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Developed and maintained
by the NFCC

Control measure

Clean line principle

Control measure knowledge

Fixed lines can pull responders underneath the water and untreated lines may sink and snag on sub-surface objects when saturated. Any fixed line may hold a responder or casualty in a hazardous position.

All lines used in the water environment should be designed and treated for use in water. All lines should be easily releasable at all times. Responders should have other means of releasing lines that present a hazard to casualties or responders.

The use of collective or personal work restraint systems that completely remove the risk of accidental entry when working near water may be considered where appropriate. The use of work restraint systems should be risk-assessed considering any reasonably foreseeable actions that may be required. If the risk of entry cannot be entirely removed, the clean line principle should be followed.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Provide lines and equipment suitable for use in the water environment

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Use the clean line principle when working at incidents involving water