In 1966, Dr. William Haddon created the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after he was appointed by President Johnson. He set the first federal safety standards for motor vehicles and set standards for state and local laws on drunk driving and requirements that motorcyclists wear helmets. For many years, Haddon campaigned for mandatory air bags in new cars. In 1973 Haddon proposed ten strategies or countermeasures for reducing and avoiding damages based on a model of potential harmful energy transfer. The strategies apply to a large variety of unwanted phenomena. Haddon’s pioneering work on countermeasures has had a major influence on later thinking about safety. The strategies focus on eliminating, controlling, modifying and mitigating energy and its effects.
These ten strategies are listed below.
- To prevent the initial marshalling of the form of energy
- To reduce the amount of energy marshalled
- To prevent the release of the energy
- To modify the rate of spatial distribution of release of energy from its source
- To separate in space or time the energy being released from the susceptible structure
- To separate the energy being released from the susceptible structure by interposition of a material barrier
- To modify the contact surface, subsurface, or basic structure which can be impacted
- To strengthen the structure which might be damaged by the energy transfer
- To move rapidly in detection and evaluation of damage and to counter its continuation and extension
- All those measures which fall between the emergency period following the damaging energy exchange and the final stabilization of the process
Injury prevention can therefore be broken down into 3 distinct phases:
- Prevent the existence of the agent.
- Prevent the release of the agent.
- Separate the agent from the host.
- Provide protection for the host.
- Minimize the amount of agent present.
- Control the pattern of release of the agent to minimize damage.
- Control the interaction between the agent and host to minimize damage.
- Increase the resilience of the host.
- Provide a rapid treatment response for host.
- Provide treatment and rehabilitation for the host.
Queensland Health provide the following example of how to apply these countermeasures to prevent injuries to children: READ MORE HERE You will see here a shift away from education and more toward modifying the environment.
1. Prevent the creation of the hazard
Banning the sale of unsafe nursery products such as baby walkers
2. Reduce the amount of the hazard
Package medicines in smaller safer amounts
3. Prevent the release of hazards that already exists
Medicine containers that are child resistant
4. Modify the rate or spatial distribution of the hazard from its source
Use properly fitted child restraints
5. Separate by time or space the hazard from that which can be protected
Do not install child’s playgrounds near unfenced/unprotected bodies of water
6. Separate the hazard and what is to be protected by a material barrier
Install isolation fencing on all four sides of a swimming pool
7. Modify relevant basic qualities of the hazard
Change the spaces between the bars in a cot to prevent child strangulation
8. Make what is to be protected more resistant to damage from the hazard
All children learn to swim
9. Move rapidly to detect and evaluate the damage that has occurred and counter its continuation and extension
All parents and carers learn CPR and provide efficient emergency services
10. Stabilise, repair and rehabilitate the damage or injured person
Develop rehabilitation plans at an early stage of treatment