Kill Cords

Extracted from RYA website:

The safe use of killcords

The RYA recommends that the killcord be attached around your leg or securely to your personal buoyancy. In either case it should not foul the steering or gear controls.

We do not recommend extending the length of the killcord provided by the manufacturer of the engine. Its purpose is to prevent the helmsman moving away from the normal operating position either intentionally or by accident.

Top Tip for teaching good killcord discipline 

When changing students, disconnect the kill cord at both ends and hand it to the next student. This will give them practice in attaching the lanyard to both themselves and the kill switch.

Plastic killcords

Plastic killcords have been known to fail.

On a powerboat course, during a demonstration to show that the killcord functioned correctly, it snapped. The engine was left running, and the instructor with a length of red plastic cord in his hand.

It was discovered that the red plastic spiral lanyard did not have a strengthening inner fibre cord running through it. Closer inspection identified that the cord had become brittle and slightly discoloured due to UV degradation.

The important lesson learnt from this incident is that it is essential to check the operation of the killcord at the start of each day or session.

Other general considerations:

When replacing killcords, purchase a good quality lanyard with a strengthening cord through the middle
Do not leave killcords out in the elements. Extremes of temperature and UV light will harm the lanyard in the long term

If your lanyard has a fabric outer sheath, but has lost its spiral tension, it is advisable to replace it as it is possible that the inner strengthening cord may be damaged. 

Choosing a First Aid Kit


Employers are required to make a risk assessment to decide what the hazard levels are and how 
many employees are involved in the area to be covered. There is a useful guide provided to help 
match this risk assessment to an appropriate size kit.

Category of hazard Number of Employees Size of First Aid Kit
Low hazard 
e.g. shops, offices, libraries etc.
Less than 25
25 – 100
more than 100
Small size kit
Medium size kit
1 Large kit per 100 employees
High hazard
e.g. light engineering and assembly work, food processing, warehousing, extensive work with dangerous machinery or sharp instruments, construction, chemical manufacture etc.
Less than 5
5 – 25
more than 25
Small size kit
Medium size kit
1 large kit per 25 employees

When will the new standard come into force?

BS8599-1 compliant kits are effective from 30th June 2011, with a transitional introduction period until 31st December 2011.

The old standard

This standard replaces the BHTA-HSE kits 10, 20 and 50, that are currently universally used
in the UK, and are based on the HSE guidelines. The Current BHTA standard was published
in 1997, and is long overdue a review. The BHTA standard will be withdrawn from 31st December 2011.

What the law says

The Health and Safety (First Aid) regulations 1981 states:

"An employer shall provide or ensure that there are provided such equipment and facilities as
are adequate and appropriate in the circumstances for enabling first aid to be rendered to his
employees if the are injured or become ill at work"

The new BS8599-1 compliant first aid kits are now the only safe and clear way for an employer to meet their obligations...

The HSE position

The Health and Safety Executive have been closely involved in the creation of this standard,
being members of the BSi standards committee. The current guidelines contained in
document L74 from the HSE are met and exceeded by the new BS8599-1 compliant standard.

Why did we need a new standard?

Despite many EU states having a national standard for workplace first aid kits, until now,
the UK did not. The BHTA guidelines, established in 1997 were in need of revision because
training protocols have changed, there are heightened concerns with infection control, and
new technology is now available at affordable prices.

There were only one pair of gloves in a 10 person kit - yet 33 dressings.
There were 4 triangular bandages - even though the training protocols no longer indicate
their use for immobilisation of lower limb fractures.
Burns gel dressings are extensively used in first aid - now very available and affordable.

The new kits have good quantities of plasters and wipes, a common criticism of the old ones.

New Contents Explained


More quantity reflecting the need, and Nitrile type in line with NHS and St. John Ambulance guidelines. Plasters Sensible quantities, reflecting consumer demand.

Increased quantities, reflecting consumer demand. New specification is sterile and now must meet the European CE marking rules.

Fewer quantities, reflecting consumer demand.

Quantities are reduced reflecting the change in training first aid protocol, where immobilisation of lower limbs using triangular bandages is no longer indicated.

A smaller finger dressing is introduced specifically for finger injuries that are too large for first aid plasters, dressing complete with an easy-fix adhesive tab.


Every employer with as much as a kettle, must have a risk from burns. A modern burns gel dressing is added to meet this risk, together with a conforming bandage to attach and retain it.


Many first aiders prefer not to use safety pins, where additional injury could potentially be caused, adhesive tape is an easy and inexpensive way to secure dressings and bandages. Safety pins are retained, allowing users a choice of application.


Clothing around wound sites needs to be removed to allow first aid treatment.
Shears, capable of cutting fabric and leather enable this removal.


Clinical shock presents one of the most serious life threatening risks to a casualty, treatment includes keeping the casualty warm. The introduction of the foil survival blanket enables this.


The introduction of a mouth to mouth resuscitation device, incorporating a one way valve, 
protects the first aider from infection from body fluid pathogens.


Incorporated into the travel kit since fixed eye wash stations are unlikely to be available.

The environment of a travelling worker is unpredictable and could include a risk to eyes.


Conforming to the latest HSE guidance.





Remember the Slipway is not your personal Slipway and that other users do use it. The following will stop any conflicts or potential damage to your boat or 3rd party’s boat.


  1. Park away from slip, and prepare boat for launching, this gives your wheel bearings time to cool down as well as giving you time to load boat up, remove trailer board, remove most of the straps, leave one on bow, don’t not rely on Trailer Winch by itself. Insert Drain Plug!
  2. Pay Harbour Master for Launch, use machine for parking, if you don’t have season tickets*
  3. When Slip is clear/your turn, reverse boat down and launch, this should be at least a two person operation, one for car and another to drive boat to Harbour IMMEDIATE after Launch. Depending on your vehicle you might want to use ropes to lower boat down slip.
  4. Park Trailer in designated Area this is usually at the grass at top of slipway, or where Harbour Master tells you.

HARBOURS ARE GENERALLY A NO WAKE ZONE (Lowest speed you can go without losing the ability of steering)



Safety of Life at Sea

SOLAS V - Safety of Life at Sea Chapter 5

Extract from SOLAS V Leaflet produced by the Marine & Coastguard Agency full version [here]

Voyage Planning

Regulation V/34 ‘Safe Navigation and avoidance of dangerous situations’, is a new regulation. It concerns prior-planning for your boating trip, more commonly known as voyage or passage planning. Voyage planning is basically common sense. As a pleasure boat user, you should particularly take into account the following points when planning a boating trip:

Read more: Safety of Life at Sea

Harbour Etiquette

The following is advice in Etiquette in harbours in general:

1. When APROACHING a Harbour, they might be moored boats or boats doing manoeuvres on the outside of the harbour. SLOW down, to a speed that you are not making unwanted wake and give these boats a WIDE Berth. Nothing worse than having a boat bast by when you are trying to hoist sails or prepare fenders.

2. Know local byelaws, OBEY SPEED LIMIT, but even doing the speed limit in the harbour might cause unwanted wake, so you are best treating as a NO WAKE ZONE. Remember you are not the only water user in harbour.

Read more: Harbour Etiquette

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