Safety Risk Assessment

Bishop Auckland District Angling Club Safety & Risk Assessment Statement:

It is the duty of Bishop Auckland District Angling Club to advise its members, officials and all visiting anglers with the principals of safety and risk assessment. All members, officials and visiting anglers should make themselves aware of the risks they face in the surroundings they find themselves and carry out their own risk assessment. This usually amounts to common sense. All persons must then take the appropriate action to ensure their own safety and that of others. However, it is a requirement that all anglers read, understand and accept this Safety & Risk Assessment Statement.

All Angling activities are undertaken at the Anglers own risk.

General Risks Associated With Angling

 1. Paths:

Only use obvious paths along the bank. Always beware of cyclists, horse riders and walkers. Do not place anything on the path which may cause a trip hazard. Beware of tree roots, brambles etc. which may cause trip hazards. Not all paths on BADAC waters are maintained, take care when using all paths.

 2. Wading:

Take particular care when wading in deep or fast water and on rocky bottoms. Use a wading staff and wading belt at all times. A floatation device or buoyancy aid is also recommended but is at each Anglers discretion. It is strongly advised that all Anglers familiarize themselves with wading any pools to be fished in good daylight conditions before attempting to fish during the hours of darkness. Ensure that the footwear you choose is adequate for the terrain.

3. Power Lines:

Do not fish under or near power lines, electricity can arc over considerable distances. You are ideally earthed in water to conduct electricity. Carbon fibre rods are also an excellent conductor of electricity as is a fly line coated in water. Power lines which cross the river are marked on the banks with a post and sign both upstream and downstream of the power line. Power lines away from the river bank are unmarked.

4. Trees:

Fishing under trees can be unsafe in windy conditions. Beware of falling branches.

5. Stiles, Bridges and Fences:

Always take care when negotiating stiles and crossing bridges. Fences and walls should not be climbed this causes damage and presents further unnecessary hazards. Before negotiating a stile or bridge a visual inspection should be made to ensure safety for use.

6. Electric Fences:

Electric fences which are used for the control of animals and can periodically discharge high voltages. Contact with the wires may result in a painful electric shock, or worse.

7. Lightning:

Again you are ideally earthed when in water and if using a graphite rod, you have a good lightning conductor. In case of lightning it is recommended that you lay your rod flat on the ground and take shelter (not under trees). A car is a good place to shelter.

8. Casting:

Always show consideration to other users on the river bank by avoiding contacting anyone with your back-cast. It is recommended that protective glasses are worn when fishing to protect your eyes from hooks and flies.

9. Hooks/Flies:

Hooks by their design are sharp and easily penetrate the skin. Their use brings them into contact with germs etc, that can be injurious to health. Caution should be used when handling hooks, tying on or removing hooks. Rusty hooks should be avoided at all times. Weighted flies can cause unpredictable movement of cast when casting. Extreme caution should be exercised. When casting all flies ensure they do not come in contact with you, your fellow anglers or the public, paying particular attention to persons using bank side paths.

10. Animals:

Treat all livestock with respect. Note that cattle can be troublesome! Avoid contact where possible and approach the river with caution.

11. Weils Disease

This is transmitted in rat’s urine. Never put wet lines in your mouth or any other items of tackle that has been in the water. Wear waterproof plaster on any cuts or abrasions. There may also be a risk in some waters from treated sewage effluent. Use anti bacterial hand-wash and avoid handling food items until you have washed thoroughly. Symptoms of Weils disease include: Chills, nausea & vomiting, sudden headaches, loss of appetite and muscle pain (particularly in the calves and lower back). If you have these symptoms after fishing, seek urgent medical attention.

12. Falling in the water:

Falling in the water may cause drowning. It is recommended that a buoyancy aid is worn at all times when on, in or near water. Wearing these devices is at each Anglers discretion and a matter considered at their own risk.

13. Weather Conditions:

The weather may change suddenly and cause unforeseen dangerous water conditions. Be constantly aware of changing weather and its consequences, particularly rising water levels on the River Wear which is a spate river.

14. Vehicles:

Vehicles must be driven in a courteous manner at all times, particularly on leaving public roads to access Club parking facilities. When parking in Club designated parking areas, please do so with due regard for other users and do not block access at any time.

When using ‘public parking’ please ensure that due respect and courtesy is given to residents, other road users, those requiring access and emergency services.

15. Risks specific to Junior Members:

Bishop Auckland District Angling Club recommends and expects that all Junior Anglers under the age of 12 years are supervised by an adult member at all times.

Junior members over 12 years of age are allowed to fish Club waters with parental consent.

It is recommended that Junior Anglers do not wade above knee height.

All Junior members should wear eye protection for their safety.

Junior Anglers under 16 years of age may not fish Club waters during hours of darkness (Sunset to Sunrise) unless accompanied by an Adult member who can supervise their safety, or with written parental consent (supplied to a Club Official).

All persons (Members, Guests and Day Permit Holders) fishing Club waters, do so at their own risk.