Water Safety Workshops

   Water Safety Workshops

We evaluated the medium term outcomes of the RoSPA/RNLI workshop on the Management of Water Safety in Local Authorities, which was held on April 9, 2019. The workshop was an opportunity for local authorities to move towards developing their own policy on water safety and identify any barriers to doing so. This work helps to meet a key objective of the Scottish Drowning Prevention Strategy 2018-2026, which seeks to develop water safety across Scotland’s 32 local authority areas and promote the development of water safety policies.

A  water safety policy covers key aspects in water safety such as risk profile, guidance and procedure, risk assessment, signage, public rescue equipment, inspections and education. RoSPA used the Scottish Community Safety Network’s (SCSN) and Evaluation Support Scotland’s (ESS) evaluation framework to help evaluate the success of the workshop and if it made any lasting impact on local authorities.

Our previous short-term outcomes were detailed, analysed and evaluated within the preliminary report, which can be accessed here. Twenty-four people attended the workshop with 15 local authorities represented. The overall short-term results showed that the workshop had a positive impact and increased participants' ability to identify risks, understand the need for a policy as well as the need to focus on prevention. In addition, confidence levels rose with regards to focusing on prevention. Our medium-term outcomes were analysed six months later via an online survey. Nine local authorities responded to the survey.

Prior to the workshop, only one local authority present was signed up to WAID (Water Incident Database). Eight local authorities in our online survey said that they were in the process or had already signed up to WAID – highlighting the commitment of the local authorities to drowning prevention. Our survey also found positive responses to the understanding of the need for a policy, as well as the need to focus on prevention suggesting that the workshop has had a lasting impact on participants and their understanding of water safety policies and the need for prevention.

Most importantly, prior to the workshop only one local authority in attendance had a water safety policy in place. Of the nine local authorities that participated in the six-month survey, five local authorities said they were currently developing a water safety policy. This highlights an important step for drowning prevention in Scotland as local authorities begin to develop and implement policies to help increase water safety.
 
Our full report can be accessed online and features a case study from East Ayrshire Council.
 
Carlene McAvoy, community safety development manager
 
Posted: 11/12/2019 12:03:09 PM 0 comments



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