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Fire Sergeant Kazuya Takeshita Security Policy Office Command Division

Introduction The duties of fire fighting are to utilize fire fighting facilities and personnel to protect peoples lives, bodies and property from fire, prevent or reduce damages from disasters including flood, fire and earthquake, and properly transport injured and sick people. These are the duties of fire fighting defined in Article 1 of the Fire and
Disaster Management Organization Act of Japan

Our teams have duties to protect precious lives, bodies and property using ambulances and rescue equipment and materials. Disaster sites where we work are not always safe. Sometimes we have to work under conditions that are barely safe. In such cases, a commander should stay calm and make decisions on what to protect first in a split second. To this purpose, commanders should maintain safety control to ensure safe disaster activities by the team members Safety control means protecting yourself. Protecting yourself will lead to protection of your colleagues, families and disaster victims. You can ensure safe activities on site not by using difficult technical terms but by calmly taking various measures imagining various situations based on your knowledge and experience. 2 Purpose of safety control Safety control is proactive action measures based on the premise of execution of duties. The purpose of safety control is, not fearing disaster more than is necessary, to

take various measures so that each member can continue his/her duty in healthy and comfortable conditions while actively carrying out their mission through effective fire fighting activities based on correct prediction of possible dangers in a time of disaster.

3 Essentials of safety control (1) Keep yourself fit As has already been stated, safety control is protecting yourself. When you are healthy both physically and psychologically, you can dedicate all your strength to work. Sickness or injury could have negative impact not only on you but also on people around you. Recognizing that safety starts from us, we should train our will, skills and body strength to develop flexible judgment and energy for correct response to any event. This requires us to examine how we should behave in our daily life. Daily life, etc. Lead a disciplined and healthy life avoiding late hours, excessive drinking, etc. that could make you lose your grip leading to an accident (You may drink, but don't let the drink take over for example) Eat well-balanced meals on a regular schedule (extreme diets, excess intake or irregular eating habits are enemy to your body); Maintain proper appearance (too long hair or beard could be dangerous on a disaster site; disheveled appearance may suggest your state of mind) Focus on 4S (sort out, set up order, shine and spick and span) Dont push yourself (when you are sick or injured, for example)

Drill Always report your physical condition to the drill commander before the drill Always go through a warm-up Suit up for the drill

Keep personal equipment and training equipment organized Select a place, etc. suitable for the purpose of the drill and the skill of the members Always use safety rope and maintain a safe posture during a drill in a high place Stash the ends of shoe strings and tuck trousers into shoes Fasten the chin band of the protective hat or fire hat surely and stash the ends When you sense danger, make this known to people around you using a whistle, etc. Dont carry things that are not necessary for the drill Do pointing and calling (Point a finger to objects, etc. and say their name and state in a loud voice to confirm safety) Check personal equipment and equipment and materials used after a drill Report your physical condition to the drill commander after a drill.

Training Understand the purpose before starting a training Express your opinion frankly, and Carry out post mortem. At a time of disaster First listen to the explanation of the disaster, then calmly start the next action without haste Wear fire-proof clothing, etc. perfectly Never forget report, inform and consult Dont take or make others take unsafe actions Keep up a good condition, replace lost water and get rest as needed.

In order to overcome bad and dangerous environments, it is important to reduce risk by training yourself. Teamwork Because we work as a brigade/team, teamwork is essential for fire fighting activities. Loss of one member leads to great damage (reduced

strength). A fire brigade with good teamwork can handle any disaster. Correct judgment What we fear most in fire fighting activity is reduced strength. For example, if, while you were working in a five-member team on a disaster site, one member entered a building and got injured, the remaining four members must carry out what was to be done by five members. This increases the risk of and weight on each member, affecting the fire fighting activity and weakening the morale of the team. To ensure safe activity of all members, the entire team should commit themselves to safety control and avoid risks by acting based on correct judgment on activities. Correct judgment necessarily involves calm action based on the analysis of your teams capability. Capability consists of team members (personnel), machinery (vehicle) and water supply. They are called the three elements of fire fighting capability. Because loss of any of them negatively affects fire fighting activities, you need to beat the three elements (capabilities) into you. 4 Factors of accidents Our duty always requires swift and correct operation with strict time constraints. Conditions on sites are poor and always pose risks. Their combination may induce human errors. Nevertheless, we must fulfill our duty while protecting ourselves. Accidents are unexpected events that cause damages to or loss of persons or physical objects. Their cause may be in people or (and) physical objects. An accident occurs due to (1) unsafe behavior (human risk factor); (2) unsafe conditions (physical factor) and (3) a combination of (1) and (2) (environmental factor). So, theoretically we can prevent accidents by eliminating (1) to (3). Safety collapses when the balance of the human factor, physical factor and environmental factor is disrupted.

(1) Human risk factor

There are behaviors that lead to accidents and those that make conditions less safe. As each person is different in character,

safety-related behaviors vary considerably from person to person. Factors of unsafe behavior are summarized as lack or insufficient knowledge, capability, physical strength and skills, in other words, not know, cannot do and not do. not know is classified into two groups: Lack of understanding or awareness of safety safety is thought to be the responsibility of commanders or supervisors accidents may occur to others but not to me mentality (overconfidence) not aware of negative effects (to yourself, organization or society) Lack of knowledge on safety techniques Ignorant of human weakness (your capability) Ignorant of the performance of equipment/materials you use Making an unqualified person handle the situation.

Cannot do is classified into three groups Lack of sensitivity to danger Not aware that it is not safe even when taking or witnessing unsafe action Blind to unsafe conditions Lack of predictive consideration of unsafe acts/conditions Insufficient capability Lack of education/instruction Insufficient judgment due to little knowledge/experience You were ordered to carry out duties that were beyond your skills Too much workload You have capabilities but cannot bring them into full play Poor physical condition Poor psychological condition (ex. mental instability due to emotional
relationship)

Low morale Low motivation Decline in organizational skills Poor activity environment

Insufficient equipment/materials for the activity Malfunction of equipment Policy and purpose of the activities are not clear or not communicated clearly.

not do is classified into two groups: You have capabilities and knowledge but do not do what is expected from you because of lax discipline. Error in assessment of the situation (gap between perception and current situation/facts) Tendency toward optimistic judgment based on hypothesis Tendency toward wishful thinking
(Guessing future development strongly influenced by ones wish)

Lowered morale Lack or lowered leadership Disregard for instructions and orders not do due to poor education/guidance activities Commanders lack awareness and understanding of safety Commanders lack knowledge, experience, skills, etc. concerning safety Safety instructions are too abstract due to low sensitivity to danger Leaders are not much aware of safety issues

Human errors are often caused by psychological (ex. illusion, fault, tension, relaxation, carelessness), physical or mental conditions.

Reference There is a slogan of 3H operation that indicates three types of operations, actions or conditions that tend to induce errors or failures in human operation. 1. Hajimete (first) first action (operation) 2. Hisashiburi (long interval) action (operation) after a long interval 3. Henkou (change) change in procedures or methods of action (operation)

(2) Physical risk factors

Flaw, defect or failure in the function of a building, facility or equipment significantly increases the risk of accident. On a disaster site, risk factors increase with the passage of time due to collapse or lowered strength of building/facilities and loss of function of equipment. It is absolutely imperative to heighten the sense to detect or foresee physical risk factors. For example, Imagine that a kitchen on the first floor of a two-story wooden house is on fire. From this, you are expected to predict at least A wooden house will burn more easily, There is a risk of fire spreading to the second floor, If beams or pillars of the first floor are burning, the building might collapse, and There might be inflammable materials such as gas in the kitchen. This requires some image training. You can identify and reduce physical risk factors by combining a physical object and a key word (ex. wood combustible)
(3) Environmental risk factors

Environmental risk factors include geographical conditions around the site, weather conditions and the dangerous environment generated by a disaster. Low humidity, dry air and strong wind pose a risk of rapid spread of fire. On the other hand, when it is raining or snowing, you can anticipate risks of falling or tumbling due to slippery footing or low visibility. When a fire breaks out in an airtight space, the fire may burn low after a while due to incomplete combustion and inflammable gas may accumulate. If you open a window or a door of such a room, the room might suck in air rapidly causing an explosion (backdraft).

This way, conditions on a disaster site changes every second. You can eliminate risk factors by constantly assessing the condition of the site and calmly determining the next action. (4) Case study Let us examine the human, physical and environmental risk factors described above using as example of the accidents in official duties that occurred in our city. (a) Case 1 After containing the fire, he was about to enter the building on fire to search for survivors, then, the front eave collapsed and falling objects hit his lumbar causing bruising. Measures 1. Survey the entire afflicted building and check the parts that have the risk of falling or collapsing 2. Officer should provide exact directions to members who are about to enter (ex. dangerous places, where to pay attention) 3. Tear down objects that might fall beforehand using a pike pole or axe 4. Post watch standers.

(b) Case 2 When entering a balcony of a building on fire to rescue people trapped inside, he inhaled a large quantity of smoke suffering airway burn. Measure 1. Always wear breathing equipment when entering inside a building or a space filled with smoke. 2. Assess the condition of the building before entering and always ensure an exit route 3. Check the strength of the balcony using your hand/foot because it

might have become weaker due to high temperature. (c) Case 3 When conducting fire fighting training under the blazing sun, he felt dizzy and was diagnosed with heat fatigue. Measure 1. Commander or safety officer should schedule rest time as needed considering the weather during the drill. 2. Commander needs to know the health condition, physical strength, skills, etc. on a daily basis. (d) Case 4 Fire fighting activity under the blazing sun caused febrile seizure and dehydration. Measure 1. Never conduct fire fighting activities single-handedly. 2. Replenish lost water as needed. (e) Case 5 When walking backward for vehicle guidance, he did not notice a bump, twisted his right ankle and got injured. Measure 1. Grasp the condition of the surroundings when guiding a vehicle. 2. Assign more than two persons to vehicle guidance at a busy place (for front, lateral and rear sides) I listed measures to prevent accidents using examples of accidents in official duties. You can avoid certain accidents by examining past disasters, etc. It is also effective to hold a meeting on safety control taking up as a topic a disaster you watched on the news. 5 Accident prevention Prediction of accidents requires elucidation of the mechanism of accidents

occurring from human, physical and environmental factors. Then, we need to improve our capability to eliminate unsafe factors and capability to understand and avert risk factors based on the knowledge. Whereas we can expect the improvement of unsafe conditions of physical objects or environment through accumulation of corrective efforts, it is very difficult to improve unsafe human behaviors because they are different from person to person both in psychological and physical terms and change every second according to circumstances. You can find hints of accident prevention in the mind of individual persons. (1) Become aware that you are a living organism. Human beings are not special. We are weak animals. In order to maintain safety, you must always calculate risks and have a strong will to ensure safety. (2) Raise safety awareness. The basis of safety control is raising safety awareness but what is safety awareness specifically? We have a slogan for safety awareness: a habit to pick up a nail

prevents accidents. Imagine a nail on the ground of a training range. There are several fire brigade members gathered in the training range before a drill. Member A was totally unaware of the nail. Member B noticed the nail but did not care. Member C thought that it might be dangerous but did nothing. Member D thought it was dangerous and disposed of the nail A is a hopeless case. B, C and D foresaw the danger of the nail. B might

care only about his safety. C noticed the danger but could not take action. D thought that the nail poses a danger in the training range and removed it (elimination of danger). D is sensitive to danger and has good safety awareness among the four members. (3) Recognize that we are responsible of our safety control. We tend to think that safety is controlled or expect another power to take control of safety. However, safety control has its basis in the awareness of each individual. We need to raise safety awareness and nurture the strong will of each

individual in addition to the development of structure, guidelines, manuals etc. of safety control. Observing rules of the organization including the safety system, regulations and procedures is the minimum requirement. For safer behavior, we need an attitude (will) to learn from past experience, cases and tradition. 6 Ability to avert risk factors (skills) In order to eliminate risk factors and prevent accidents, you must think about what is dangerous, learn how to determine risk factors and acquire the ability to take action and leadership to avert danger. This involves deep knowledge or sense. The sense of danger is a kind of ability to know danger beforehand. For enhancement of this ability, you need the following three abilities. (1) Ability to sense danger around or outside of you. Ability to sense external risk factors using five senses, etc. based on past experience and knowledge: (Five senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste) Examples: Red water from the hill (hill of red soil) at the back of a house mudslide Receding tide after an earthquake tsunami (2) Ability to control risk factors in yourself This is an ability to control human emotion or a mindset that tends to lean toward self-centered thinking, namely, the ability to control them to the right direction by making calm judgment on self-serving emotion and wishful thinking such as it would be desirable and it would be OK. (3) Ability to put what is right into action Ability to put the knowledge you acquired into practice Disaster site where fire fighting staff works is full of danger.

Therefore, it is important that each member always work to create a safer workplace by observing basic rules for safety, improving safety awareness and earnestly making sincere efforts for safety control. 7 Basic idea of safety control By examining past disasters and accidents, we can develop measures to handle similar accidents. In addition, we need to understand the factors and mechanism of how they occurred and implement education and training based on the understanding to refine the individual persons sense to foresee danger in order to establish the best structure to ensure safety. (1) Responsibilities of brigade members Members are required to recognize that safety control depends on them and make best efforts to improve their knowledge, mental toughness and skills to develop judgment and capability to take correct action. (2) Responsibilities of commanders To provide education on the maintenance and proper use of equipment on a daily basis, and To ensure the safety of members by calm and correct grasping of the conditions and environment surrounding the activity on the site 8 Safety education Spirit to value others strengthens the power and organization of our brigade. Continuing education is necessary to conduct yourself in a more disciplined manner, train your force rigorously, and wake up, train and enhance human instinct to sense danger. (1) Safety control theory (Heinrichs Law) This is a law described in a research paper published by W.H. Heinrich when he was a deputy general manager of the technical/investigation department of an American insurance company. He derived the law based on a statistic analysis of about 5,000 industrial accidents of the same type involving the same persons. He found a 300:29:1 ratio in the accidents: namely, as many as 300 no-injury narrow escape accidents that could lead to a disaster and 29 accidents

with minor injury for 1 serious accident. He also showed, through analysis of about 75,000 cases, that there were several thousands of unsafe acts and unsafe conditions with the former appearing about nine times more often than the latter, and that 98% of industrial accidents were preventable. Heinrich defines disaster as accident or unexpected and uncontrollable phenomenon that could cause an accident.

Based on this law, we can say:


We can eliminate injury by preventing disasters, and We can eliminate disasters and injuries by eliminating unsafe acts and conditions. Reference Murphy's Law: in May 1949, after examining troubled equipment at Muroc Air Force Base in California, Murphy discovered that someone had installed the equipment in the wrong way and said "If there is any way to do it wrong, he will." His law was established based on this. Various expressions of Murphy's Law Basic principle is "If it can happen, it will happen." Its basic expressions are: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong."

"Everything that can possibly go wrong will go wrong." They evolved into: "If that guy has any way of making a mistake, he will." And an even stronger version is: "If there's more than one way to do a job, and one of those ways will result in disaster, then somebody will do it that way." A daily life version below is also well known: "It will start raining as soon as I start washing my car, except when I wash the car for the purpose of causing rain." O'Tooles comment is extraordinary:

"Murphy was an optimist!"

Incident analysis Incidents are potential cases that could but did not lead to a serious accident. In order to reduce incidents, it is important to analyze risk factors. One example for this is the SHEL model. S: Software - manuals, etc. H: Hardware tools, equipment E: Environment L: Liveware character, personality, etc. You can analyze each factor to determine and address the causes of incidents. (1) Methods to improve leadership to avert danger a. Danger prediction drill Team discussion on risk factors in fire fighting activities and training/drill to find a solution. This is a most safe and effective way to enhance individual persons sense of danger b. Case study (ex. compilation of near miss cases, post mortem meeting) Learn how to determine risk factors of similar accidents c. Training/drills to nurture ability to get things done In a drill, imagine a disaster so that you can use your ability and acquire new abilities to determine and avert risk factors and develop leadership. (2) Safety education a. Must-do s for commanders promoting safety education for members Implementation in combination with drills Use of concrete dangerous cases Development of ability to take action through training/drills b. When to implement At opportunities of training/drills

When there is a newly appointed member or transfer of members When an accident occurred or nearly occurred c. Phased and continued education You need safety education not only after an accident but also on a regular basis. It is more effective to implement education on safety knowledge, skills and action in a phased manner and on an ongoing basis. e. Unprompted safe acts You will learn knowledge on safety through safety education and acquire ability to act safely through safety skill education. However, members who say I know or I can do this do not necessarily always behave safely. It is important to actually behave safely, that is, have a will to act always paying attention to safety and actually put your will into action. Namely, you can assure safe behavior only when you have assimilated the understanding and attitude based on your conviction. (3) Four stages of safety control cycle 1) Grasp the realities 2) Identify unsafe conditions and unsafe behaviors 3) Develop measures 4) Implement measures

9 About attention Attention is a mental activity to keep an eye on or be alert to a specific thing. Attention covers a wide range of mental activities. Attention may be paid to a specific stimulus or stimulus constellation in the immediate environment while it may be paid to recalled specific events from past experience. (1) Characteristics of attention Attention is a function to limit perception or thinking to a few selected objects. There are five characteristics of attention. a. Field of attention is limited When multiple things are shown in the field of attention for a moment, the average person can perceive about 6 objects. If the objects are increased to 7-8, correctly perceived objects fall to 4-5.

b. Attention is selective A human being accepts meaningful stimuli in his/her behavior or action while screening out almost all stimuli that are perceived as irrelevant. c. Attention has direction Attention is guided by the eye. You can see well where the line of sight is cast but almost nothing outside of it. d. Attention changes It is impossible to fix attention on one thing. Attention is subject to change. Furthermore, when you are focused on changing things, you may miss the change itself. e. Attention has its rhythm Attention and inattention, tension and relaxation usually alternate rhythmically with ups and downs. Attention is followed by inattention just as tension is always followed by relaxation. A problem is that a combination of inattention and dangerous conditions sometimes causes an accident. In order to ensure safe operation, it is important to avoid a combination of dangerous conditions and inattention. (1) Awareness level and mechanism of attention a. Attention is a part of brain activity (information processing) to determine and implement actions for accomplishment of an objective according to the situation. Attention is a brain activity to select relevant information from among complicated external information. Brain activities depend on an accelerating system in the lower part of the brain (action to energize activities) and a braking system (action to lower activities). The awareness level is determined based on the balance of the two. b. Five phases of awareness level The awareness level is divided into five phases. The relation between each phase and attention is shown in the table. c. Error potential Human error potential depends on the activity level of the brain (awareness level). Error potential is high when the brain is not sharp, while errors are few when the brain is sharp.

We can determine the activity status of the brain clearly based on brain waves. Consequently, we can objectively determine error potential. Careless mistakes often occur in 2 or 1 of the five phases. Errors are rare at phase 3 but this tension does not last long. Trying to maintain tension forcedly can end up in falling to phase 1 due to fatigue. Ergonomic consideration is required so that most daily operations can be done error-free with phase-2 brain. However, extraordinary operations require a shift to phase 3, for which pointing and calling is effective. Encouraging each other aloud is also advisable. (2) Effectiveness of pointing and calling Pointing and calling help in preventing accident/disaster by controlling misjudgment and operational error due to defects of human psychology. Looking at and pointing to a risk factor and confirming it by calling aloud promotes clarity of awareness. Pointing and calling are effective not only for raising the awareness level but also for shifting phase 4 (excessive tension, panic condition) to phase 3 as shown in practice. Brain physiology demonstrated the following facts: Stimuli of muscle movement around the mouth play a significant role in preparing the brain condition for accurate processing Stimuli to arm muscle cells energize brain activities Using multiple senses such as movement perception through pointing, muscle perception and auditory perception through calling in addition to visual perception impresses the object strongly on your consciousness, increasing accuracy of the cognition. 10 Practice method of safety control (1) Pointing and calling is: Pointing to the operation you should recognize while saying XX (name of the operation, etc.), OK in a loud voice at key points of the operation to ensure safe and error-free operation. (2) Ideal of pointing and calling Pointing and calling is a concrete safety control tool to prevent accidents due to human error. They are means to bring about clear awareness and increase accuracy

of operation. They will stay only when practiced across the workplace as a compulsory practical method based on the ideal to ensure safety. (3) How to practice pointing and calling a. Look at the object you are to confirm b. Stretch your right arm and point to the object with the forefinger of your right hand c. Say XX, OK! in a loud voice d. Listen to you voice Check the accuracy and safety of your operation fully using your eyes, arms, fingers, mouth, ears, etc. (4) Points to remember a. Movement should be swift and with moderate tension, good posture and moderation. b. Just pointing without calling or just calling without pointing reduces the accuracy. It is important to do pointing and calling at the same time. c. Make calling concrete as much as possible For example, pressure 0, 2MP is better than pressure, OK. d. It has a positive impact to repeat calling of the leader. e. Just understanding what a loud voice means (learned knowledge) is meaningless if you dont call in a loud voice. We need ability to put the knowledge into practice.

11 Conclusion Safety control is essential for everything in your life. I hope for you to examine back in your country what you learned about safety control here and establish better safety control. Safety control is protecting yourself. Protect what you should protect based on your own theory of safety control in the future. Human life is precious throughout world. Techniques and ideas for helping people know no borders. The life of a rescuer is as precious as the life of the person to be rescued. Please never fail to maintain safety control (protect yourself) on a disaster site.