Health and Safety Guidelines When Working Near Water

Working near water can be a hazardous activity, but it can be made much safer by following a few simple guidelines, outlined below.
  • Assess the risks. This includes considering the depth of the water, the currents, the weather conditions, and the presence of any hazards, such as underwater obstacles or wildlife. 
  • Take appropriate precautions. Once you have assessed the risks, take appropriate precautions to mitigate them. This may include wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), such as life jackets, hard hats, and safety glasses. It may also involve using safety equipment, such as ropes, ladders, and lifebuoys. 
  • Be aware of your surroundings. When you are working near water, it is important to stay aware of your surroundings. This means paying attention to the water level, the weather conditions, and the presence of other people and objects. 
  • Never work alone. If possible, always work with a partner when you are working near water. This way, someone will always be there to help you if you get into trouble. 
  • Be prepared for emergencies. In the event of an emergency, it is important to be prepared. This means having a plan in place and knowing how to access help. 


Health and safety guidelines which are specific to certain types of work near water: 

  • Construction workers: When working on or near water, construction workers should wear life jackets and be aware of the risks of falling into the water. They should also use safety equipment, such as ropes and ladders, to prevent falls. 
  • Fishermen: Fishermen should wear life jackets and be aware of the risks of being swept away by currents or falling overboard. They should also use safety equipment, such as lifebuoys and flares, in case of an emergency. 
  • Swimmers: Swimmers should never swim alone and should be aware of the risks of rip currents and other hazards. They should also wear appropriate clothing and footwear, such as a swimsuit and water shoes. 
  • Boaters: Boaters should always wear life jackets and be aware of the risks of capsizing or falling overboard. They should also use safety equipment, such as flares and radios, in case of an emergency. 


Top tips for staying safe when working near water: 

  • Be aware of the weather conditions and avoid working in bad weather. 
  • Check the water level before you start working – be prepared to evacuate if the water level rises. 
  • Avoid working near water if you are tired or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 
  • Be aware of the presence of wildlife and take necessary precautions to avoid being bitten or stung. 
  • Clean and disinfect any cuts or scrapes that you get while working near water. 


By following these tips, you can help to keep yourself safe when working near water. 

The iProtectU health and safety software provides: 

  • An inspection and Audit App which allows for safety inspection of the workplace and associated report 
  • eLearning on a wide range of EHS topics 
  • Scheduling functionality for managers to send eLearning, risk assessments and documents out to all staff via the software with tracks completion and compliance 
  • Risk assessment templates covering working near water 
  • Management system to document control the policy on working near water  
  • Method Statement module for the creation of work activity working instructions 
  • Legal register that provides legislation guidance on working safely near water 
  • Incident investigation module that tracks incidents involving working near water both with an app and via desktop 
  • Hazard observation app where staff can report and record any concerns regarding working near bodies of water to the organisation 
  • Asset management App ensuring assets are recorded in the software 




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