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NEW POLL - Does your club have a safety officer, or is the emphasis on individual members to each be their own safety officer?

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Q: Does your club have a safety officer, or is the emphasis on individual members to each be their own safety officer?

 Yes we have a SO
 No, it's down to everyone

David Ashby - Moderator21/03/2019 10:13:04
10931 forum posts
1681 photos
612 articles

Yes = your club does have a safety officer.

No = your club doesn't and it's down to each individual to be a 'safety officer'.

David Ashby - Moderator21/03/2019 10:15:33
10931 forum posts
1681 photos
612 articles

It's a poll prompted by me folks. As always, I'm, just curious wink

Personally I've never liked the idea of a safety officer, what do you think?

Wingman21/03/2019 10:50:36
1121 forum posts
405 photos

Our club has a Hiviz jacket with "Safety Officer" printed on the back but we can't get anyone to wear it frown so no gets my vote.

Doc Marten21/03/2019 11:27:31
394 forum posts
4 photos

1) Yes my club has a designated safety officer, in their absence a suitable member on site is designated.

2) Health and Safety legislation puts the emphasis on everybody to do their part so if a hazard or unsafe practice is identified then it is the responsibility of the individual to do all that is reasonable to mitigate it e.g Highlight iand inform everybody else, cordon it off or remove it completely.

Too many times I've seen H&S used as an excuse to not do something when the intention of it is to still do it but make it as safe as possible. This may come across as me defending or celebrating H&S.....I'm not, I've seen it abused too many times, the consequence being fatalities and injury that could have been avoided.

Richard Ashworth21/03/2019 11:43:35
89 forum posts
69 photos

We have a nominated safety officer but have three distinct groups within the club, midweek, Saturday and Sunday fliers. In the absence of a safety officer for each group we have elected to emphasise that safety is the responsibility of each member and we are encouraged that if we see anything we think is wrong, do something!

Romeo Whisky21/03/2019 11:50:02
717 forum posts
201 photos

It is a pity that this poll assumes that the two are mutually exclusive, which in my view they should never be.

It implies that by having a Safety Officer everyone else in the Club can completey abdicate any responsibility for safe practice. That is surely an UNSAFE state of affairs.

In our Club the answer would be BOTH. (See Safety Matters page on our website

We have a Safety Officer who reports safety issues and violations to the Committee, but our Club Rules point out that safety is everybody's responsibility, and naturally there will be many times that the Safety Officer is not present at the field. Whether he is present or not is largely irrelevant as all members have a responsibility for safety, including tactfully and respectfully pointing out any potential dangerous practices they observe. Ours is a friendly club and members also seem to appreciate that correcting a friend takes courage as well as needing tact and respect, and I have heard members thank and apologise to the person who has pointed out safety issues to them.

john stones 121/03/2019 11:52:36
10794 forum posts
1481 photos

Sadly we have a few of em.

Lads on committee got sick and tired of meetings, turning up at field and being dragged into childish arguments, mostly over which side of the field we're flying from due to the sun/wind (on far side it's a longer walk). If people can't agree among themselves and toys start getting chucked out the pram, the poor fella who's S.O will restore order and pick the toys up.

Odd as it is, they seem to manage by consensus now. wink

Ron Gray21/03/2019 13:27:03
1599 forum posts
391 photos

We tend to look at each other’s setup / flying and police safety that way.

Martin Harris21/03/2019 13:34:42
9034 forum posts
224 photos

For my sins, I am currently the safety officer for my club. We try to encourage individuals to think about their operating practices and I feel that my duties are primarily to offer advice, either at the field or via the club newsletter. On the rare occasion that someone does something blatantly unsafe, I have a quiet word with them about what I feel is unsafe and how they might operate more safely and I have yet to take any further action.

I do not possess a high vis jacket!

Don Fry21/03/2019 13:37:35
4298 forum posts
49 photos

My club hasn't got a safety officer, or any system, and it can get dangerous. Take care.

Nigel R21/03/2019 14:30:45
3314 forum posts
514 photos

I need to be able to vote both.

But I rarely see the safety officer, he flies Sundays, and I don't.

We look after ourselves fairly effectively. We have a few simple rules. And hopefullly, enough common sense to fill in the gaps.

G194021/03/2019 15:13:41
3523 forum posts
1 photos

I think we have a safety officer but I'm not sure who it is. However we have a few of what I think are sensible rules.

1. No taxiing in the pits

2. There's a written map of where we pit and fly depending on wind direction. Mostly it's the same place except when the wind blows directly into the pits.

3. No overflying of the pits or car park. There is a no-fly zone but it's not restrictive.

4. No cars to be left in the pits other than loading/unloading (we're lucky)

5. Flyers and those waiting to fly (ie take off) are expected to communicate with each other and new members are (politely) asked to do the same.

Mind you that didn't stop the chairman overflying the car park and stuffing his model into the back of the (steel) hut. Luckily it did very little damage to the car it fell back on. I think there were 'words' but the car owner was fairly relaxed. When there are a just a few there, rule 4 tends to be ignored as we can fly safely well clear of the pits.


Ace21/03/2019 15:18:09
282 forum posts
17 photos

Both - So I can't vote as we have a safety officer as dictated in our constitution who communicates by a quite word if he sees or someone mentions an unsafe practice. But then we also have in our constitution that safety is every members responsibility. Any differences in opinion are decided by majority present as they will be effected. Works for us.

Kevin Fairgrieve21/03/2019 17:00:58
1610 forum posts
2863 photos

For my sins, I am our clubs SO.

Not that it is just my responsibility. Everyone is a safety officer and looks out for everyone else.

I write the safety rules and have them ratified at committee level.

Model Monster21/03/2019 17:42:53
55 forum posts
101 photos

We could do with a Psychiatrist.

john stones 121/03/2019 17:45:48
10794 forum posts
1481 photos
Posted by Model Monster on 21/03/2019 17:42:53:

We could do with a Psychiatrist.

We have a few lads who're experts on that, and every other subject. wink

Peter Miller21/03/2019 18:17:50
10410 forum posts
1232 photos
10 articles

A long time ago the then secretaryand another person who left the club  a long time ago pushed through the  rule about a Safety Officer.

Interestingly the then secretary was wearing the yellow jacket and was asked to get someone to move their glider towline as they were causing a problem. He reaction was "Oh well, he has it set up now" and that was that. The other person on another occasion refused to wear the vest.

This resulted in a change of secretary,

I phoned the SMAE and asked their opinion. IT was suggested that when there is a safety officer the other members tend to rely on the Safety Officer to keep them safe and thus reduced safety.

I have also read that if you take a group of senior officers and put one in charge the rest will tend to "goof off"!

Now we do not have one and anyone can politely draw attention to a possibly unsafe practice or action. It works!!

Edited By Peter Miller on 21/03/2019 18:19:39

John Privett21/03/2019 20:40:21
5996 forum posts
239 photos

Our club rules explicitly state that every member is to consider themselves a safety officer.

In any case, we can fly 7 days a week, and in the summer up to 8 hours a day. That would mean if we did have a nominated safety officer most of the time he wouldn't be present, or if he was it would - at 56 hours a week be rather more than a full-time job!

PatMc21/03/2019 21:15:01
4266 forum posts
523 photos

IMO it's not the safety officer's job to be the club safety policeman. His job should be one of observing & reporting on any unsafe or potentially unsafe actions, procedures or scenarios. Also if possible offering advice towards preventing re-occurrence.

All members should be active in preventing &/or stopping unsafe situations occurring.

Sometimes people create dangerous situations without being aware of it, a quiet word will usually have more effect than a perceived rollicking or angry outburst.

Edited By PatMc on 21/03/2019 21:18:43

leccyflyer21/03/2019 23:40:36
1301 forum posts
302 photos
Posted by Model Monster on 21/03/2019 17:42:53:

We could do with a Psychiatrist.

We've got one! Nice chap with an excellent sense of humour.

Both of my clubs also have a safety officer, but the BMFA is pretty clear that the responsibility for safety lies with the pilot, so we should all remember that.

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