form, available from the Coaching and Safety Officer, before the trip departs. The Coaching and Safety Officer will provide them with the phone number of a ‘home contact’ to call in the event of an accident occurring.
      4. Trip Leaders will ensure that participants understand the nature of the trip and its requirements, and that the trip will have appropriate Group Leaders and first aid provision. The Trip Leader must stress the personal responsibility carried by each participant.
      5. Special care must be taken to ensure that the group is aware of who the authorities on the water will be, with special inclusion to the River Leader and any First Aiders.
      6. Trip Leaders must be aware of the Club’s emergency procedure (see below) and should ensure that those on the trip are also aware of this, and the rest of this document.
      7. Trip Leaders should ensure that the equipment being used on the trip is appropriate for the planned activities. They may wish to consult the Equipment Officer and the River Leader on this issue.
    4. River Leaders
      1. The River Leader is the most experienced person on the trip, regardless of qualifications. They must satisfy themselves that the trip is run safely and should begin by checking that the Trip Leader’s planning is acceptable. They have ultimate responsibility for any decisions that need to be made.
      2. The River Leader will make decisions on how the groups should be organised and will appoint sufficiently experienced group leaders for each group. They will take control of situations where groups come together (e.g. at significant rapids).
      3. The River Leader should be particularly concerned with ensuring the safety and well being of inexperienced participants. They should ensure that they use equipment properly, arrange for training to be provided and give advice where necessary. All participants must make decisions to accept risk for themselves; leaders can only provide advice to facilitate a decision.
    5. Group Leaders/Coaches
      1. Group Leaders will not necessarily have any qualifications, but should have sufficient experience to lead on the water being paddled. The Club encourages leaders to obtain training including whitewater safety courses, BC student camps, first aid training and training for the 4 and 5 star award.
      2. All leaders and coaches must submit details of their qualifications and experience to the Coaching and Safety Officer before taking responsibility for a group.
      3. Group Leaders must carry sufficient equipment to allow them to look after their group and perform rescues and first aid as required.
      4. Group Leaders should brief their group before getting on the river. The brief will include: the nature of the river and any likely hazards, who is taking on what roles in the group, how the group will be organised, what river signals are to be used and what should be done if problems occur. The Group Leader must ascertain if any of the group has a medical condition that could affect their participation.
      5. The Group Leader should make a final check of their group’s equipment, including both personal and Club equipment. Particular checks should be made of:
        1. Boats – correct footrest positions, inflated airbags, sound grab loops, bung
        2. Helmet – fastened and correctly fitting to protect forehead
        3. Buoyancy aid – securely fastened
        4. Spray deck – grab loop visible and in good condition
  3. Paddling on the Cam specifically - Roles and Responsibilities
    1. Coaches
      1. Are those able to lead general sessions on the Cam.
      2. Are on the ‘Advanced Paddlers and Coaches Record’ and have accepted the responsibility of a coaching role.
      3. Have completed the ‘Standard Paddlers Record’.
      4. It 
    2. Advanced Paddlers
      1. Are those competent enough to correctly and safely use CUCC equipment of their own accord.
      2. Are on the ‘Advanced Paddlers and Coaches Record’ and have accepted the responsibility of the advanced paddler role.
      3. Have completed the ‘Standard Paddlers Record’.
    3. Responsible Paddlers
      1. Are anybody allowed to paddle outside of CUCC organised sessions in groups of at least three.
      2. Are on the ‘Responsible Paddlers Record’.
      3. Have completed the ‘Standard Paddlers Record’.
    4. Standard Paddlers
      1. Are anybody allowed to paddle in a CUCC general session.
      2. Have completed the ‘Standard Paddlers Record’.
    5. Beginners
      1. Are those on an active CUCC beginners course.
  4. Emergency Procedure
    1. In the event of an accident occurring, the first priority will be to get a casualty to medical help as soon as possible.
    2. If the accident is a serious one, or if the casualty is admitted to hospital in an unconscious state, the trip’s home contact must be contacted as soon as possible in order to obtain the information on the casualty's membership form.
    3. The home contact will then be responsible for informing the casualty’s tutor or primary contact, if required, and should liaise with other parties as appropriate. In order for them to do this they should ensure that they have full details of the incident.
    4. Do not make any statement to the media or discuss any aspect of the incident with anyone not connected to the emergency services. Ensure that all group members follow this guideline.
    5. Any incident or ‘near miss’ must be reported to the Coaching and Safety Officer as soon as possible after the incident and recorded in the accident book. If required, they will complete an incident report form and pass it to the university sports department. The Committee will review the risk assessment and safety policy in the light of the incident. They may also need to liaise with British Canoeing, insurers, university authorities and other interested parties as appropriate. 
  5. Incident Reporting
    1. For a serious incident of any kind the Emergency Procedure as detailed above should be followed, ensuring the safety of the group and casualty as first priority.
    2. Any incident or concern, no matter the apparent severity, can be discussed with any member of CUCC Committee. 
      1. Safety concerns are best brought up to the Coaching and Safety Officer: coaching@cucanoe.co.uk
      2. Equipment or site damage is ideally reported to the Equipment Officer: equipment@cucanoe.co.uk
    3. Incidents which require formal first aid must be written into the accident book and ultimately reported to the Coaching and Safety Officer.
    4. Particular attention should be drawn to incidents where the group involved was not capable of adequate or acceptable response.
    5. A separate record of paddler illness relating to water quality should also be kept.
    6. Safety concerns should be discussed at committee meetings.