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Modifying Your Working Risk Assessment

Your club should already have a risk assessment for all club activities. As we move through the 4 phases specified in the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 Routemap, Scottish Rowing advises reviewing and modify your current risk assessment before returning to rowing activity every time relevant government guidance changes.

You should do this by considering all relevant COVID-19 specific hazards to all sections of your risk assessment and adjusting your mitigations accordingly.

When reviewing all sections of your risk assessment, it is important to note that you may not be able to mitigate for the COVID-19 specific hazards in all instances.

The key principle of any risk assessment remains the same; should a hazard apply for an activity that you cannot safely mitigate for, then that activity should not go ahead.

This may mean that some activities that were previously possible might not be while certain COVID-19 specific hazards that cannot be mitigated remain. For example, where physical distancing requirements are in place, certain crew boats may not be permitted.

We recommend clubs err on the side of caution to ensure your members are kept safe and to follow the spirit of the government guidance.

Finally, we recommend reviewing your risk assessment as soon as it has been implemented to ensure that you have appropriately mitigated for all hazards, including those which may have only become apparent in practice.

New Hazards and Mitigations to Consider

Scottish Rowing suggests that two key hazards will influence a risk assessment for the return to rowing:

  • Exposure or transmission of Covid-19 from members who are symptomatic or have been exposed to the virus and attend the club
  • Essential protections which need to be applied (physical distancing requirements, frequent handwashing and hygiene measures for all and cough etiquette)

Please refer to the table below for some hazards which may be present due to COVID-19 and some considerations to mitigate for these hazards. Please note these are not exhaustive and you should complete your risk assessment based on your specific club circumstances:

Potential COVID-19 Hazards

Example Mitigations to Reduce Risk of Hazards

Exposure or transmission of Covid-19 from members who are symptomatic or have been exposed to the virus and attend the club, leading to:
  • potential cross contamination between members who are in proximity with each other at the club.
  • potential cross contamination between members from touching shared surfaces such as doors, handles, taps and toilets, or using shared equipment such as boats, oars, trestles, and cleaning products.
Follow government guidance - Do not leave your home to row if Government advice means you should stay at home because you or someone you live with has or has had symptoms of COVID-19, or you are in the most vulnerable category and have been advised to shield from the coronavirus. People who are shielding should not undertake activities. People who are symptomatic should self-isolate for 7 days and household members for 14 days in accordance with NHS guidance.
Frequent hygiene and handwashing measures for all
Physical distancing requirements in place
PPE to be worn, used, cleaned, and disposed of where appropriate
Consider adopting a cleaning protocol for all shared surfaces and equipment, considering responsibility of cleaning, frequency of cleaning, products and equipment used, maintenance of these products and equipment etc.
Consider how any new rules and/or operating practices are effectively communicated to all members e.g. signage, correspondence, videos etc.
Essential protections which need to be applied, leading to e.g.:
  • challenges maintaining physical distancing requirements when providing safety cover or rescues
  • challenges maintaining in physical distancing requirements in other normal aspects of rowing e.g. crew boats, launching/landing boats, outdoor and indoor spaces etc.
Consider which parts of the building can be open or closed based on government guidance and how this will be enforced
Frequent hygiene and handwashing measures for all
PPE to be worn, used, cleaned, and disposed of where appropriate
Consider the competency of rowers, specifically focussed on the likelihood of capsize, and the ability to self-rescue
Consider adopting a cleaning protocol for all shared surfaces and equipment, considering responsibility of cleaning, frequency of cleaning, products and equipment used, maintenance of these products and equipment etc.
Consider adaptations to provide first aid and resuscitations safely in the event of an emergency
Consider how any new rules and/ or operating practices are effectively communicated to all members e.g. signage, correspondence, videos etc

Further Support

Scottish Government Route Map:

The Government’s Route Map can be found here:

Coronavirus – A Framework for Decision Making

NHS Inform Advice on how to avoid catching or spreading the virus:

Advice on how to avoid catching or spreading the virus including hygiene measures can be found here:

Coronavirus (Covid-19) General Advice

Cleaning Protocols:

For advice regarding effective cleaning protocols, please refer to guidance supplied by Health Protection Scotland, specifically regarding “Environmental decontamination (cleaning and disinfection) after a possible case has left a workplace or other non-healthcare setting”:

Health Protection Scotland guidance for non-healthcare settings

Health Protection Scotland guidance for hand hygiene

First Aid & Resuscitation:

For advice regarding first aid and resuscitation while obeying physical distancing, please refer to guidance supplied by Resuscitation Council UK:

St John's Ambulance - COVID-19: Advice for First Aiders

Resuscitation Council UK - COVID-19 CPR and Resuscitation Guidance

Regional Development Manager Support:

Should you require further support or guidance on the above, please contact your Regional Development Manager.