National Water Safety Forum




General Title
BSI Occupational health and safety management systems. General guidelines for the application of ISO 45001
Health and Safety Executive Managing for health and safety (HSG65)
A brief guide for controlling risks in the workplace (INDG163)
Health and Safety Regulation ...a short guide (HSC13)
Plan, Do, Check, Act: An introduction to managing for health and safety (INDG275)
Personal equipment on inland and inshore waters (AIS1)
RoSPA & Public Health England Delivering accident prevention in the new public health system: Water safety benefits and choice
National Water Safety Forum Principles for managing water related risks
Visitor Safety Group Managing Visitor Safety in the Countryside: Principles & Practice (£)
IJARE International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education: Peer reviewed journal
BMJ Injury Prevention: Peer reviewed journal
UKSAR Strategic overview of Search and Rescue in the United Kingdom of Britain and Northern Ireland (2017)



Coastal Title
British Marine Federation (£) Health and safety guide
Code of practice for the design, construction and operation of coastal and inland marinas and yacht harbours
Environment Agency The Coastal Handbook (2010)
Maritime & Coastguard Agency Kids Activity Zone
Strategic overview of Search and Rescue Framework in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (2008, Archive copy)
Recreational Safety Strategy
Managing Beach Safety (August 2019)
RNLI Beach safety flags and symbols
Coastal rescue equipment       
Beach and sea safety educational resources
Royal Yachting Association Managing personal watercraft (RYA-BMF joint publication)
Marine Management Organisation Marine Planning: A guide for local councils


Information and data Title
British Sub-Aqua Club Annual diving incident reports
CHIRP Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Program (Maritime Incident Reports)
Maritime & Coastguard Agency Leisure facts and figures book
Trends in watersports participation (Consortium publication) - See Research and Reports
National Water Safety Forum WAID database - holding water-related accident and incident data
Health and Social Care Information Centre  Hospital Episode Statistics online
RoSPA Home & Accident Leisure Surveillance System (HASS/LASS)
Annual drowning statistics (now part of WAID)
RNLI Lifeguard and annual rescue reports 


Inland Title
AINA Managing inland waterway safety risks : a good practice guide for navigation authorities (2015)
  Navigation signs and symbols : an industry standard for UK inland waterways (2006)
  Code for the Design, Construction and Operation of Hire Boats (AINA, MCA, BMF publication)
The Broads Authority Boating : safety pages
Canal & River Trust The Towpath Code
  The Boater's Handbook (Spring 2019 revision : CRT and EA joint publication)
  Canal & River Trust Explorers
  Guidance for Towpath Design (v2 January 2013)
  Towpath Mowing Guidelines (2007)
DFT Inland Water Safety Final Report of Scoping Study ; Present Roles and Responsibilities August 2002
Energy Networks Association Angler Safety : Managing Risks Associated with Angling in Close Proximity to Overhead Electric Power Lines (updated 2013)
Environment Agency Flood risk management -plans, information and alerts                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
Inland Waterways Association Towpaths Policy (updated Nov 2017)
The National Trust Activities - advice and information
Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) Reports into significant safety incidents
RoSPA Safety at Inland Water Sites (v2 2019)


Swimming pool Title
Swim England Facilities design and management advice
School swimming and water safety: Resources for schools
Safety management when teaching and coaching

Chartered Institute for the Management of

Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA)

Play equipment and water features in swimming pools (£)
Parental and operator guidance for child admission policies (2014)
Waterslides: a code of practice for safe operation (£)
Safe supervision for teaching and coaching swimming (Joint publication) (£)
Health and Safety Executive Managing health and safety in swimming pools (HSG 179) (4th Edition 2018)

Control of legionella and other infectious agents in spa-pool systems (HSG282) (1st Edition 2017)

Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group (PWTAG) Swimming Pool Water: Treatment and quality standards for pools and spas (£)
Royal Life Saving Society UK Various resources
RoSPA Taking children swimming
Holiday hotel swimming pools
Swimming Teachers Association Various resources


Education and awareness opportunities
Respect the Water RNLI led campaign targeting men aged 16-39, as this age group accounts for the biggest number of coastal drowning fatalities. Around two thirds of those who die around the UK coast are adult men.
Drowning Prevention Week Campaign week led by RLSS UK. Seeking to promote water safety awareness and cut down the number of preventable drowning incidents which occur in the UK every year.
Family Safety Week Campaign week led by RoSPA covering a broad range of safety topics including water safety.
School Swimathon Swim England has joined forces with the Swimathon Foundation to help pupils across the UK to ‘Swim their Best’ in the School Swimathon.
Water Safety Week Annual NFCC (was CFOA) led event in partnership with local fire officers and communities. #BeWaterAware
National Lifejacket Day An international campaign aimed at raising awareness of the correct choice and use of personal floatation devices.


Others network & Orgs Note
Visitor Safety Group Focus on visitor safety at rural and heritage sites, providing case studies and information on case law. Principles for visitor safety.
IoSH Rural Industries Group Requires IoSH membership.
Countryside Recreation Network Exchanges best practice on recreation issues. Publishes quarterly newsletter.
RoSPA Leisure Safety Leisure Safety  - Information regarding public safety issues.
RoSPA National Accident Prevention Strategy Strategy for England launched October 2018
Water UK Management of reservoirs. Water industry network.
Scottish Advisory Panel for Outdoor Education Framework and advice for local authorities in Scotland managing trips, visits and outdoor adventure activities.
 Local Government Association (LGA) Water safety toolkit for councils
Tidal Thames Water Safety Forum Drowning Prevention Strategy (2019)


Research and Reports

Unintentional & Intentional injury Report
Global report on drowning: preventing a leading killer (World Health Organisation 2014)  
Water incident related hospital admissions across England between 1997/8 and 2003/4: a retrospective descriptive study. Wilson and Henderson. (2005)  
The epidemiology of non intentional inland drowning on open water in Great Britain between 1989-2001. Henderson, Wilson and Cornall. (2005) * +
Drowning of British Children Abroad: An Indication of a European Problem. Sibert et al. Presented at the 7th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, Vienna, 2004. *  
Inland Drowning Trends in Great Britain. Henderson et al. Presented at the International Boating and Water Safety Summit, Las Vegas (2003). * +
World report on child injury prevention. World Health Organization  
UK Incident Database Gap Analysis. HSL *(PDF) +
Drowning: injury topic briefing (WHO) WHO web site
Drowning: factsheet (WHO, 2014) WHO web site (PDF 1MB)
Reports from the Environmental Physiology & Ergonomics Research Exchange EPERE web site
The UK Missing Person Behaviors Study. Perkins and Roberts (2011)  
UK WAter Incident Database Reports (WAID) Report
 WAID landing page  
Participation rates Report
Watersports Participation Survey (2018)  see 2018 link
Watersports Participation Survey (2017) (PDF 2.4mb)
Watersports Participation Survey (2016) (PDF1.7mb)
Watersports Participation Survey (2015) (PDF2.3mb)
Watersports Participation Survey (2014) (PDF 1.21mb)
Watersports Participation Survey (2013) (PDF 1mb)
Water Sports and Leisure Participation Survey (2012) (PDF 1mb)
Active people survey. Sport England (Annual) Sport England web site
Public risk themes Report
Landowners' liability? Is perception of the risk of liability for visitors accidents a barrier to countryside access? Bennett and Crowe (2008). Sheffield Hallam University
On the safe side: Risk, risk management and volunteering. Gaskin (2006). Institute for Volunteering Research
Nothing ventured... Balancing risks and benefits in the outdoors. Gill (2010) English Outdoor Council
Redefining Risk: Girls shout Out. Girlguiding UK (2009) Girlguiding UK
Managing Risk in Play Provision: Implentation Guide.  Ball et al (2nd Edition 2013) Play England
Playgrounds - risk, benefits and choice HSE
RNLI Lifeguards as First Responders 2007. Dawes, Lorimer, Knight*, North
*South Western Ambulance
Research evidence review report for Child Death Review on drowning  Public Health Wales (2015)  


We look to review and update this page periodically. If you have a published paper or report that would be useful please contact us and we'll look to list it.

£ - Paywall
+ - Offline access only. Many of these are held by the RoSPA information centre.