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Control measure
Manage the risk of working near water or other liquids

Control measure knowledge

Where possible the risk of accidentally entering water or other liquids should be mitigated by using: 

  • Cordons 

  • Suitable existing or improvised guarding or barriers 

  • Work restraint systems 

Personnel working near water or other liquids should wear personal floatation devices that are compatible with existing personal protective equipment (PPE). The wearing of fire helmets when working near water or other liquids should take into account the operational activity being performed and the risk of accidental entry into water. 

For control measures for working on or in water see National Operational Guidance: Water rescue and flooding. 

For information regarding work restraints see National Operational Guidance: Subsurface, height, structures and confined spaces- Unguarded edges.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Provide suitable PPE and equipment for working near water or other liquids

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Identify and communicate the presence of water or other liquids to all responders

  • Ensure that crews operate on the safe side of suitable existing or improvised guarding or barriers near water or other liquids

  • Assess hydrology and status of water or other liquids - depth, temperature, type of liquid, speed of flow

  • Investigate the possibility of rising waters and increased flow from tides, flooding, sluice gates

  • Use work restraint or fall arrest systems for personnel working near water or other liquids

  • Appoint a safety officer to monitor the hazard presented by water or other liquids

  • Ensure that personnel wear suitable PPE and personal flotation devices when working near water or other liquids