Occupational water safety and rescue
The RLSS UK National Water Safety Management Programme is a flexible, modular framework of qualifications.
The aims of the National Water Safety Management Programme are to:
Equip anyone working in, on or near water with essential knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about managing safety
Enable group leaders to deliver safer activity at open water sites
Develop occupational water safety skills for employees working around the water margins
Facilitate compliance with statutory and civil obligations, especially the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 with related regulations covering safe systems of work
Develop effective emergency response skills for those working in a water-based environment
Businesses often make comprehensive provision for training employees in common aspects of health and safety such as first aid, fire safety, manual handling and COSHH. The same emphasis is not always given to water safety. Open water is typically cold, deep, fast moving and difficult to enter and exit, with hidden underwater dangers. In many businesses, employees need to understand and manage the specific risks associated with these unfamiliar hazards.
The NWSMP is a suite of entry level, modular and interlinked training awards which offer a flexible approach to water safety training. It has been specifically created to help employers protect employees from risk of harm as the result of working near or around water. It is suitable for a wide range of circumstances, including:
the construction industry, where builders, architects and engineers work on sites near, on, in or over open water
the police, ambulance and fire service responding to incidents before the arrival of specialist back up
utility companies and local government services working in proximity to water, especially under flood condition
It is especially suitable for people who work with children such as teachers, scout and guide leaders, youth group leaders and outdoor activities professionals. Don't let a lack of confidence in risk assessing activities close to, in or on water prevent you running the trips you know will inspire those you lead or teach.
The programme starts with Level 1, the Water Safety Awareness Module, which provides the theoretical platform for more advanced modules. Environment specific modules cover hazards associated with flood, beach, river and still water as well as basic rescue techniques. The flood module meets DEFRA standards (Module 1 Water Awareness). For anyone requiring more advanced rescue skills, the In-Water Rescue Module covers essential in-water rescue knowledge and tests competency. Life Support can be bolted on to make a truly comprehensive programme.
The latest addition to the National Water Safety Management Programme is the Aquatic Personal Protective Equipment (APPE) module, providing in depth guidance on a selection of appropriate APPE and correct use, including commercial lifejackets.
The National Water Safety Management Programme is a Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) certificated award. Level 1 includes a self study pack and a four hour guided learning unit. Each Level 2 and Level 3 module involves three hours of training. The duration of the course will depend on modules taken but a typical programme, covering Level 1, two Level 2 modules and Level 3 requires 2 days of training.
For more information, including the full syllabus, visit the RLSS UK website.