Rowing Ireland Safety Document Introduction
Safety has become an increasingly important issue in sport and in our daily lives. Rowing is a safe sport when conducted with due consideration for the risks inherently associated with any outdoor water sport. The purpose of this document is to provide guidance and direction to rowing clubs affiliated to Rowing Ireland and to organisers of rowing events under the auspices of Rowing Ireland. The document contains best practice guidelines for clubs and event organisers.
All decisions regarding safety at rowing clubs and rowing events should be based on risk management as no safety document can possibly cover all situations. By continually assessing likely risks and taking action to manage them, some generalised standards can be developed, enabling us to provide guidance on how to avoid and take action regarding unforeseen hazardous situations.
The key elements in a risk management process are; a balanced assessment of risks in advance, the communication to club or competition members on how to take action to limit these risks and direction on how to cope with hazards when they occur. A policy of risk management also requires a review of system failures and any necessary re-shaping of guidance and rules in the light of the experience gained.
All clubs have a responsibility to provide information, education and training about safety to their members. Individual members also have a responsibility to find out, learn, question and implement safety best practice. Having safety in mind at all times is an important part of what it means to be a club member.
This document is not meant as an all-inclusive treatment of rowing safety, as all possible situations and types of rowing could not be effectively covered in such a publication. However, the guidelines contained in the document should serve as an outline for clubs and event organisers in drafting and implementing their own safety program.