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ARS Health and Safety

1st April 2020 @ 6:06am – by Lottie Svelte
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Audlem Rambling Society – Health and Safety Update

Whilst the Society is currently shutdown due to the Covid-19 crisis, by releasing these details now, it will give our walkers time to prepare. Please note that the photographs of Committee members practicing the new rules were taken well before the recent government announcements.

ARS has been asked to revise their Health and Safety Policy by their insurers following the rapid rise in claims against similar walking groups. Prior to the current virus situation the ARS Committee have been working on this and are now in a position to release the following statement from their Health and Safety Officer, Steve Elliott:-

"Over the 25 years that ARS has been walking, we have had a very good record on Health and Safety, with only one serious incident during that time. However, our insurers have recently asked us to re-assess our Health and Safety Policy in the light of these increasingly litigious times. As a result we are issuing new guidelines to reassure our existing and potential future members of our commitment to their safety whilst out walking with ARS."
The main changes to our existing policy are:-

  • 1. High-Visibility jackets or vests to worn at all times.
  • 2. Wearing of a life-jacket is mandatory whilst walking close to water.
  • 3. Dogs are welcome on most ARS walks but in future they must be muzzled and kept on a short lead at all times and please note that points 1 and 2 above also apply.
  • 4. No stopping at public houses or partaking of alcohol whilst out walking with ARS.
  • 5. On gradients above 10%, or when the leader deems it to be appropriate, walkers are to be roped together and wear helmets.
  • 6. Falls can occur in the most unexpected and apparently innocuous places so walkers are advised to hold the hand of their nearest companion whenever possible – in pairs preferably, but threesomes are permitted when space permits.
  • 7. In view of the increasingly sudden changes in our weather ARS have acquired additional safety equipment including: sun-shades; flotation devices; ice axes and crampons. Before each walk the leader should make a full and rigorous assessment as to whether any of these items may be required.
  • 8. All ARS members will be required to carry emergency supplies at all times.
  • 9. In future the ARS first-aid kits will include condoms – these items have many proven uses in an emergency e.g. as a protective glove or sock, a water carrier, a temporary lid, an emergency bandage, a tourniquet or an emergency float. Please note however that these items are only for use in an extreme situation and any member using them for other purposes must replace them immediately at their own expense.

We are sure that our members will understand the seriousness of this matter and that the ARS Committee are purely concerned with the well-being of our colleagues."

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