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SAFETY IN CAVES AND MINES

This information sheet gives information about safety and rescue arrangements in caving. Whilst the information has been compiled from advice given in caving and other publications, no responsibility can be taken for the accuracy of the information or for the consequences of following this advice.

In the end, the caver's way is to ACT SENSIBLY and 
TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS. 

A page to record trip details to leave with a call-out person can be downloaded HERE.

A Plan to be Safe  |  In the event of an accident  |  Essential first aid  |  Emergency techniques "ABC"  |  More information  |  Links

In a Skye cave

A PLAN TO BE SAFE ... 

... RATHER THAN SORRY

You can download an aide memoire for the call out person HERE. Fill this in before the trip and leave it with you husband, wife, partner, parent or best friend. 

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IN THE EVENT OF AN ACCIDENTMarble Steps, Yorkshire

1 Decide whether outside help is needed or not.  It probably is - don't take chances.

2 To summon help, send competent persons to the surface with reliable information for passing to the authorities (see paragraph 5 below).

3 Administer First Aid. Bearing in mind the inevitable delay before rescuers arrive, encourage injured persons who are still mobile to start moving towards the surface. At all events, reassure and keep injured persons warm.

4 To call out the Cave Rescue Organisation telephone 999 and ask for Cave Rescue.  Take care when using a mobile, it may not go to the local police.

5 Useful initial information for passing to the Police:-

6 The caller should be prepared to stay within reach of a phone to give any further information required.

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ESSENTIAL FIRST AIDGuided tour in Engine Vein when the mine was floodlit

START HERE...

- KEEP CALM 
- Reassure the casualty
- ASSESS THE SITUATION - is there any danger to casualty or rescuer? 
- Only approach a casualty if it is safe to do so
- Only move a casualty if there is immediate danger, such as a waterfall
- Remember that a casualty suspended in a harness is at extra risk
- Ask the casualty/bystander what happened
- MAKE SAFE - ensure no further danger to you or to the casualty
- GIVE FIRST AID
- Do not try to do too much
- Use bystanders to help

MORE THAN ONE CASUALTY? 

Then treat them in the following order: 
1) Unconscious and not breathing
2) Bleeding
3) Broken bones
4) Other injuries

NEVER GIVE A CASUALTY ANYTHlNG TO EAT, DRINK OR SMOKE

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EMERGENCY TECHNIQUES: "ABC" OF RESUSCITATION (ADULTS)

For anyone who is unconscious, you must: Bedlam's Bank mine, Surrey

A - OPEN THE AIRWAY 
1. Remove obvious debris from the casualty's mouth. 
2. Tilt the casualty's head back and lift his or her chin upwards. 

B - BREATHING 
Check if the casualty is breathing by LOOKING, LISTENING AND FEELING for his or her breath for 10 seconds. 

C - CIRCULATION 
Check the pulse in the casualty's neck for 5 seconds. 
-- BREATHING AND PULSE PRESENT 
            Turn the casualty into the Recovery Position. 
-- NOT BREATHING, PULSE PRESENT 
            Start artificial ventilation: 
                1.  Pinch the soft part of the nose closed, using the index finger and thumb of your hand on the forehead.
                2.  Allow the mouth to open, but maintain chin lift.
                3.  Take a normal breath and place your lips around his mouth, making sure that you have a good seal.
                4.  Blow steadily into the mouth while watching for the chest to rise, taking about 1 s as in normal breathing;
                        this is an effective rescue breath.
                5.  Maintaining head tilt and chin lift, take your mouth away from the victim and watch for the chest to fall
                        as air comes out.
                6.  Give breaths at a rate of about 10 per minute. 
                7.  If you must leave the casualty to get help, give 10 breaths first and then return quickly, 
                        re-check ABC of Resuscitation and continue as appropriate. 
                8.  Check for pulse after every 10 breaths. 
                9.  Stop to recheck the victim only if he starts to wake up: to move, open eyes and to breathe normally.
                        Otherwise, do not interrupt resuscitation.
                10.When breathing restarts, place him or her in the Recovery Position.

-- NOT BREATHING, NO PULSE ==> Dial 999 for medical help or send someone to do it for you.

This page is not intended to give advice to untrained cavers on chest compression techniques.

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MORE INFORMATION

For a copy of this information on an A4 page as a PDF file, click HERE and download or print the file.

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USEFUL LINKS

The website of the national British Cave Rescue Council.

The website of the local Derbyshire Cave Rescue Organisation which covers the Alderley Edge mines as well as Derbyshire.

Information about Suspension Trauma can be obtained from www.suspensiontrauma.info.

Downloadable advice and training from the St. John Ambulance.

First Aid information from the Ramblers Association which contains some practical tips.

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Last updated: 09/02/2016
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