The development and implementation of two national beach safety signage standards


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The development and implementation of two national beach safety signage standards (UK & Australia) and how they are leading to the creation of an international beach signage standard
Author: Steve Wills

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The development and implementation of two national beach safety signage standards

  1. 1. ILS World Water Safety Conference 2007 - Porto The development and implementation of two national beach safety signage systems (UK & Australia) and how they are helping to the creation of a global beach signage standard Steve Wills Beach Safety Manager Royal National Lifeboat Institution (BSI & ISO observer member) Brett Ellis Lifesaving Operations Manager Lifesaving Victoria (AS & ISO member)
  2. 2. 1. To learn how effective beach safety signs can reduce coastal drownings and accidents 2. To understand the process and research stages that the UK and Australia have undertaken 3. To learn more about the what’s happening internationally to develop a global beach safety signage standard Learning outcomes
  3. 3. Signage - The second link in the drowning chain
  4. 4. <ul><ul><li>Signage often presents the last opportunity to provide advice to beach visitors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>< 3% of coast covered by LG’s (15% of the time) (UK) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Up to 500,000 drownings worldwide each year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most deaths & accidents = lack of understanding & poor information </li></ul></ul>Why the need for signage as a control measure
  5. 5. <ul><ul><li>No legal duty to provide beach safety signage – unlike highways, work places, swimming pools etc… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of consistent information on beaches - no standard management system for UK or Australian coastline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Average person reads a sign for only 6 seconds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only 6% of people were read coastal safety signs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Too many signs! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing access to the 11,000 miles of coastline (UK) </li></ul></ul>Why the need for improved signage on beaches
  6. 6. Why the need for Signage as a control measure
  7. 7. The confusion – all different!
  8. 8. The confusion – too many!
  9. 9. <ul><ul><li>Both the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Surf Lifesaving Australia (SLSA) identified standard signage as a highly effective drowning prevention tool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lifesaving Victoria (Australia) and RNLI (UK) led their respective national signage semiotics and design research, enabling national coastal signage systems to be implemented in both countries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SLSA and RNLI represent their national standard bodies (Standards Australia and British Standards) developing national signage standards based on their research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>British Standards with WTO support identified the need for an International sign and flag standard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RNLI and SLSA are working as part of the International Standards (ISO) for water safety signage and flags, influencing the creation of a global signage and flag standard </li></ul></ul>Working towards an international standard
  10. 10. <ul><li>Provide a cost effective method for beach safety </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce risk of litigation against the management authority </li></ul><ul><li>Communicating with international and local visitors alike </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce the potential of death by drowning </li></ul><ul><li>Uniformity (presentation / information) </li></ul>Effective international signage
  11. 11. <ul><ul><li>Guidelines for all signage needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Includes; Primary, Secondary and Reminder signs, mobile & directional signs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beach flags </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water safety symbols </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advice on designs, locating signs, non-safety information options, fixings, manufacturing and unique code systems, dual language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conform to ISO standards </li></ul></ul>What’s in the national signage guides
  12. 12. UK Primary Entrance Sign Australian Primary Entrance Sign Examples of UK and Australian primary signs
  13. 13. <ul><ul><li>International symbols (ISO 20712-1) - Draft completed, Launch early 08 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>International beach flags (ISO 20712-2) - Published September 07 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>International signage guidance (ISO 20712-3) - Draft completed, Launch early 08 </li></ul></ul>International development
  14. 14. Signage is only one part of a drowning prevention strategy
  15. 15. Thank you for your time [email_address] For a free copy of the UK signage guide: RNLI HQ West Quay Road Poole, Dorset BH15 1HZ, UK Or download