Teaching safety to customers

Teaching Safety to Clients 

Clients in water activities, who are under the staff members supervision “duty of care” should be clear that the staff member is in command. 

Staff members supervising the activity have an obligation to advise clients of any inherent dangers involved with the activity, and how to minimise risks as appropriate to the level of expertise. 

Supervising staff members may be are required to teach safety information in relation to: 

  • Safe water activity location 
  • Rips and currents 
  • Equipment – dangers, carrying and handling in breaking waves 
  • Other water users and craft 
  • Inshore holes 
  • Sun and heat 
  • Rain and cold 
  • Wind and windblown sand 
  • Sandbanks 
  • Waves 
  • Hot sand 
  • Procedures in the event of an emergency (accident) occurring 
  • Attitude (unsure, frightened) 
  • Traffic at pick-up locations 
  • Safe access on/off bus/vehicles 
  • Uneven ground 
  • Sharp objects in set up area 
  • Other park and footpath users 
  • Insect bites 
  • Other safety information that applies to the activity location 

Refer to the “Specific Activity Risk Management Register” for safety information that is taught to clients. 

Safety information is provided to all clients, regardless of how many lessons they have previously had or whether they are regular clients. 

The level and depth of safety information supervising staff members teach will depend on the age, skill and knowledge level of the clients. 

Where necessary, the supervising staff member may test that clients have understood the safety information provided by the supervising staff member. e.g. 

  • emergency recall signals 
  • board control 
  • staying in designated area 
  • maintaining safety space 
  • dismount and wipe-out procedure 

The supervising staff member could test regular clients by quizzing them on current conditions compared to previous conditions e.g. what did they notice was different. 

If these tests are not completed to the supervising staff members satisfaction, the water activity should be re-structured to include further instruction and practice.