Firefighting is an occupation that poses many hazards. In 2016, over 62,000 firefighters were injured while on duty. Thirty-nine percent of those injuries occurred on the fireground.
Risk management is increasingly seen in many occupations as a proactive approach to mitigating potential injury risks. However, research on implementing safety interventions in the fire service is limited. Recently, a team of researchers set out to see how a risk management approach might be successfully implemented by firefighters.
A key principle of the approach was that the firefighters themselves identified the risks and developed solutions to mitigate them. Proactive risk management is required by regulation in the United Kingdom’s fire service. Although not required in the United States, the research team believed that even a voluntary implementation would bring great benefit.
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1. Source: National Fire Protection Association
2. Pollack, K. M., Poplin, G. S., Griffin, S., Peate, W., Nash, V., Nied, E., . . . Burgess, J. L. (2017). Implementing risk management to reduce injuries in the U.S. Fire Servicexaquxsybsescfe. Journal of Safety Research, 60, 21-27. doi:10.1016/j.jsr.2016.11.003