MBSC Safety Statement and Safety Policy
Monkstown Bay Sailing Club/MBSC (The Club) is an ISA affiliated member sailing club and sail training school located in Monkstown, Co. Cork. Its activities include organized dinghy sailing and racing and provision of ISA certified training courses as well as cruising.
These activities are carried out in:
- Cork Harbour
- Monkstown Bay Sailing Club (Monkstown, Lower Harbour, Cork).
This document is the official Safety Statement of MBSC. It should be read by all club members and employees. In addition, this document should be readily available to parents, clients, course participants and visitors and on the Club website.
Key Publications & Courses
This document has been prepared in line with the following:
- The Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act 2005
- The Safety, Health & Welfare at Work (GA) Regulation 2007
- Dangerous Substances (Retail & Private Petroleum Stores) Regulations 2010
- The ISA Policies and Procedures Manual (2005)
- Fire Services Acts (1981 & 2003)
- ISA Training Administration for Booking a Safeguarding Course
- ISA Code of Ethics Good Practice for Children’s Activities (V 16-1)
- Sport Ireland Code of Ethics Good Practice for Children’s Sport
- Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act, 1998
The overall aim of this safety statement is to make sure that all the club members and employees of the club can enjoy the sport of sailing in the safest possible environment. In doing this, however, it must be recognized that, whilst every possible precaution can be taken, participation in sailing, as with any other water-based physical activity, does have risks which cannot be anticipated.
Club Organisation and General Committee
The General Committee is the primary management body within MBSC with overall responsibility for running and managing the affairs of the club and with overall responsibility for safety in the club.
The General Committee have overall responsibility for the identification of hazards and the assessment of risk to health and safety, and for remedial action. This committee is made up of elected members that include:
- Sailing Secretary
- Other elected members
Safety Policy- Outline
MBSC is committed to the policy of maintaining a safe and healthy working and training environment for all club members and employees.
The Club will comply with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 and all relevant statutory provisions to ensure as far as reasonably practicable the safety, health and welfare of all club members and employees as well as visitors, course participants, contractors and members of the public who may be affected by the Club’s activities.
As a family-oriented sailing club and sailing school, that organizes and runs activities involving young people, MBSC is committed to the safeguarding and protection of children. The Club has adopted the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport in Ireland (ISC 2005) and has developed and published a Child Protection Policy. This policy is published on our website, displayed on the club noticeboard and club office.
The Club has nominated Children’s Officer(s) and is committed to ensuring our staff, officers and volunteers receive the appropriate awareness training and education to enable and help them in their dealings with children and young people.
The primary purpose of the Safety Statement is to minimize incidents and accidents that might cause injury or illness to club members, employees, course participants and visitors to the club. The Safety Statement is based on the identification of hazards and assessments of the risks to safety and health. The Safety Statement will highlight the main hazards and risks and will reference current operating and emergency procedures.
The Safety Statement will identify those people within MBSC who have specific responsibilities for the implementation of a safe and healthy working environment.
The Club is committed to regularly reviewing and updating this Safety Statement. The Club will risk assess any changes to the physical areas of operation or additions or alterations to the club’s activities. Updates to the Safety Statement will reflect these risk assessments.
The Safety Statement also includes:
(1) General Safety Policy,
(2) Safe Sailing Policy,
(3) Child Protection Policy,
(4) Emergency Action Plan,
(5) Rescue Boat Safety Policy and
(6) Junior Powerboat Safety Policy.
The Club will make copies of the Safety Statement available to club members and their parents on request and a copy may be downloaded from the website.
All Sailing Instructors employed by the Club will be provided with a copy of the Safety Statement and will acknowledge receipt as part of the hiring process.
Several committee members including Junior Organizer and specific committee members report directly to the General Committee and have responsibilities for specific operating areas and activities. New hazards and reviewed assessments of hazards identified during regular safety audits shall be notified to the General Committee.
Club Principal and Senior Instructors
The Club Principal and Senior Instructor(s) are responsible for safety in areas occupied by their staff and trainees. They are responsible for the full implementation of relevant and documented safety procedures and for the day-to-day implementation of the club’s Safety Policy, and compliance with safety rules and safe working practices.
In implementing the club’s Safety Policy, it is the duty of the Club Principal and Senior Instructors to encourage and assist the development of safety rules and to endeavor to ensure that established rules and safe working practices are always followed. The Club Principal shall delegate responsibilities and ensure that Senior Instructors and Instructors receive the necessary information and training to enable them to discharge their safety related responsibilities. A record shall be kept by the Club Principal of all information and training provided.
It is the duty of the Club Principal, Senior Instructors and Sailing Instructors to ensure as far as is practicable that:
- Training course participants are familiar with emergency routines and means of escape in case of fire, or another emergency evacuation.
- Those authorized to use powered craft are appropriately trained and should have appropriate certification.
- Work equipment is maintained in a safe condition as recommended by the manufacturer, with appropriate arrangements to ensure the safety of persons using such equipment and of others who may be exposed to risk from such equipment.
- Hazards (such as damaged fittings, spillages or trip hazards) in the areas occupied by staff or Club members are eliminated as quickly as possible after they occur.
- All incidents, accidents and near misses are reported in writing using standard form to the General Committee ensuring that any necessary follow-up action is taken without delay. See Appendix 3 & 4 for standard Incident and Accident Report Forms.
The Club Principal and Senor Instructors shall be responsible for the proactive identification of hazards at MBSC Sailing Club. The reviewed assessments of hazards identified during regular safety inspections shall be notified to the General Committee by the Club Principal.
They are also responsible for the introduction of remedial measures to reduce or eliminate unsafe acts or conditions. Their responsibilities include general supervision and ensuring that their instructors are familiar with safe methods of work.
In addition, the Club Principal shall undertake periodic “self-inspection” safety audits and shall ensure that Instructor training in safety and use of protective equipment and gear is carried out on an ongoing basis.
Code of Conduct
The Club Code of Conduct lays out the expected minimum levels of behavior for people within our club including club members, staff, volunteers, trainees and parents.
Complaints and Disciplinary Procedures
The code of conduct also provides a set of standards in the event a person’s behavior becomes an issue. A complaints and disciplinary procedure are in place to handle any reported misdemeanors.
Persistent breach of the code can result in dismissal from the club.
Dismissals can be appealed, with final decisions taken by the General Committee.
Training and Development
The nature of the training provided will depend on the role and responsibilities of the members, staff or volunteer within the Club. The types of training and development will include:
- Instructor Induction
- Specific Skills
- Child Protection Awareness
The club will organize an instructor induction session typically at the start of each new course period ( July) and will include as a minimum an overview of the Safety, Child Protection and Rescue Boat Policies, Codes of Conduct and First Aid.
Where an employee, parent, volunteer or member takes on a specific role that requires specific skills or certification the Club will identify and may fund the necessary training.
For example, a parent or member must have minimum safety boat certification to become a Rescue Boat driver.
Child Protection Awareness
All members, staff, instructors or volunteers involved in club activities involving children and young people should complete the Basic Awareness Child Protection course as designated by the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s sport in Ireland.
The purpose of this training will be to raise awareness and provide information about how to respond to suspicions or incidents of child abuse. The training must be provided by an approved agency, organization or individual with the appropriate certification from Irish Sports Council.
Safe sailing is the primary objective of every course. MBSC has, over the years, developed procedures and regulations to promote an environment of safe sailing. Our development of safe sailing procedures will continue to evolve and be updated as operating conditions, instruction methods and legislation change. Safe sailing involves a continual awareness of all aspects of our sailing courses, including, but not limited to, the experience and expectations of trainees and instructors, the course syllabus, the sailing area, the condition of equipment, the weather and the club support structure.
MBSC Safety Regulations shall meet or exceed existing Irish and EU legislation, regulations and standards. Irish Sailing Association standards and prescriptions shall be met. The Club Principal is responsible for the condition of the boats and equipment and has complete authority to enforce the Club’s Safety Regulations.
Instructors are required to be fully familiar with Safety Regulations relating to their courses. Trainees have a duty to respect the Clubs Safety Regulations and to co-operate with their implementation.
A list of Emergency Services telephone numbers shall be posted on the club noticeboard, and on the club hut’s noticeboard.
A chart covering the club’s sailing areas shall be prominently displayed at the start of each training course. Limits to the sailing area for Beginners courses shall be illustrated.
A whiteboard shall be prominently displayed upon which details of each course daily plan, sailing area, and latest time of return to base shall be listed.
The Met Eireann weather forecast and/or other appropriate local sources such as Wind guru shall be copied daily from internet or radio broadcasts and posted or displayed in a prominent position in the club house and the hut.
The Tide Table for Monkstown and the surrounding area together with the differences for Cork Harbour shall be prominently displayed.
HAZARD IDENTIFICATION AND RISK ASSESSMENT
A hazard is anything that can potentially cause harm. The first step in safeguarding safety and health is to identify hazards. If a hazard is present, the next step is to determine the likelihood of it happening and any consequences. Once assessed, a relevant “best practice” should be found to remove, control or contain the hazard.
A hazard or risk will depend on many, often related, circumstances:
- Is anyone exposed to the hazard?
- Is the hazard likely to cause injury?
- Is the hazard well controlled?
- Is the level of supervision adequate?
Risks on shore
On-shore hazards and risks should be identified in and around:
- Shower, Toilets and Changing Rooms
- Club Bar
- Outside area in club
- Club Hut (Fuel Storage and Equipment store)
- Sand Quay and slipways
- Surrounding grounds, paths and walkways
- Physical structures
Risks on water
Marine activity risks and hazards should be identified in and around:
- Dinghy and other sailing craft
- Committee Boats
- Rescue boats
- Other powered craft including visiting boats
- Marine equipment
- Slip ways and launching areas
- Commercial shipping
- Sailing areas – Monkstown and Cork Harbor
- Forecast Weather
RISK ASSESSMENT PROCEDURE
A risk assessment is carried out to identify where there is a significant risk of harm (hazard) to people. This allows a reduction in the likelihood of harm being done by eliminating the hazard or by controlling the risk so that harm is unlikely.
Responsibility for managing risk on Club premises and during activities lies with General Committee. All members have a duty of care regarding identifying and controlling risk.
Points to consider when considering a risk assessment:
- Members and employees know the organization and activities as intimately as anyone.
- It is useful to get an outside perspective on what is done every day. However, ensure that it comes from someone who is competent and familiar with the operating environment.
- The ISA can and will assist in running a risk assessment.
A formal risk assessment should be conducted at least once a year and whenever a significant change to activities or environment is made or on the introduction of new activities or the use of new operating areas.
ACCIDENT AND INCIDENT REPORTING
An accident is defined as – An undesirable event that occurs unintentionally and usually results in harm, injury, damage, or loss.
An incident is defined as – An event that interrupts normal procedure and may present a hazard or a risk.
Reporting an Accident
Full details of any accident must be recorded on MBSC’S Accident Report Form A available from the Club office (Appendix 4). The original copy of the Accident Report shall remain filed in the Accident Report File and a copy shall be assessed and used by MBSC management or their insurers. If the accident involved a junior member or a child MBSC Accident Report Form B (Appendix5) must also be completed and given to parent, guardian or next of kin.
It is critical that detailed written statements from the same period be obtained from any witnesses to an accident, signed, dated and filed with a MBSC Accident Report.
Details of any accident must also be recorded in the Health and Safety Authority Accident Register. This is a legal requirement and obligation according to the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005. The Accident Register shall always be available in the Operations Manual-Accident Register File in the Club.
An accident must be reported directly to the Club Principal or the Senior Instructor on duty at the earliest opportunity and reported onwards to the General Committee as appropriate.
Reporting an Incident
Details of any incident involving, but not limited to, equipment, tools, fixtures, appliances or fittings shall be recorded on an Incident Report Form, which shall be available in the Incident Report File. Any fault, hazard or risk resulting from an incident shall be immediately identified and isolated or corrected.
An incident must be reported directly to the Club Principal or the Senior Instructor on duty at the earliest opportunity and reported onwards to the General Committee.
EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN
All sporting clubs have a responsibility to ensure a safe environment is available to those in their care. This includes having a clearly documented plan that outlines the actions and processes that need to be fulfilled in an emergency. A comprehensive emergency plan should be in place to cover all types of emergencies on or off the water. They may include incidents such as fire, violence and environmental threats. Staff, members and volunteers must be aware of these arrangements.
There is a legal requirement for employers to prepare an Emergency Action Plan that outlines how the workplace will be evacuated in the event of a fire outbreak. Fire Wardens are designated the responsibility of executing this plan in an emergency.
FIRE SAFETY AND PREVENTION
Fire regulations such as the Fire Services Acts 1981 & 2003 impose a legal responsibility on all employers in Ireland to achieve an appropriate standard of Fire Safety in the workplace. In order to ensure compliance with fire regulations, all workplaces should be assessed in accordance with Fire Safety guidance documents and codes of practice. A risk assessment in the form of a Fire Safety Audit focuses on whether compliance is achieved with reference to these standards or not.
Fire Safety in the Workplace
MBSC shall make every effort to prevent the occurrence of fire. During the Safety lecture at the beginning of each course, trainees and instructors shall be informed of the Prohibitions set out below and shall be reminded that everyone has a duty to co-operate in the prevention of fire.
Fire and Emergency Assembly Point
The Emergency Assembly Point is located at the southwestern end of the sand quay and on the middle of the car park and is marked appropriately.
Fire Alarms and Equipment
MBSC shall have a fully functioning, approved and certified system of fire and smoke detectors and an emergency alarm.
MBSC shall ensure all Fire Detection and Alarm systems are in line with IS 3218. The Club will ensure an appropriate number of ISO standard fire extinguishers are in place within the Club premises and on the sand quay.
The Club Principal shall ensure that an appropriately qualified and certified agent is contracted annually to service and maintain all emergency detectors, alarms and fire extinguishers.
A Service Log shall be maintained to record details of inspections. The most recent fire equipment Maintenance Certificates should be available for inspection.
Fire Drill and Escapes
During sailing courses, a Senior Instructor or Instructor will be nominated as Fire Warden and is responsible for executing the emergency action plan if required. Their responsibilities include ensuring that all escape routes from the club are kept clear of bags and equipment and conducting regular Fire Drills. The Club Principal is responsible for overseeing the Fire Warden(s) and is responsible for ensuring that all escape doors and windows are functioning properly and shall check them not less than once monthly in Summer Season.
MBSC will conduct a Fire Prevention briefing at commencement of each course. Details of each Fire Drill shall be recorded in the Fire Drill Log which is filed in the Standard Operations Manual. This is a legal obligation. The Fire Drill Log must be available for inspection at any time by authorized Fire Service personnel.
Suitable escape information signage should be placed at appropriate locations. “No Smoking” signs shall be displayed at the club.
- Smoking is always prohibited in MBSC, in accordance with 2004 legislation prohibiting smoking in the workplace.
- Portable, open-flame, gas powered heating appliances are expressly prohibited inside any MBSC buildings, boat or structure.
- Gas-powered blow torches shall not be used by anyone except for suitably trained permanent employees and instructors. Trainees are not permitted to use such equipment.
- Petrol, acetone and any other flammable liquid shall not be stored in any MBSC building. Suitable storage for such flammable liquids shall be provided and sited on the sand quay e away from Club and are clearly marked.
- Anyone found interfering with or damaging in any way any item of emergency fire equipment shall be immediately dealt with by the Club Principal or any Committee member present. An Incident Report shall be filled out and the General Committee informed.
Club Principal, Senior Instructors and Instructors shall have a recognized First Aid Certificate. A list of certified first aiders including Staff, members and volunteers should always be maintained and be available in the Club office. The list of first aiders should also be included in the Emergency Action Plan and procedures document.
First Aid Kits
- MBSC shall seek appropriate medical advice on the required contents of First Aid Kits.
- The Club Principal and Senior Instructors shall be responsible for the maintenance of First Aid Kits.
- First Aid Kits and their inventories shall be maintained through monthly inspections.
Club Hut First Aid Kit/ Club House First Aid Kit
This is the largest kit available at MBSC and may contain certain items which should only be administered by a qualified First Aider.
Safety Bags (each Safety Boats)
This is a basic First Aid kit.
REVISION OF THE SAFETY STATEMENT
- The General Committee shall include a review of the Safety Statement in at least one meeting a year.
- Any member can submit proposals to the General Committee, or any of the other relevant sub-committees for updating and improving the Safety Statement.
- All such proposals will be reviewed and considered with General Committee having final say on adoption.
- The overall safety record of the club over the previous year shall be reviewed and the results of any incident proceedings summarized.
- The outgoing General Committee shall prepare a report at the end of each season highlighting any outstanding issues or items relating to the safety of the Safety Statement. This report will be a priority item for the coming General Committee.
PUBLICISING THE SAFETY STATEMENT
- An up-to-date copy of the Safety Policy shall be displayed on the club noticeboard in the MBSC clubhouse and on the Club website.
- An up-to-date copy of the Safety Statement will be available in the Club.
- An up-to-date electronic copy of the Safety Statement shall be given to all General Committee and sub-committee members.
- An up-to-date copy of the Safety Statement will be available for download on the club’s website.
- The Safety Statement will be available to club members and parents on request to the Club Principal or through the Club.
- All Sailing Instructors employed by the Club will be provided with an electronic copy of the Safety Statement and will acknowledge receipt as part of the contracting process.
- An updated and approved Safety Statement compiled by the General Committee will take precedence over any information displayed on the website.
CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
Children are the lifeblood of the sport of sailing, and it is crucial that they are cared for in the right manner. MBSC is fully committed to safeguarding the wellbeing of all children whether club members or visitors and operates under the guidelines contained in the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport in Ireland. For the purposes of this Code a child is any person under the age of 18. In order to provide young people with the best possible experiences and opportunities in the sport of sailing, it is imperative that every individual involved in the club should, always, show respect and understanding for the rights, safety and welfare of all involved, demonstrate exemplary behavior and operate within an accepted ethical framework.This not only ensures the sport of sailing makes a positive contribution to the development of young people, safeguards them and promotes their welfare but also protects all personnel from allegations of poor practice and abuse.
Copies of the Irish Sports Councils ‘Code of Ethics’ are available from the nominated Children’s Officers, the Club office, the offices of the ISA and can be downloaded from the Irish Sports Council website (www.irishsportscouncil.ie).
Children’s Officers and Designated Liaison Person
Children’s Officers are appointed within clubs to act as a resource for children and represent them at Committee level. All ISA Training Centers and sailing schools must have a Children’s Officer as set out in section 2.6.1 of the ‘Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport in Ireland’.
A Designated Liaison Person is a person who is responsible for reporting allegations or suspicions of child abuse to the Statutory Authorities. This person will also be responsible for dealing with any concerns about the protection of young people.
All nominations for Children’s Officers and Designated Persons in MBSC will be reviewed and ratified through the General Committee and will also commit themselves to the Clubs Code of Conduct as part of this process. MBSC will also ensure Children’s Officers and Designated Persons have opportunity to attend and complete the recommended training as per guidelines laid out under the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport in Ireland.
Only the Gardai and Health Service Executive have the responsibility for the investigation and/or validation of suspected child abuse in the ROI.
Personal Complaints Procedure
On receipt of a formal complaint, the complaint is sent to the Secretary for action and the following procedure takes place:
- Secretary circulates copy of complaint to General Committee requesting them to vote on whether any further action should be taken or not.
- If General Committee decide that further action is required, a Complaints Sub-Committee is created and convened, and the complaint forwarded on to the person complained of with a copy of this procedure and letter outlining procedure.
- Both the complainant and person complained of will be notified of the members of the Complaints Sub-Committee and will have the right to object to any member, in which case a replacement will be found.
- In the first instance, the complainant is interviewed to get greater detail, and this interview is minuted / recorded.
- Any witnesses are also interviewed, and these interviews are also minuted.
- A copy of these minutes is forwarded to the person complained of.
- An interview is then arranged, and the person complained of is also invited to bring witnesses.
- The complainant may also be invited to attend and his/her requirement to attend is at the discretion of the person complained of.
- The Complaints Sub-Committee will question those attending.
- Following this hearing, the Complaints Sub-Committee may convene a further meeting if further information is required, or any clarifications needed.
- Following any hearing/s, the Complaints Sub-Committee will then decide on a proposed course of action and make their recommendation to the General Committee.
- The General Committee will then decide on what, if any, action should be taken.
- The person complaining will have a right of appeal to the Commodore who may enlist external parties to further decide on the issue.
Safe Sailing Policy
- Sailors should be able to swim or be water confident.
- Suitable lifejackets, buoyancy aids or personal flotation devices shall always be worn when on the water.
- Suitable clothing and footwear must always be worn when on the water.
- The number of rescue boats on the water should be appropriate to the number of boats sailing and the weather conditions. (minimum ratio of 10:1)
- All sailing boats must have adequate draining equipment on board.
- All sailing boats must have adequate buoyancy so that it will float when fully inverted or fully swamped.
- All members must make themselves aware of where the first aid kits within MBSC
- There must be no sailing at night unless you are participating in a formally organized event.
- If an incident should occur then it must be reported to the Committee at the earliest opportunity, at least within 24 hours.
- All sailors must enter their name, boat details and departure time in the sailing register prior to launching their boat. The sailing register will be in the clubhouse.
- All boats must supply a valid insurance policy and certificate providing appropriate third party cover and liability.
- If the event the General Emergency Alarm is signaled (7 Short blast 1 Long blast) all dinghy and sailing craft must return to the club jetty until further notice.
- Racing: During racing events a tagging board may be in operation as an alternative to the sailing register.
- Racing: Attention of all competitors is drawn to RRS Fundamental Rule 3 ‘Acceptance of the Rules’, 4 ‘Decision to Race’ and the ISA Safety Guidelines. Open boat entrants are referred to relevant class regulations.
- Racing: Boats shall keep clear of Race Committee vessels (committee boats, mark laying boats etc.) from the time the Committee Boat is on station prior to starting racing.
Safety Boat Policy
- Rescue cover will be provided for all club racing and organized sailing events. Rescue cover will not normally be provided by the club at other times. However, in emergency situations, the club safety boats may be launched at any time by suitably qualified members.
- There must be no less than one fully manned safety boat afloat before club racing or an organized sailing event can take place. In principle a ratio of one safety boat to ten competing boats shall apply.
- The responsibility of meeting the minimum rescue cover requirements shall lie with the Principal Race Officer or most senior General Committee member present.
- Any member of the General Committee or Sailing Committee shall have the authority to halt or postpone (but not to cancel) at his/her discretion any event until the minimum rescue cover requirements are met.
- If the occasion arises that the required number of safety boats cannot be fully manned, suitably qualified participants will be expected to offer their services in order to allow the event to commence. The crewing of safety boats is the responsibility of all senior members.
- The only people normally authorized to drive club safety boats are those who hold Level 2 or higher in the ISA Powerboat scheme. The driver of any safety boat must be accompanied by at least one other person when on rescue duty.
- Junior members under 16 years of age may not crew/helm on a club powerboat whilst it is actively engaged in or rostered to carry out rescue duties at any time (except at certain training events subject to the approval of the Club Principal or Senior Instructor present at that event.
- If the event the General Emergency Alarm is signaled (7 Short blast 1 Long blast) all safety boat crews must contact the Race Officer (or senior General Committee member) for further instructions (unless actively involved in rescuing individuals) and, if communications cannot be established, must return to the club marina for further instructions.
- The safety boat must carry the following items: a means of summoning help (radio, flares or other suitable devices), a compass, towing lines, a space blanket, knife, a basic tool kit, an anchor, a compass, a whistle, paddles or oars and a bailer.
- All safe boat drivers should practice their skills when afloat, and experienced drivers should give guidance and advice to the inexperienced.
- Suitable life jackets, buoyancy aids or personal flotation devices shall always be worn by drivers and crew when on the water.
- If a safety boat sustains any damage or there are problems with any of its equipment, then this should be recorded in the Safety Boat log located in the club house and reported to the Sailing Committee at the earliest opportunity, in order to facilitate prompt repairs.
- The club operates a program of rescue boat training throughout the year.
- Club rescue boats may be made available for other organized coaching and training activities. Requests should be made to the Sailing Committee.
- Club rescue boats may be made available for racing and sailing events at other sailing clubs. Requests must be reviewed and approved by the Sailing Committee.
- Rescue Boat Drivers should note the importance of proceeding at low speed when maneuvering in the vicinity of any other water users. This will reduce the risk and consequences of collisions as well as preventing the environmental impact and annoyance caused by wash and noise.