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BMF Health & Safety Guide: Marinas & Boatyards

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1.1 General

Marinas and boatyards present a particularly challenging and complex environment for putting in place safety management arrangements which fulfill legal, moral and business needs without being unduly complicated, restrictive to marina users’ activities or expensive.

This guide is intended to give a broad overview of the main health and safety issues which marina and boatyard managers have to deal with and guide them to resources which will help them find solutions which are realistic and pragmatic. It does not attempt to be comprehensive.

The BMF Guide to Members describes how the UK health and safety regulatory system works, the principles behind it and the main requirements. It is presumed that readers of this guide will be familiar with the content of the Guide to Members, hence that material is not repeated here.

This guide will also make reference to guides on specific health and safety topics relevant to marina management. These include topics which are generally applicable throughout UK businesses, for example, assessing computer workstations and welfare requirements.

For the purposes of this Guide, the following definitions of the principal stakeholders are used:

  •   Manager: The person responsible for managing the marina undertaking. The “employer” for the purposes of health and safety law.

  •   Clients: Persons who pay the manager for services such as provision of berths or shore services.

  •   Visitors: Members of the public or people on business who visit the marina from time- to-time.

A brief guide such as this cannot comprehensively cover all the health and safety issues in a particular marina. The Guide to Members and Sector Guides provide overviews of statutory requirements and some guidance on how to comply. They are not exhaustive and it is the responsibility of each employer to ensure that their particular business complies in the context of the services they provide and the circumstances of their operation.

Whilst great care has been taken in the preparation of these guides, the British Marine Federation and its advisers cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions, or for any consequences arising.

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1.2 Scope

This guide covers the operation of marinas, moorings and boatyards in coastal, tidal and inland areas, and certain areas of design that have a direct bearing on personal safety. For those seeking guidance on good practice for the wider aspects of marina design and operation, refer to the code of practice published by The Yacht Harbour Association Ltd1.

This guidance does not include:

  •   Design and management of catering facilities

  •   Refuse and waste disposal facilities

  •   Potable water supplies, or other utilities

  •   Events, such as races or regattas - these require safety planning in their own right

  •   Security

  •   Environmental management, including sewage treatment and disposal

  •   Health and safety during construction activity beyond the duties of the marina manager as ‘client’ for these works (see section 4.9 for further information)

1.3 Structure of this Guide

These are the sections of the guide:

  •   Section 1: Safety Management Overview. Discusses some of the main health and safety issues facing marina and boatyard managers 

  •   Section 2: Marina Inspection and Maintenance. The importance of this to achieving good health and safety standards and some of the main issues which arise

  •   Section 3: Services and Activities. Discusses some of the main areas of service provision and activity which present significant health and safety risks

  •   Section 4: Emergency Preparedness. How to be prepared

  •   Section 5: Communications. Effective communications with your clients and visitors 

Click here to read the full report

*Images courtesy of British Marine and Pixabay

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