Mobile phone reception in the Highlands can often be intermittent or non-existent. If you are involved in an incident on the hill and need to call assistance but cannot make voice calls, you may now contact the 999 emergency services using a short messaging service (SMS) text from your mobile phone.
The service was originally set up in 2009 for people who are hard of hearing or who have a speech impediment. The service has been successful in helping identify crime and enabling emergency calls to be made when otherwise contact would have been difficult or impossible for the people involved.
The service will now assist those needing emergency assistance in the hills when mobile reception is poor and there is not enough signal to make a voice call. The benefit is that a text message can be composed and sent in a single operation. You should specify 'Police-Mountain Rescue' when sending the text, and include information about your location, nature of the incident and those involved.
You will only be able to use this service if you have registered with emergency SMS first.
Register now: don't wait for an emergency. To register, text the word 'register' to 999. You will get a reply - then follow the instructions you are sent. This will only take approx two minutes of your time and could save your life!
UPM Safety Alert.
In two separate incidents, two operators have been injured on UPM Tilhill harvesting sites with the change in weather as a contributory cause.
The common theme of these incidents has been the change in the weather in recent weeks. This inevitably has an effect on site conditions. You must review your risk assessments and work methods to the current conditions. Many sites will have been started during the dry summer and the on-site conditions will now have changed dramatically.
While the incidents were on harvesting sites, the conditions leading to them exist on forestry sites as well
Outcome of Fatal Accident Enquiry
James Callander & Sons Ltd - Safety Alert.
A recent fatal accident inquiry in October 2014 ruled "Accidental Death" and ruled that the accident was primarily due to operator error.
Chainsaw Operator suffers deep cut to face
Euroforest Ltd Safety Alert - Always plan any operation and make sure the area is cleared and safe zones are made before any felling cuts are started.
Increase in Ticks this year - May 2014
The article below on the BBC website is warning of an increase in Tick numbers this year. It refers to Scotland, but the whole of the UK had a mild winter and could see the same effect. Please be extra vigilant for ticks after being out on site and remove them safely using tick twisters http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-27325018
For more information on ticks please visit the BADA UK website. While they have closed as an organisation, the website is currently still active. http://www.bada-uk.org/