Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Safety at public lands and waterways

Excerpt from U.S. Coast Guard Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council magazine by Ms. Lynda Nutt, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Operations Center for Water Safety

Federal public land and water agencies have long focused on providing safe and secure recreational opportunities for the more than one billion who visit public lands and waterways every year. But despite educational and regulatory efforts, the growing numbers of recreation-related injuries and fatalities continue to present a challenge.

Who Does What
In an effort to enhance injury prevention and to better manage public risk on public lands and waters, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Forest Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service formed an Interagency Working Group on Visitor Safety in 2007.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention assists the group in identifying trends in unintentional injuries and understanding risk factors and prevention.

Common Ground
Despite differences among the missions of each agency, the members find great commonality in their risk management concerns. As part of the key objectives identified in discussions to date, the team will focus on aligning and standardizing policies, tools, data collection methods, and training to benefit visitor injury prevention strategies.

Information exchange and partnership opportunities will also be an important outcome among the agencies as the working group replaces the traditional “agency-by-agency” model with a collaborative approach to achieve a shared objective, improve existing services, or develop an entirely new initiative.

For more information:
Full article is available at http://www.uscg.mil/proceedings/fall2010.

Subscribe online at http://www.uscg.mil/proceedings/subscribe.asp.