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Risk Assessment
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2007/1/22 12:26
From Callander, Scotland
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Further to the topic raised by Ville.
Speed skiing is an exciting sport, both to watch and take part in. However there are risks. As such the organisers of events must assess these risks and take the necessary steps to reduce these risks.
The helmet rule, first thing we must ask ourselves is this, is this just a knee jerk reaction to the accident, to cover up the real reason for the accident or the only solution.
Lets look at everything surrounding the Speed Event, this sould be from the access to the track, to personal protection. I would argue that some events have cut back in the preperation in and around the track, to almost the minimum that they can get away with, fall zones that don't meet the minimum requirement, poor timing cell protection, fences that don't protect the skier, to name but a few. This allied to TD's that don't even know their own rules and guidelines, only adds to the problem.
What I would like to see is a proper risk assessment carried out before the skier even starts training. This document should be available to all skiers attending the event. From this document the skier can see what has been identified as risk and what has been done to minimise that risk. This would also force the organisers to consider the skier.
It must also be noted that risk assessments are carried out in almost other event, from rock concerts, to exibitions and sports events. This would allow our sport to come into line with other events.
Your thoughts would be welcomed.
Regards
Millar Reid
British Speed Skiing

Posted on: 2007/7/26 10:40
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Braveheart,

I agree to what you have proposed to keep the racers in the loop and to verify any dramatic changes in this document. I also ask that the helmet rule needs to be published very soon with the hand full of opinions on this drastic change. I for one am not keen on changing my brain bucket to someone else brilliant idea. Like I said before, "we have already modified our helmets; let’s look at other solutions to better the sport instead of deluding it.

I am not sure on this, but the fact that we have shoulder fairings on our helmets is because it gives us less of a chance to break our necks?

I have recently viewed Harry Egger website and I liked the quote he made. “If everyone obeyed all the rules that other people have drawn up, there would be no progress.”

I think we really need to get on the right track and verify the tracks safety from start to finish. The future is in all the competitors’ hands to either make it Olympic status or keep tearing it piece by piece until there are little presents during a race.

The helmets, back, and other protected gear that we have improved are good. But if we do any more than we loose the sport and we might as well go back to production or stay on the sidelines.
RA

Posted on: 2007/7/26 16:33


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I did not want to write anything to this, but finally as you ask I'll add my 2 cents.

First: The following is not supposed to be a critic on any conversations about new helmet or new safety rules that may be ongoing!

I think everything that increases safety is good, but by minimizing
the impact on the core spirit of the speed ski competition.
We love Speed Ski because it is dangerous, but we are not stupid.

I think we could already gain a lot if we would just really ENFORCE
the current rules. And I mean EVERYBODY involved in Speed Ski race:
TDs, Race Comittees, racers, team captains, experienced racers, rookies, etc

Just some questions, I ask myself (and maybe you want to ask yourself):
- Is still somebody checking the covering clothes at the telecabin?
- Who is responsible for checking the skiing level of the speed skiers
and I am just talking about the skills to ski through a steep mogul field,
maybe the team captains?.
- Is the starting phase safe enough? In Verbier we saw ropes and crampons
at the start. I have to admit: It looked weird and somebody may ask if this was still ok, but it was definitely safer.
- do we (race org AND racers) really check effectivly our equipment?
- Does the personal know how to check equipment?
In the FIS Worldchampionship the TD checking my back protector had no idea
what CE Norm EN1621-2 is.
- Are the cuts adequate enough?
The Verbier final run was questionable,
but only the BEST 15 Speed skiers of the world were allowed to start.
This was also SAFETY.
- RACERS: do we accept the decisions of the jury or do we prefer to put pressure on the race comittee
to start from higher or in dangerous conditions (ignoring risks for OTHERS)
- BEGINNERS and SLOWER RACERS: do we always accept that we did not pass a cut or do
we try to convince the jury to let us start at least as forerunner?
- RACE JURY: are you able to accept the responsability of LEADING a speed ski race
and stay with your decisions or do you prefer to ask the racers when you start hesitating.
REMEMBER: THE FINAL DECISION AND RESPONSABILITY IS STILL YOURS!

Final question to every Speed Skier:
Do you know your own "accident coefficient"?

Definition:

accident coefficient = damage * risk (probability of accident)

The better skier you are, the lower the damage, the lower the risk, the lower your accident coefficient.
My recommendation: Start only if your accident coefficient is ACCEPTABLE for you!

Putting it into words:
Could you live with the possible bad consequences of an accident?
According to you accident coefficient what would this most probably be?
a black and blue ass? burns? or a concusion? or a broken arm? or broken legs? or invalidity? or brain damage? or maybe death...?

If you answer YES and START you are a SPEED SKIER.
If you answer NO and dont START you are what we normally would define as a "normal human beiing".
If you answer NO and START you are just an IDIOT!

Help make Speed Ski great and thrilling, ok, make it safe, but please don't strangle it.

If you were able to read to here:
Can you explain "CE EN1621-2"?
The first 3 that answer my question get a free beer next time we meet!

Cant wait to meet you all again!

Enjoy the summer and stay fast!

ricardo

Posted on: 2007/7/26 20:23


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From Vaasa, Finland
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I found something..=)


The CE BACK PROTECTOR standard is labeled CE EN1621-2. The test is performed with a 5kg “kerbstone” dropped from one meter to create the test impact energy of 50 Joules. The standard contains two levels of force transmission performance. 18kN passes LEVEL 1 "basic" compliance and 9kN passes LEVEL 2 "high performance" compliance. So LEVEL 2 protectors allow 50% less force to reach the spine/ribs."

"There has been criticism of the standard from medical experts who consider the transmitted force levels too severe; citing decades of automotive research which indicates 4 kN is the maximum force the brittle bones which form the human ribcage can withstand before they fracture. Four kiloNewtons is the requirement adopted in standards covering, for example, horse riders' body protectors and martial arts equipment."

"Back Protection for Motorcyclists--Only a few motorcyclists receive a direct blow to the spine causing serious injury; more spine injuries are probably due to direct blows to the shoulders and hips. The products commonly known as motorcyclists back protectors, if correctly designed and constructed may alleviate some minor direct impacts on the back, but will not prevent skeletal or neurological injuries to the spine in motorcycle accidents."

"It appears that most riders’ assumptions about the use and effectiveness of back protection is more than even the highest rated protectors can live-up to in actual performance. This information won’t stop me from purchasing a back protector, but it certainly gives me a better understanding of what to expect at current levels, so as not to be fooled by stories or sales pitches to the contrary.



-Jukka-

Posted on: 2007/7/27 9:38


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Jukka,
You win the free beer! There we go, the CE mark explained. Well done Jukka.
Cheers
Millar

Posted on: 2007/7/27 10:50
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I agree with RA and Harry. If there is no development there would no be progress. First time when I saw what Harry did I said that everything what Harry is doing is outside the rules. But maybe Harry was the first skier who realizes that the speed skiing can be like F1 that there is so much to do in aerodynamic parts and also in safety things. I know Harry and he didn’t care about the rules or safety but what he was always thinking how to go faster and how to develop better aerodynamic equipments.

If all the race organization will do the same excellent work as the organization in Sun Peaks Canada is doing we could stop worry about the safety at the outside and the inside of the course. First thing is that it takes a lat of money to build the same kind of nets in Les Arcs as they have in Canada. I don’t know is there have to be the same kind of nets in Les Arcs as they have in Canada because there is enough snow to build the small snow walls that when the skier will crash it will stay inside the course. They have the snow walls in a breaking area in Hundfjället. The snow walls should be in a same place where the net is normally in Les Arcs. At the moment the nets in Les Arcs are only keeping the tourist outside the course but not the skiers inside. I believe that the snow walls will keep the skiers inside the course and if we but those nets on the top of the snow wall it will keep the tourist also outside the course. I know that it will be little bit more costs to make the race but lets make the question for the organization in Les Arcs, Verbier… How much it cost to make the snow walls around the course?

There have to be progress to stick out the media interest. When we stick out the media interest then we get the sponsors. Like 10 years ago they make exploratory of marketing in ski jumping. They didn’t change really much the rules but they change totally how they broadcast the ski jump in TV. Three years ago ski jumping has bigger TV audience in Germany then in Football bundesliga had. Miracles can happen.

And I agree with Jukka so free beer to me also

Posted on: 2007/7/27 11:27


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Thanks Jukka.

so what we see as that even strict official standards may not be enough for some medicals, so what about home made stuff..?

And I agree with Ville one of the things that attracts me in Speed Ski is the technology part.
btw: what will we tell the people if one day Harry breaks the record with big Red Bull party and his EMMA? Think about it.
The first to answer was Martin (he send me an email).
So it looks like we will have a nice beer round with Austria, Finland and Spain.

ricardo

Posted on: 2007/7/27 19:16







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