Health and Safety Policy and Statement

Health and Safety Statement

Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club attaches great importance to the health and safety of its members and all members of the public using the club facilities, and to the protection of the environment.

To this end the organisation recognises and accepts its statutory duty to ensure that all activities carried out or undertaken by its members in relation to the work of the club, are managed in such a manner to avoid, control, or reduce all foreseeable risks to the health & safety of any person(s) or the environment as far as is reasonably practicable.

YDSC will adopt and implement procedures which recognise, and are compatible with, the duties imposed by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and other relevant legislation and common law duties of care.

Health and Safety Policy


All reasonably practicable efforts shall be made to ensure the safety of all Persons on and around the club premises and involved in club activities

  • Advice and training in skills relevant to health and safety in the context of the sailing club will be offered from time to time.
  • A committee member shall be appointed to take overall responsibility for health and safety matters and shall be known as the Safety Officer.
  • Safety will be the paramount consideration in the selection, design, operation and maintenance of club equipment.
  • It is not clear whether the Health and Safety at Work Act applies to sailing clubs that are not employers, but it is in the interests of the club members that the spirit of the act be observed.
  • Risk assessments, using the RYA approved form, will therefore be undertaken by the Safety Officer, assisted where appropriate by others with relevant experience of the activity, location or equipment which is the subject of the review.
  • Risk Assessments form part of this policy and should be reviewed regularly or when there is a significant change in any activity.
  • An action plan will be created where improvements are required and these will be monitored by the committee.

This policy shall be implemented primarily by the constitution and associated safety-related bylaws.

  • The club will continually review, develop and implement safe procedures and practices.
  • Members are encouraged to bring problems to the notice of the committee and informally to propose and discuss suitable safety measures.
  • Safety-related bylaws are reviewed by the General Committee. New bylaws are ratified at the next General Meeting of the club so that members may contribute to, and participate in the development of good, safe practice.
  • The club recognises that the effective prevention of accidents depends on the Members’ commitment to safety; Members will be encouraged to participate in the development, establishment and observance of safe practices.
  • The Safety Officer will exchange relevant information with the RYA and with members.

Members are reminded that item 7 of the club’s Constitution states:-

Members, their guests, Temporary Members and Day visitors are bound by the following rule which is also exhibited in a prominent place within the club premises:

7.1.1 Members of the club, their guests, Temporary Members and Day Visitors use the club premises and any other facilities of the club entirely at their own risk.
7.1.2 The club will not accept any liability for any damage to or loss of property belonging to members, their guests, Temporary Members and Day Visitors.
7.1.3 The club will not accept any liability for personal injury arising out of the use of the club premises or any other facilities of the club either sustained by members, their guests, Temporary Members or Day Visitors, or caused by the said members, their guests, Temporary Member and Day Visitors, whether or not such damage or injury could have been attributed to, or was occasioned by, the neglect, default or negligence of any of them, the Officers, Committee or servants of the club.

Safety Ashore

All club members their guests and visitors have a responsibility to act in a manner that encourages the development of a safe environment. They are to be encouraged to report areas that they feel are unsafe to the appropriate Safety Officer who shall follow up the report to a satisfactory conclusion.

The following procedures are to be followed in the case of:

  • Fire in Clubhouse
  • Raise the alarm.
  • If the fire is small, it may be possible to attack it using the portable fire extinguishers provided.
  • Evacuate the clubhouse by the nearest route(s).
  • Last person out close the door(s).
  • The most senior officer or committee member ashore should establish that all rooms in the clubhouse are empty, by direct observation or by receiving reports from others.
  • Call the emergency services by a 999 telephone call.

A mobile phone in the main clubroom near the galley door and a landline phone in the downstairs office are available for use in addition to other members’ mobile phones.

Fire in garage or equipment store

  • Raise the alarm.
  • Evacuate the area and clear everyone at least 10m from the building.
  • Call the emergency services by a 999 telephone call.
  • If possible advise the emergency services of the estimated quantity of fuel present.

A mobile phone in the main clubroom near the galley door and a landline phone in the downstairs office are available for use in addition to other members’ mobile phones.

First Aid

  • First Aid boxes are available which will be regularly inspected and restocked by the Safety Officer. These are situated:
    • In the main clubroom next to the vending machines
    • In the downstairs office
  • A defibrillator is available in the main clubroom next to the vending machines with instructions for non-trained users.
  • A flexible stretcher and a ridged stretcher with integral head support are available in the garage.

Major Accident (See separate Emergency Action Plan)

It is the duty of all Club Members, whether cruising or racing, to render assistance to the best of their ability to other sailors in distress. Members must assess the situation and if necessary:

  • Immediately hail for assistance,
  • Alert the safety boat (if available),
  • Alert the Race Officer). If racing is underway it may be necessary for the RO to abandon the race in progress.
  • Alert those ashore.


  • Alert the Duty Team and any Committee Members present
  • Summon a First-Aider if available or a medically qualified member of the club
  • Call the Ambulance by a 999 telephone call and advise them of the type/extent of the injury if known.

Safety Afloat

The wearing of adequate personal buoyancy by all members, their guests, temporary members and day visitors at all times while afloat is strongly recommended. Appropriate clothing shall be worn at all times while afloat. The wearing of an adequate wet suit or dry suit is strongly recommended between 1 November and 30 April.

“Adequate personal buoyancy” means:

  • a buoyancy aid complying with one of the following British Standards:
    • BS EN 393, British Marine Industries Federation Standard for Personal Buoyancy, Ship and Boatbuilders Federation Standard for Personal Buoyancy Aids
  • A CE marked buoyancy aid of at least 50 Newtons, for use by swimmers on sheltered waters with help at hand,
  • A lifejacket complying with BS EN 395 or BS EN 396 or BS 3595:1981 specification worn and used in accordance with the recommendations,
  • A CE marked lifejacket of at least 100 Newtons, for use on sheltered waters by non-swimmers.

Parents are responsible for the safety of their children while on Club premises and must supervise them adequately. It is recommended that children under the age of 8 years and older children who are not competent swimmers should wear buoyancy aids when in the vicinity of the water.

Responsibilities of the Individual

It is the responsibility of each individual:-

  • To give all possible help to any person or vessel in danger
  • To wear clothing and personal buoyancy adequate for the conditions and type of activity (including Safety Support) being undertaken
  • To ensure the seaworthiness of his craft for the prevailing conditions
  • To decide whether or not to go out onto the water or to remain on the water according to their experience, ability and fitness level.
  • During an organised sailing event, to follow the instructions of the RO and to make every reasonable attempt to communicate with the RO any intention to leave the area of the organised sailing event.

Responsibilities of the Duty Team

It is the responsibility of the Duty Team

  • To manage Safety Support in accordance with this policy
  • To plan the organised sailing event taking into account the prevailing conditions, the types of boats involved, so as to avoid undue risk to participants and other water users
  • To ensure all those going afloat are aware of their responsibilities whilst on the water.
  • To fill out the Duty Book at the end of each day’s sailing, and make an adequate report on the appropriate form of any Accident/ Incident occurring on the day. This should be passed to the Safety Officer or a Committee member for appropriate investigation.

Responsibilities of the YDSC Committee

The YDSC Committee or its delegated representatives are responsible for:-

  • The procurement and maintenance of all elements of the Safety Support Infrastructure such as powerboats, first aid equipment, safe fuel storage, and fire extinguishers.
  • Managing the arrangements for events provided by the club as appropriate for:
    a) Race Officer training
    b) Safety boat training
    c) Racing skills
    d) RYA tuition
    e)Taster sessions
    f) Other hosted events such as ‘Open’ Class Association racing or training

Safety boat cover:

Safety boats provide Safety and assistance to boats and windsurfers at times when the club is officially open. Their primary concern is the personal safety of club members, their guests and visitors. This will not be compromised in order to retrieve boats/windsurfers or property. Those on the water should co-operate with the Safety boat crew and respect their recommendations.

Safety boat cover is provided to boats/windsurfers only whilst they are:

  • Taking part in club racing
  • Taking part in club organised practice sessions
  • Taking part in club organised training
  • On the water for recreational sailing during normal club operating hours

Safety arrangements, during RYA approved training, is the responsibility of the RYA Principal of the approved teaching establishment, under the direction of the instructor in charge. YDSC is a training establishment in its own right. Bewerley Park Centre for Outdoor education (BPC) is an approved RYA approved training establishment which operates at YDSC under a partnership arrangement.
The club, from time to time, hosts coaching and training sessions for class associations, youth training squads and the RYA, delivered by qualified RYA coaches. Coaches running these sessions are given guidance about safety and operational procedures at YDSC but are directly responsible for the safe conduct of their own activities.

Manning of Safety Boats

Whenever possible, Safety boats will be manned by:

  • Two people of ages 12-70, with the proviso that one of the pair should be 18 or over.
  • If a Safety boat is single manned, it should be by someone who is at least 18.

A combination of Paid and Volunteer crew will be used, and the qualification requirements will be as follows:

  • Volunteers: Drivers: RYA Powerboat Level 2 qualification.
  • Crew: Appropriate experience preferable but not essential.
  • Paid: RYA Safety Boat and First Aid qualification. Where there is a Paid person on board, that person will normally do the driving.
  • No person under the age of 16 will be allowed to drive a Safety boat unless they hold (or are on training course for) an RYA Powerboat Level 2 qualification. Those that do hold a Level 2 qualification may only do so under the supervision of a competent adult.

The Safety boat should only ever be driven at high speeds when absolutely necessary (for safety/ rescue purposes and/or training of the high-speed sections of the RYA Powerboat Course syllabus. The safety boats should be used for safety/ teaching/ race management purposes only, not for joy riding.

Personal Buoyancy/Clothing/Kill-cords

The Safety boat driver and crew must wear Personal Buoyancy at all times on the water and be ideally dressed for the conditions. The kill-cord must be attached to the driver at all times. A radio should be carried on board at all times.

Updated 10 Jan 19