Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 6:57 AM
Subject: WEILS DISEASES RISK ASSESSMENT FAILURES BY THE DEVON COUNTY COUNCILDear Mr Bradshaw
I have now submitted a formal complaint to the HSE via the HSE online report forms ref the DCC failure to ensure Weils Disease Risk Assessment is carried out before children and students undertake outdoor /water activities at the Haven Banks Centre.
As you are aware Mr Bradshaw, the vicinity in which these water activities take place include the basin, which is stagnant water and synonymous to Leptospirois (Weils Desease).
I see young children and students on a daily basis wearing no shoes whilst under the Instruction of the DCC teachers.
As a former Environmental Minister, I am sure you are aware that Weil's Desease shows similar symptoms to common 'flu, hence all participants taking part in these water activities should be advised of such symptoms and dangers and the required mitigation methods, i.e.
1. Do not fully submerge you head/body underwater.
2. Shower after use.
3. Protect cuts and grazes with plaster.
4. Wear shoes/trainers/gloves at all times.
Please see the following extract from the Devon and Cornwall Police Health and Safety Policy:
15.2 Leptospirosis (Weil's Disease)
15.2.1 Leptospirosis is an uncommon disease caused by a bacterium usually
transmitted via the urine of infected rodents, foxes, cattle and pigs. Most force
staff are not considered to be at risk of this disease at work unless they enter
sewers, drainage, derelict buildings, but the Underwater Search Unit and
some specialist search team staff who take part in wading and sewer
searches might be at greater risk. All police divers have been issued with
warning cards for their general practitioners. Specialist advice should be
sought from the OHSU.
Obviously the local constabulary take Weil's Disease VERY SERIOUSLY and I believe the DCC are completly and wilfully ignorant of such matters.
Quite frankly Mr Bradshaw, it beggars belief the DCC are conducting such activity in stagnant waters without warning or advising mitigation methods via a professional risk assessment. In the construction industry, Principal Contractors are required to ensure Wiel's Desease forms part of the Risk assessment and employees are required to sign for the risk assessment.
I have no doubt that the DCC have no risk assessment for lightning dangers either during these water activities and the last place you want to be during a thunderstorm is in the water or a canoe.
Your consistent failures on these matters must be interpretative as you condoning such actions.
I consider that OFSTED are failing their duty of care by their failure to identify this matter.
I fully appreciate that water activity on the Main River Exe do not offer significant risk to Weils Disease because the water is free flowing but no so in the Basin. Nothwithstanding this fact, I fervently believe that Ofsted and the DCC are failing their duty of care by the risk assessment failures.
Alan M Dransfield