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Welcome to OutdoorSafety.org. Risk management, liability, safety, protocols...it never seems to end. Keeping up with the latest issues and trends in the field is almost a fulltime job in itself. That's why OutdoorEd.com has created OutdoorSafety.org devoted just to issues of safety and risk management. We are sharing all of our knowledge with you and hope you'll do the same.
This is a user-oriented site. Send us your issues, share your thoughts, and help make everyone's program that much safer--submit an article, news item, directory link or protocol. We'll bring you the latest news headlines from the Internet as well as articles and discussions from experts in the field. Take a look through the site and send us your comments
Rip currents are powerful, channeled currents of water flowing away from shore. They typically extend from the shoreline, through the surf zone, and past the line of breaking waves. Rip currents form as waves disperse along the beach causing water to become trapped between the beach and a sandbar or other underwater feature. The water converges into a narrow, river-like channel moving away from the shore at high speed. A rip current consists of three parts: the feeder current flowing parallel to the shore inside the breakers; the neck, where the feeder currents converge and flow through the breakers in a narrow band or "rip"; and the head, where the current widens and slackens outside the breaker line. Rip currents can occur at any beach with breaking waves, including the Great Lakes.
Management - The Missing Link: Paul Nicolazzo director of the Wilderness
Medicine Training Center brings his twenty plus years as an outdoor
adventure program designer and staff trainer to this excellent article
about how staff can manage risk in the field. The Site Management
model is an innovative thought process for running safe activities
and can be trained to your staff in a much shorter amount of time
than has been previously thought possible. Don't
miss this article!
Risk Management for Organizations: Keeping the Ship Afloat: The concept of risk management is one that has to encompass the whole of your program, from the first day of planning a new activity through the last piece of gear that is put away when the trip is over. Managing Risk throughout an organization requires that all levels of program and administrative staff understand the importance and the interconnectedness of their efforts. It is such a huge task and involves so many different players in your organization that it's often hard to make sure that all the jobs get done and done well. Preston Cline of Adventured Management and Rick Curtis of Princeton University and OutdoorEd.com team up to give you a framework to operate from that will help you and your staff both vision and envision how risk management should permeate your organization. "Keeping the Ship Afloat" presents a metaphor for organizational risk management that encompasses five stages of program development and implementation: assessment, planning and developing the program, selecting & training staff, running the program and finally reviewing and evaluating the program.
Internal Incident Reviews: A process for developing wilderness incident
case studies: Unfortunately, accidents can and do happen in the
outdoor recreation and education industry. When there is an incident
it is crucial to do a thorough review. But just how do you go about
gathering the right information? Kurt Merrill and Kris Wright from
the Student Conservation
Association present in-depth incident review process to help
you systematically approach collecting high quality information.
These types if in-depth incident reviews and case study analyses
will ultimately increase the breadth of our industrys risk
management knowledge, help to reduce the occurrence of specific incidents,
and serve to increase the overall quality of our programs.
Update: Personal Locater Beacons (PLD) come online: Cell
phones, satellite phones, GPS.it goes on and on. There have been
lots of discussions in our field about 'technology creep,' the slow
(and so far it seems inevitable) extension of technological devices
into the backcountry. Well, get ready to welcome one more device
into the mix, the Personal Locater Device (PLD). The PLD is the extension
of two other devices which have been around for years, the EPIRB
(Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) for maritime use the
the ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitters) for aviation use. All three
devices can be used in an emergency to send an emergency beacon signal
to a satellite. The satellite relays the signal to a ground station
where the call is forwarded on to the appropriate emergency response
system. Find out about this upcoming technolgy and what it may mean
for your program.
Aider's Guide to Acute Alcohol Poisoning: At first glance
you might wonder what this topic has to do with outdoor or experiential
education. Well, dealing with alcohol abuse and binge drinking
is becoming a bigger and bigger issue both on college campus and
in high schools. One of the ways to empower students around alcohol
issues is to train them through first aid to understand the how
to recognize and treat someone who is severely intoxicated. Princeton
University uses this approach with student outdoor leaders to provide
a well-informed and well-trained group of students on campus who
are prepared to respond and treat their fellow students.
Physical Fitness of Participants and Staff using Non-Exercise Screening
Techniques: One of the biggest and most
overlooked challenges of participant placement is determining the
physical fitness level of your participants. Assigning people to
an appropriate trip activity level can also be a major risk management
issue. Placing someone on a trip that's too physically challenging
can lead to injuries, evacuations, or an unsatisfactory experience.
Each year at Princeton University has to evaluate over 600 incoming
participants for the annual Wilderness Orientation Program. This
article shows you some of the accepted methods for determining physical
condition levels like maximum oxygen uptake, Body Mass Index, and
the Harvard Step Test and shows you some exciting non-exercise-based
screening tests to help you evaluate fitness levels. The article
includes online practices tests to score your own fitness level.