Everyone involved in rowing has a Duty of Care to ensure their actions both on and off the water are conducted in a manner which does not compromise the safety of others. Adults also have a personal responsibility for their own safety.
Clubs have a responsibility for the safety of their members and for the development of a culture of safety in all activities associated with rowing. The primary responsibility for ensuring safe practice within a club lies with the Club Ofﬁcers and the Club Committee. The Club Committee should appoint a speciﬁc individual as a Club Safety Adviser to take the lead in promoting safe practice, but such an appointment does not remove the accountability for safety from the Ofﬁcers and Committee members. In this respect, every member of a club has an important part to play.
Minimum Standards are described throughout the Row Safe Guide and they should be regarded as stronger guidance than the recommendations included under the heading of Further Good Practice. Minimum Standards are not mandatory and each one should be assessed in relation to the speciﬁc circumstances represented by the location, conditions, crew composition and any other relevant factors.
The decision to adopt any of the minimum standards of the Row Safe Guide rests with the club ofﬁcers and Committee or the Event Committee and should be based on a thorough risk assessment. It is recommended that where it is decided not to adopt a minimum standard, the justiﬁcation is recorded in the club or event risk assessment documentation.
A Club Safety Adviser must not be seen as the only person responsible for safety but rather the person who can advise the Committee and work with the Captain, Ofﬁcers, coaches and others to identify and respond to safety issues by adopting Minimum Standards and good practice. If, for any reason, a Club Safety Adviser is not appointed or does not adequately perform this advisory function the accountability for the provision of adequate safety advice remains with the Ofﬁcers and Committee.
The nature of clubs varies enormously and this will inﬂuence how a club manages safety and addresses the various issues. The approach taken by the club is therefore dictated by the way the Ofﬁcers and Committee decide to manage safety and adopt the Minimum Standards.
Regional Rowing Councils (RRCs) have a responsibility to develop a culture of safety in their Region. The role of the RRC is to support clubs in organising their activities to meet the Minimum Standards, whilst allowing for an interpretation based on the types of clubs, waters used and activities in the Region.
The nature of Regions varies enormously and this will inﬂuence how each one approaches its responsibilities. The role of the Regional Water Safety Adviser, working with others, will therefore be inﬂuenced by how the Region wishes to develop a positive safety culture.
British Rowing has the responsibility to develop and maintain a culture of safe practice in rowing and to support everyone involved in the sport in their efforts to achieve this.