Summer 2003


Commodore’s Bit
Americas Cup
ATVSC Meeting
Bewl Water Visit
Commodores Quiz
Easter Egg Trophy
Hampton Regatta
Health and Safety Plan
Kitchen Skylight Removed
Jazz and BBQ program
Mid Thames Trophy
No Sailing = A lesson
Not just boats that rot
Open Weekend
Painshill Park Visit
Safety Boat Service
Sailing Report
SigneTs at Paxton Lakes
Regatta & ST program
Social Calendar program
Start of Season Party
Working Party

Health and Safety Plan

Every year sailing clubs are inundated with paperwork from official bodies. Recently Health & Safety has been occupying many organizations thinking. This topic featured as an agenda item at the Commodores Conference during this years RYA Sailboat and Windsurf Show at Alexander Palace.

It is rapidly becoming almost a legal requirement. You will know doubt therefore be reassured to know that AQSC now has such a document which is available to read in the clubhouse and on the clubs website.

Work started on this back in late 2002 and it went through no less than five drafts before the management committee felt that we had achieved the right balance for us.

So what's H&S all about? Well you may already have come into contact with it via your own place of work. Most companies now have such a procedure. At its most basic it is a method utilizing risk assessment to ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to protect the health and safety of all those who come into contact with AQSC's activities and premises. It is also the way in which AQSC ensures that it complies with The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and current Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations.

Our H&S plan is broken down into four parts. All of which serve as Appendix 1 to our existing General Rules and Bye Laws.

The first part is a statement of intent describing the organization, responsibilities and arrangements for carrying out the policy.

The second part is comprised of risk assessment guidance notes. Put simply, how to carry out a risk assessment.

The third part is the risk assessment form itself which is used in the identification of hazards, determination of whom is at risk, the evaluation of the risk (including severity and probability) and the current or required measures to mitigate the risk.

The forth part is the risk assessment register which is an ongoing record of decisions, actions and completions. More importantly it, and the other paperwork, is a written record of the measures the AQSC Management Committee takes to ensure that everything that can be done is done, to safeguard the membership while it utilizes the club facilities.

The importance of these records should not be under estimated. An example … when we apply for a bar license the local magistrates conduct a number of checks. In the past one of these has entailed visit from the local police. What was the first thing that they wanted to see? The visitor's book. Which is why I'm always banging on about signing in guests? A blank book is a sure sign we are not taking H&S seriously.

If you think this is a bit OTT I would draw your attention to what happened to a Kingston sailing club a couple of years ago. Basically the local council, who were responsible for checking Food Safety and Hygiene conformity, closed it on the spot because of the state of its kitchens. It was several months before it reopened. Thankfully we passed our last inspection with flying colors but you can never take these things for granted. Another reason, although not the only one, for the refurbishment work that has been going on recently in out club kitchen and bar areas.

If you would like to know more about the H&S plan and how it works please feel free to contact Peter Carpenter or myself at any time.

Mike (Over Easy) Baker