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Water safety (waterborne diseases and immersion)


(Published January 2022, replacing June 2005)


Before doing any water activity it’s important to understand the key hazards and risks associated with being in the water. This guidance provides an overview and signposting to more information on issues relating to immersion (being in the water) and some of the diseases and illnesses which may be contracted through exposure to open water environments.

Cold water can be extremely dangerous and can have extremely harmful effects on the human body. There are two main kinds of immersion – short term and long term.