Thursday, November 23, 2006

Work on or near water

Whenever someone is working near water or on water (sea, river, lake, pond) the risk of drowning must be considered. Obviously it is most important that the likelihood of them falling in the water is minimised by providing barriers, working platforms, harness and lines etc.

Where the risk of falling into water cannot be eliminated it is important to consider the provision of buoyancy aids and rescue plans. Cheap and simple buoyancy aids tend to be bulky, and so generally not suitable for anyone doing any work. More practical buoyancy aids are likely to have a self-inflating mechanism, and it is essential that these are properly maintained and checked before use. It is also important that people know how to use them.

Drowning is not the only hazard of falling into water. Hypothermia can set in if someone is in cold water for sometime (within 30 minutes). Also, there are some animal born diseases that are commonly found near water (e.g. leptospirosis causing Weils disease)


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