Club Risk Assessment
Bay Malton Angling Club is an association of its members and is not a legal entity in its own right. The subscriptions of the members do not buy a product but a pooling of all the Club’s member’s subscriptions enables the elected officers of the club to provide benefits for all members that would be beyond the resources of the individual members. Through the AGM the members have an opportunity to influence the direction of the Club. This legal structure leads to some complexity with regard to Safety considerations. We hope this document assists members understand how they can help the Committee (and hence the Club) stay on top of the Club’s safety management.
The Club (ie collectively the whole of the membership) rents or owns fishing rights and access on various waters on behalf of its members and where possible keeps those waters and access as hazard free as reasonably possible. However, the amount of work that can be undertaken is limited by the money available and the amount of time members are prepared to volunteer. It can be seen therefore that it is in the interest of all members for members to cooperate with the Club in helping minimise hazards and associated risk.
Angling is generally a very safe sport and there are few serious incidents. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t the potential for nasty accidents. Like driving, something we all do largely without any worries, experience, rules and technique are the main methods by which hazards and associated risks are minimised. Making the bankside experience so antiseptic that all hazards and associated risks were eliminated would take most of the enjoyment out of the sport.
This note is an attempt to outline simple measures Club members can employ to help keep such hazards to a minimum for the benefit of both themselves and all other members. Most Club members are experienced anglers and will be aware of most hazards and how to minimise the risks associated with those hazards. However members of the Club include younger anglers, people with restricted mobility, people with a degree of infirmity etc. and we can all help minimise the risks to these members.
The Club cannot afford to inspect every water every day and the simplest, and probably the most important, way that all members can help is to report to the Club office (on 01270 820812 or Secretary@Baymaltonanglingclub.org.uk ) any issues they notice on waters when they are fishing. Such issues could include restricted or blocked access, excessive water on the access or banks, excessive growth around the pegs making the water edge ill defined, crumbling edges, unstable fishing platforms or missing planks, bad icing that may necessitate the water being closed for a period etc.
There is nothing more pleasant than sitting at the waterside on a sunny Summer’s afternoon or evening. At the time it is difficult to imagine that the same location can rapidly become quite hazardous after a few days of heavy rain or snow and ice. Would all members ensure that they are dressed properly for the weather and take care to avoid areas of the banks that are slippery. Falling into cold water can be very dangerous. Wading in a swollen river is to be avoided. Even simple cold weather can lead to loss of muscle control, particularly for the older members - a frightening experience.
It is clearly advantageous that somebody knows where you will be fishing and what time you will be home. Carrying a mobile phone will enable you to summon assistance if you are alone and obviously fishing with a friend makes life a lot simpler.
Keeping the bank tidy will ensure that bottles and cans do not form a hazard for other anglers or livestock that may also be grazing in the fields around. The water maintenance parties regularly clear large amounts of rubbish, including bottles and empty cans, from around the Club’s waters. Please ensure that your rubbish is not contributing to this completely unnecessary hazard. This is also probably the major gripe that Landlords have about anglers and there is always the danger that the Landlord may refuse to lease any particular water to the Club as a result.
Finally the equipment we all use is not without hazards. Sticking a barbless hook in the finger is unpleasant but not generally dangerous. Catching a bystander while casting can be very nasty. Please be observant of those around you. Finally who hasn’t ended up with their tackle in the trees. When pulling it out of the tree it is very important that nobody is in the line of the flight of the tackle when it comes free. Somebody recently ended up with a pole float stuck in their hand.
We hope you all have safe and enjoyable experiences on the Club’s waters.