Rivers are dangerous!
In a typical year, between 200 and 300 people are likely to drown in inland waterways and other water bodies in the UK. To reduce the risks:
Do not work alone
Make sure you work with at last one other person and both of you have a mobile signal and a device with fully charged battery in case you need to contact the emergency services
Do not enter fast flowing water
Fast-moving water can be underestimated and sweep a person’s legs from under them in even modest depths of water, especially if the ground is slippery or uneven.
Always check the bank where you intend to work for slip, trip and fall hazards. Move to a new safer location if you have any doubts.
About half of all river related deaths are from people who did not intend to be in the water – they fell in from the land.
Always wear waterproof gloves and always wash your hands as soon as possible after leaving the river
The water you come into contact with may contain pollution and harmfull substances. There are also waterbourne diseases that you could become infected with (see below)
Always check the weather forecast. Wear sturdy footwear and appropriate clothing for those weather conditions and use sun protection if required.
River levels can rise rapidly and flows increase in heavy rain so please stay vigilant.
Cover all cuts and open wounds before working near a river or stream. If you get flu like symptoms after working near the river seek medical advice and make sure they know you have been working near water.
Leptospirosis (Weil’s disease) although relatively rare in the UK, is spread in the urine of infected animals commonly in rats, mice, cows and dogs. All of these animal are commonly seen on river banks and you can become infected if infected urine gets in your mouth, eyes or a cut. See here for more information: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/leptospirosis/ Even the slightest risk is not worth it! Please stay safe