Working Over Water

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Prevention of drowning

  • Working platforms must be properly constructed including toe-boards and guard-rails.  Secure boards to prevent them from being dislodged by rising water or high winds.
  • Ladders should be lashed.
  • Safety harnesses must be worn where appropriate.
  • Lighting must be adequate for night work and must illuminate the immediate surrounding water surface.
  • Check on your workmates at frequent intervals.
  • Materials must be stacked in order to maintain clear access.
  • Tools not in use must be stowed away.
  • Ensure that pontoons are properly loaded, stable and securely moored.
  • Ensure deck access and egress are clean and don’t become slippery.  Deal quickly with hazards.
  • If there is a risk of falling in, wear a life jacket or buoyancy aid – a life jacket will automatically turn an unconscious person into a face-up position in the water, a buoyancy aid will not.
  • Ensure you only embark at suitable landing places.
  • Don’t remove guard-rails they are there for your safety.

 Rescue from the water

  • Ensure you don’t work alone, so that one of you can always raise the alarm.
  • Ensure your life-saving equipment is available and checked at the start of every shift.
  • Where a safety boat is provided, check the equipment at the start of every shift.
  • Rescue boats must be continuously manned by competent people during night and in tidal waters.
  • Power spotlights should also be available.
  • Ensure you are familiar with emergency drills.
  • Report defects to the person in charge immediately.
  • Be aware of the dangers from Weil’s disease. 



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