MVB Canoeing Risk Management Overview

Note that all canoeing events are vetted by the events coordinator for safety and risk evaluation who may consult with the committee of the club before an event is approved. Canoeing leaders are expected to follow the procedural analysis for risk assessment with every canoeing event that is programmed.

Risk Management is a four step process.

Step 1: Identify hazards

Step 2: Assess risks

Step 3: Control risks

Step 4: Review 

Hazard Risk Likelihood Consequence Risk Rating Risk Controls

Hypothermia from immersion

Injury or Death

Unlikely for a midsummer paddle in the Murray River or Lake Hume.
Moderate in spring and autumn

High in winter or in cold wet conditions

High

Low

  • Canoe leader to avoid paddles in cold wet conditions and take steps to minimise immersion duration in cold to very cold water (below 18 degrees)
  • Research the canoeing route in terms of emergency exit routes & safe places
  • Dont program events in winter and/or consider cancellation of the event in these conditions
           

Extreme
heat

Dehydration / Heat Stroke Moderate in Summer Medium Critical

Medium

High

  • Clothing checklist for sun protection
  • Club provides health / safety emergency-response training/education
  • Gear checklist includes capacity to carry adequate amounts of water
  • Leader (remote and extended paddles) must make every attempt to confirm water availability and inform party members if special measures required e.g. carry extra water.

Snake Bite

Injury

Death

Unlikely

Unlikely

Medium

Critical

Low

Low

  • Gear checklist includes snake bite bandage, mobile phone, emergency beacon
  • Club provides health / safety emergency response training /education
    Club provides first aid training for leaders
     

Dehydration

Immobility

Unlikely in evening paddles on Murray River

Moderate in long day paddles or multi day overnight trips

Low

Medium

Medium

  • Leader to make effort to ensure water availability and advise participants accordingly as to how much water to carry
  • Provision of training/education to advise of the risks of dehydration and strategies to avoid it

Trapped underwater

 Drowning

Unlikely in evening paddles on Murray River

Unlikely in long day paddles or multi day overnight trips

 

 

  • Events have a grading system so participants are aware of what the event will entail
  • Leaders to advise potential participants of the river conditions and the nature of the activity
  • Leaders must be satisified that the participants have the appropriate skills and abilities
  • Leaders must ensure that PFD appropriate equipment is worn and fitted correctly
    Leaders must ensure participants are briefed with the MVB canoeing safety procedures prior to entering water

Capsized boat

Injury and/or loss of personal belongings

Unlikely in evening paddles on Murray River

Medium in anabranches and creeks with fast flowing sections

Medium

 

Low

  • Leaders must warn participants of the danger
    Leaders must be satisified that the participants have the appropriate skills and abilities
    Leaders must ensure participants are briefed with the MVB capsized canoe recovery procedures prior to entering water
    Gear checklist includes throw rope for recovery of participants if necessary

Flooded rivers

Drowning

Likely in some areas

Crtitical

Low

  • If an event involves paddling in flooded river conditions leaders must determine flow rates and levels and either cancel the event in unsafe conditions or plan an alternative activity

Electrical storms

Lightning strike or tree fall

Likely in some areas

Critical

Low

  • Club provides health / safety emergency response training / education

Property damage

Leaving gates open

Likely in some areas

Medium

Low

  • Club protocols about private property, gates, animals, vehicles, control of children etc

Vehicle accident

Accident, injury , death Likely in some conditions Critical Low
  • Leaders must implement club protocols on driving distances, sharing driving, finish time of walks, driving in unsealed, mud and/or snow conditions - overnight stays if appropriate
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