Reducing injuries on the fireline

Firefighters face a number of hazards when responding to wildfires.  The occurrence of workplace injuries and the types of injuries has changed very little over the years.

In recent years there has  been a much greater awareness of the need to strengthen firefighter safety and the need for fire organizations to adopt a strong safety culture.  In a true safety culture, safety is a shared belief system rather than a set of programs superimposed as rules. A healthy safety culture is only possible when safety is integrated as a key component of carrying out the daily tasks as firefighters and fire managers.

Firefighters should be trained to identity job hazards, assess the risk of injury from hazards, to develop and implement controls and to evaluate the effectiveness of the controls.  Following this process should help reduce the number of injuries on the fireline.

Before carrying out suppression actions, Incident Management Teams and firefighters should follow the risk assessment process.