Risk Assessment



Water-based Activities


Mark Harden




March 2020







Who might be harmed?


Measures to Minimise Risk

Amendments for next review?


Students, Instructors,

Other water users, General


Buoyancy Aids issued to all water users, checked and fitted by SHST instructors.

Suitable ‘wet’ kit to be worn, i.e. no clothing which is likely to hold water such as thick jumpers or jogging bottoms.




Participants must declare ‘confidence in deep water wearing personal buoyancy’ on Personal Info Form prior to going afloat.




All water users to be made aware of water depth.




Signs at the centre show that members of the general public are not allowed to enter the lake


Separation from group

Students, Instructors

Instructors are trained in effective methods of group control. In the event of an emergency, each instructor carries a VHF radio and is in constant contact with other instructors and manager on duty.




Students are taught the international distress signal and basic self-rescue technique at the earliest opportunity.


Submerged objects

All water users

Constant monitoring of activity area by instructional team. All participants to be made aware of marker buoys.





Who might be harmed?


Measures to Minimise Risk

Amendments for next review?




Students, Instructors, Other water users

All SHST Instructors hold current First Aid certificates and are trained in ‘early warning signs’.

Regular breaks are taken allowing participants to regulate their temperature.




Hot / Cold drinks available in the building, along with hot showers / cool shaded areas and foil blankets.




Wetsuits offered to all water users. For participants susceptible to cold, neoprene jackets or the option of ‘double wetsuit’ (one piece & shorty) are available.


Medical emergency while


Students, Instructors, Other water users

All participants engaged in activities at SHST must complete a Personal Info Form prior to going afloat (in the case of minors, a parent/guardian will submit this form on their behalf). 




Both the manager on duty and the lead instructor of the session must read the forms and be aware of any potential issues.


Participant not sufficiently fit

enough to take part.


Every participant to fill in a Personal Information Form prior to engaging in any activity.


Water borne contamination / disease (such as


All water users

Water quality testing and information provided and published by Seven Trent Water.

No deliberate capsizing or immersion when water quality is likely to be poor. Showers available and recommended to all water users after session. Wash hands before eating.




Cover all cuts / open wounds before going afloat and clean thoroughly immediately after session.





Who might be harmed?

Measures to Minimise Risk

Amendments for next review?

Extreme Weather

Students, Instructors, Other water users

       Instructors to check forecast daily, and perform dynamic risk assessments throughout session.

       In the event of conditions (such as wind strength or temperature) becoming unsuitable and potentially dangerous for the participant(s), the instructor may use his/her discretion to temporarily suspend the session until such time that it’s deemed safe to continue by the Senior Instructor or manager on duty.

       Instructors & Participants to be aware of the danger of sun exposure and to apply sun protection whenever necessary.

       All Centre users must be aware of the need to stay hydrated. Drinking water is freely available in the building.


Blue-Green Algae

All water users

    Constant monitoring of water by instructional team, particularly during warm spells and/or periods of little rainfall.



All water users

       Instructional team to arrange and discuss areas of operation prior to going afloat, and brief groups / students accordingly.

       Ensure all water users are made aware of appropriate areas for their particular craft, as well as supervised groups and individuals.

       Participants to be briefed regarding importance of avoiding collisions (including danger of static objects).

       Swimming is not allowed , so collisions between water craft and swimmers is minimal.