WORKING IN RIVERS

 

Risk Assessment :

         Risk to worker,

Drowning (uneven/unstable river bed, strong current, deep pools, falling timber, unbalanced by co-worker. Infectious Disease,(through cuts, Weils disease, d/s from STW outfalls, dead sheep) Trauma from sharps, submerged obsrtuctions, barbed wire.Physical strains from excessive lifting in a difficukt environment.

         Risk to co-workers,

Unbalancing when manouevering in-stream debris.

         Use of tools,

(dealt with under specific tool headings)

 

CODE OF SAFE PRACTICE

Equipment:

         (dealt with under specific tool headings)

 

Protective Clothing:

         Waders of suitable length should be worn. These should have non-slip soles.

         Life jackets should be available.

 

Site Assessment:

         Prior to the commencement of work, the site should be inspected and assessed for specific hazards, as set out in general safety procedures.

 

 

Safe System of Work:

         No person on their own shall work in the river.

         When working in water of uncertain depth, a depth measuring stick should be used first to map out the stream bottom.

         Where water is above waist level, or where the current is strong, only good swimmers in good health should attempt clearance work, and there must be a specific observer present on the bank to assist if difficulties are encountered.

         A rope or lifeline must be within easy reach of co-workers on the bank.

         There must always be at least one person on the bank who could provide assistance and raise the alarm in an emergency. This person must be aware of the Nat Grid ref of the site, and also the location of the nearest telephone.

         There must be more than one strong swimmer in the work party.

         No one working in the river may enter an exclusion zone until the supervisor indicates that it is safe to do so.

         When moving debris in co-ordination with other workers, the person in the stream should give the directions. When more than one person involved is in the river, the person in the deepest part should give the directions. No one should move until all are ready to do so.

         Should any person swallow river water accidentally, they should contact their doctor within 24 hours

         Any injury sustained whilst working in the river should be reported to the safety supervisor and logged on the record sheet.

 

 

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Copyright fishwatch 1998