Is it possible to achieve an International standard for beach safety flags?

TitleIs it possible to achieve an International standard for beach safety flags?
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
Conference NameWorld Conference on Drowning Prevention
Date Published09/2007
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationPorto, Portugal
  • It is in everyone’s interest to derive one common standard for beach safety flags so that there is no misunderstanding when people visit a beach anywhere within the world.
  • A common standard will assist in warning the public on where and where not to swim.
  • The International Life Saving Federation (ILS) adopted a range of beach safety flags in 2002.
  • The International Standards Organisation (ISO) is currently developing their own standard which differs both in the number of flags proposed and the colour and meaning of certain flags.
  • Other ILS member organisations also have a number of variations in relation to beach safety flags.
  • Currently all organisations believe that their standard is the preferred method.
  • Detailed discussions are continuing at all levels to attempt to resolve this issue.
  • The major challenge remains the personal preference and long standing tradition in various countries with all countries reluctant to change their current system as it will require time, effort and money to re-educate the public.
Learning Outcomes
  1. To understand the difference between the ILS recommended standard for beach safety flags and that proposed by ISO
  2. To review options in relation to establishing a common international standard
  3. A proposed way forward will be articulated in an attempt to move the various organisation’s standards closer together.
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