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Pause for a Cause

EDGE, JOTA, NESA, KISMIF: As Scouters know, acronyms pack valuable information into an easily remembered word. Now a new acronym has joined the list: PAUSE. Aimed at helping leaders and Scouts analyze safety risks, PAUSE stands for:

PAUSE before you start ASSESS possible hazards UNDERSTAND how to proceed safely SHARE your plan with others EXECUTE the activity safely

The PAUSE cards, which were intro-

duced at the BSA’s National Annual Meeting in May, are a point-of-impact mental checklist that can be reviewed quickly, says Mike Narvaez, safety team chairman on the national health and safety support committee. “These cards are for when you’re out

in the field, maybe setting up an ax yard or checking your archery range,” Narvaez says. “Have you thought about things that could go wrong? Are there hazards that can be avoided?” Narvaez borrowed the PAUSE idea from

a company that erects scaffolding in the oil and gas industry. “We wanted something that would become part of the Scout vernacular, like the EDGE method, for instance,” he says. Each step of the PAUSE process is impor-

tant. The Share step, for example, encourages Scouters to collaborate and seek other opinions. “If you come across something you see is an issue and you’re just hanging on to the info yourself, a similar situation may come up down the road and endanger someone else,” says Narvaez. “If you share, you might get feedback — feedback’s a gift.” Richard Bourlon, the BSA’s health and safety team leader, believes the cards

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can be a valuable reminder that safety is everyone’s job. “We’re trying to get rid of a ‘safety police’ mentality with the organization,” he says. “This falls in line with our concept of everybody taking responsibility for their safety and the safety of those with them. This is a tool to help them know and manage the risks before they do something.” To print your own PAUSE cards, go to

Safety PAUSE


before you start possible hazards


EXECUTE the activity safely how to proceed safely your plan with others


One More Time for Safety

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