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calendar   Tuesday - January 20, 2009

Does it get much dumber?  Coastguard can’t rescue until they fill out a healthy and safety form.

These are clearly NOT the same Brits who sailed with Nelson or stood by Winston or flew in the RAF.
These are .... ?  ah ?  Just what the hell are they besides schtupid?

batbat

Coastguards can’t start a rescue until they fill out a healthy and safety assessment

By Dan Newling
Last updated at 2:31 AM on 20th January 2009

Coastguards have been ordered to fill in a health and safety questionnaire before they can respond to calls for help.

All 400 of Britain’s rescue units have been told that before they travel to an accident scene they must complete a ‘vehicle pre-journey risk assessment’.

It is feared lives may be lost as vital minutes could be taken up with the assessments just as rescuers are preparing their response to emergency callouts.

Under the new rules, the teams have to take the time to answer four questions on the type of rescue and journey they are about to undertake.

Lives could be lost in the vital minutes that coastguard rescuers spend filling out risk assessment forms

After first filling out the date and time, the lead rescuer must outline the ‘reason for journey’ and detail any risks the team may encounter during the rescue, including both current and forecast weather conditions.

The form then demands an account of any ‘actions taken to mitigate risk’ before the leader can fill in a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as to whether the risk is ‘acceptable’.

The forms have caused outrage among Britain’s 3,200 coastguard rescuers, who are furious after a string of health and safety rulings recently issued by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

* Coastguard banned from using flares over safety fears and told to use a torch (flashlight) instead.

Yesterday, one coastguard said: ‘When we were first told about this, we simply couldn’t believe it.

‘When we get a call asking us to go out and rescue someone, we need to go there without delay.

‘But they are asking us to waste time in the office filling out this stupid form.

‘Also, none of us really knows what we are realistically meant to fill in.

‘I mean, how are we meant to know what risks there might be before we get there?

‘And do they expect us to get a full weather forecast before we go out? Do they really want us to find out what the traffic conditions will be?

‘It’s ridiculous. All we want to do is save lives.

‘The impression we get is that the bosses are doing everything they can to make sure their hands are legally clean if there is any kind of problem.’

The pre-journey risk assessment form is designed for when coastguards use their specially-equipped Land Rovers for land rescues.

Rescues by boat are not affected. It is just the latest in a series of bizarre health and safety rulings to affect the agency, which is a branch of the Department for Transport.

In November last year, coastguards were told that they can no longer use flares during night-time rescue missions as they could ‘cause considerable injury’.

Even though the flares light up a large area and are considered essential for finding people at night, the Agency told its teams that they should use torches instead.

In August, a three-man coastguard crew from Devon were disciplined because they rescued a 13-year-old girl using a boat that had not been passed by health and safety officials.

The girl had been only 150 yards out at sea.

Coastguards patrol the entire length of the UK’s 10,200 miles of coastline in conjunction with the lifeboatmen from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Most coastguards work full time in other jobs but carry pagers to alert them when they are needed.

They are paid for the time they spend undertaking rescue missions.

Yesterday, a spokesman for the MCA insisted that filling in the questionnaire does not cause any delay as it ‘can be done at the same time as the rest of the team prepare equipment.’

The spokesman said the pre-journey risk assessment had been introduced to protect the coastguards’ safety.

HEALTH AND SAFETY


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/20/2009 at 11:40 AM   
Filed Under: • Stoopid-PeopleUK •  
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