"Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic hats)

This sub-forum all discussions about this "lively" subject. All topics that are substantially about helmets will be moved here, if not placed here correctly in the first place.
User avatar
pjclinch
Posts: 3787
Joined: 29 Oct 2007, 2:32pm
Location: Dundee, Scotland
Contact:

Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic hats)

Postby pjclinch » 23 May 2016, 7:20pm

And that motoring helmets aren't worn on bikes has something in common with equestrian helmets: making them heavier/chunkier doesn't affect the thing doing the actual work.

More protective lids are worn by BMX and downhill MTB riders, so there are better out there. But in both cases it's a short event, comfort borders on utterly immaterial, and much of the Go comes from gravity.

Full-face bike helmets for downhill MTB are deprecated for road use by Cycling Scotland for National Standards trainees, I'm told for some peripheral vision issues which brings us to Not Crashing being better than crashing in safer hat. I've not tried one so won't presume too much exactly how much of a problem it really is. I do note that the riders pretty much always take them off for all slowish non-down.

Pete.

transmitted from my personal telephony apparatus
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

Tonyf33
Posts: 3926
Joined: 17 Nov 2007, 3:31pm
Location: Letchworth N.Herts

Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic hats)

Postby Tonyf33 » 24 May 2016, 8:26pm

In a study done some while back in Australia they found that motoring helmets and/or bands would save the countries taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars

"Car crashes remain a significant source of head injury in the community. Car occupants have an annual hospital admission rate of around 90 per 100,000 population. Of drivers who are admitted to hospital, the most serious injury is usually to the head (O'Conner and Trembath, 1994).

In a previous study, McLean et al. (1997) estimated the benefits that are likely to accrue to Australia from the use of padding of the upper interior of the passenger compartment. This study specifically examined the effects of the ammendment to the United States Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 201 (FMVSS 201) in which passenger cars have to pass head impact tests with the upper interior. That report estimated the total annual reduction in harm to the Australian community to be around $123 million.

But more impressive were the estimates of introducing protective headwear for car occupants. The authors of the report estimated that the annual reduction in harm would be in the order of $380 million. The benefit of padding the head is that the head is protected from strikes with unpadded automotive components, exterior objects and in vehicles that predate any eventual introduction of padded interiors
."

These are Australian numbers so the numbers for annual reduction in harm would be even higher in the EU or US.
The tests were a success, which is great news for drivers and car occupants:
"The results from Phase 3 indicate that a headband can greatly reduce the severity of an impact to the head. HIC was reduced by 25 percent [...] when compared with an impact with no headband."[/b]

This from an article in 1989 is interesting reading http://www.copenhagenize.com/2011/02/au ... lmets.html

As for 'reasonably practicable', around 300 Australians die every year from drowning (compared to about 50 or so from cycling), I would say it's reasonably practicable to wear flotation devices at all times near water.

Horse riding IS an extremely dangerous activity, studies have shown it to be many many times more dangerous for hospitalisations than motorcycling. In the US there are 60 head injury deaths from horse riding alone (compred to 8/yr in NFL)
Of all the TBI injuries in the US, 12% are from the horse riding community, the largest % by far.
Of all head injuries, 20% are suffered when not even on the horse! Horse riding helmets are designed to a standard written by a volunteer committee of producers (persons who represent manufacturing companies)...go figure
And yet with increased helmet wearing the figures have not gone down....people say that horse riding helmets are sufficient for protection...utter nonsense!
The newer PAS015 helmets that the EU forced ALL competing horse riders to wear from 2014 has a very poor threshold. test done show that between 10-20% of a 9,000Newton force was absorbed by the helmet, the rest on the head.
Riding helmets are very stiff, they are resistant to crushing but given the very high hospitalisation numbers and TBI craushing and skull fractures are the least of the worries for horse riders.

User avatar
pjclinch
Posts: 3787
Joined: 29 Oct 2007, 2:32pm
Location: Dundee, Scotland
Contact:

Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic hats)

Postby pjclinch » 25 May 2016, 10:39am

Tonyf33 wrote:In a study done some while back in Australia they found that motoring helmets and/or bands would save the countries taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars
... etc.

The difference being that an Australian (or Brit) in a car will typically perceive themselves as safe, where many an Australian (or Brit) on a bike won't. It's the perception that drives "common sense" rather than the actualities of risk.

Go somewhere where it isn't felt to be dangerous like NL and not many folk bother with crash hats. And then the rejoinder is that of course it's different there, and to a considerable degree it is, but one thing you're not protected from by Dutch planning and infrastructure is the low speed fall with no motor-vehicle involved that is exactly the scenario cycle helmets are designed to deal with (indeed, you're probably in more danger of that sort of accident thanks to the sheer numbers of bikes).

Bearing in mind the biggest cause of traumatic brain injury is trips and falls (again, no motors involved), "common sense" would suggest the Dutch ought to be more interested in cycle helmets than we are: the sort of accidents they have are just what the helmets are designed and specced for, and there are so many more of them riding. Yet they don't bother, and have the lowest rate of serious head injury going among cyclists.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

Tonyf33
Posts: 3926
Joined: 17 Nov 2007, 3:31pm
Location: Letchworth N.Herts

Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic hats)

Postby Tonyf33 » 25 May 2016, 1:52pm

Pete, my point in highlighting the report was that helmets should first and foremost have been lumped upon motorists if governments were that bothered about protecting victims and saving taxpayers cash as they are clearly at higher risks even with airbags etc.

to be clear I am actually 'anti-helmet', it brings the standard of riding/driving further down as do other self preserving motorvehicle 'safety' aids, anecdotally those wearing helmets whilst cycling in the UK at least seem to be from reading cycling forums over years to be the vast majority of those that crash and have contact with their heads, I don't think given what we know that that is any co-incidence. :roll:

The 'charity' alledgely supports choice (though the last few years you wouldn't think so :evil: ), however in terms of helmets I think we should make it illegal to wear them. if by wearing them we make the roads LESS safe for individuals and at a population level helmets have shown to have negative effects including the failure to improve infrastructure, failure to address poor driving standards (& use the helmet as a coverall) and as a consequence fewer cyclists but also the increasing liklihood of as per Australian courts that compensation be lowered when it was considered by a judge (without a scrap of evidence) that a helmet would have reduced/negated any injury.
Ban plastic hats is my ideology

Bicycler
Posts: 3400
Joined: 4 Dec 2013, 3:33pm

Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic hats)

Postby Bicycler » 25 May 2016, 2:09pm

Good luck with that one. Personally I think we're much better pushing the uncertainty about effectiveness and freedom of choice angles which will receive decent levels of support within the cycling community rather than alienating almost all of it by taking a stance which would be instantly dismissed as anti-helmet zealotry.

User avatar
pjclinch
Posts: 3787
Joined: 29 Oct 2007, 2:32pm
Location: Dundee, Scotland
Contact:

Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic hats)

Postby pjclinch » 25 May 2016, 2:21pm

Tonyf33 wrote:Pete, my point in highlighting the report was that helmets should first and foremost have been lumped upon motorists if governments were that bothered about protecting victims and saving taxpayers cash as they are clearly at higher risks even with airbags etc.


I know that, and you know that, but what I was pointing out was that cold, hard logic means nothing in the face of general public perception to the contrary. Cycling is seen as dangerous, driving as safe, ergo cyclists need helmets, motorists and their passengers don't, end of.

Tonyf33 wrote:... in terms of helmets I think we should make it illegal to wear them.


As Bicycler notes, good luck with that. If you try and bring that to bear on a sceptical public I think the chances of you being written off as a fruitcake are so near certain as to make no odds.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

User avatar
horizon
Posts: 9677
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Cornwall

Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic hats)

Postby horizon » 25 May 2016, 2:22pm

Bicycler wrote:Good luck with that one. Personally I think we're much better pushing the uncertainty about effectiveness and freedom of choice angles which will receive decent levels of support within the cycling community rather than alienating almost all of it by taking a stance which would be instantly dismissed as anti-helmet zealotry.


It may make some sense. Focussing on helmets leads people possibly to ignore all the other safety aspects of cycling such as good maintenance, mirrors, good road positioning etc. Without a helmet, those things come into sharper focus. It may not be possible but theoretically it's interesting.

As regards getting people to slow down on hills and bends, it might actually be a life saver.
Let's just get Brexit done so that we can get on with the important job of re-joining the EU!

Tonyf33
Posts: 3926
Joined: 17 Nov 2007, 3:31pm
Location: Letchworth N.Herts

Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic hats)

Postby Tonyf33 » 25 May 2016, 2:33pm

Banning plastic hats is along the same lines as being forced to wear plastic hats though right and with a positive upside pretty much all round?

It was a throw away comment because it goes against the freedom of choice that we all wish for, I was just being a twonk in terms of saying make them illegal but I am still 'anti-helmet'.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 14032
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic hats)

Postby mjr » 25 May 2016, 2:42pm

You're not allowed to use motor racing safety equipment on ordinary roads because most on-vehicle kit violates vehicle approvals so won't pass an MoT test, while some like motorcycle race helmets restrict vision and movement too much and don't pass the road use standards. I think cycle racing safety equipment should probably be banned outside races too... but this is a slightly different argument to preserving the freedom to ride without a helmet.

Bicycler wrote:Good luck with that one. Personally I think we're much better pushing the uncertainty about effectiveness and freedom of choice angles which will receive decent levels of support within the cycling community rather than alienating almost all of it by taking a stance which would be instantly dismissed as anti-helmet zealotry.

I disagree. If one attempt to discuss the details of helmets rationally in most public forums, the bike-bashers win with the sheer volume of their emotive irrational appeals and shock value of their gore porn. So I feel that we need to keep the public response short - link to something like http://cyclingfallacies.com/en/29/cycli ... ar-helmets - and move on to presenting positive emotional imagery of ordinary cyclists with as few helmets as possible.

Slightly more detailed work can be done in less public realms, though, but sadly, I've recently seen a new Cycling UK banner of photographs in which all but one of the people I could see were wearing helmets, including some that looked uselessly-fitted. (They also appeared all to be able-bodied and on upright bikes, but that's another issue.) It would be great if CUK would please make a bit more effort to stop its local groups from becoming part of the helmet problem, both by disaffiliating the few helmet-forcing groups and by explaining why helmets are basically ineffective.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

ThePinkOne
Posts: 215
Joined: 12 Jul 2007, 9:21pm

Re: Cyclist killed in three-rider collision in Lancashire

Postby ThePinkOne » 27 May 2016, 7:05am

sapperadam wrote:
meic wrote:
and pedestrians wearing helmets. it is NOT "reasonably practical" for them to do so


I dont see how it is any more difficult for a pedestrian to wear a helmet than it is for a cyclist to wear one.
Let alone putting the not in capitals. In fact many cyclists dont bother taking their helmets off when they are walking their bikes.


I said it was not reasonably practical. It is a generic term used in H&S and we cyclists actually use it to justify many things as well. Is it reasonably practical to force all cyclists to register bikes or have insurance for example? The same reason we are not [i]forced[/] (yet, hopefully never) to wear a helemt is because it not, in my view, reasonably practical to do so. However, that doesn't mean that it is not a reasonably practical measure for a cyclist to make.

Also we could declare any thing (crucifixes as an example) to be a safety aid and insist that they be worn on the grounds that it is "reasonably practical" to wear one while cycling.


You're quite right, you could declare anything at all to be a safety aid, whether or not it would be seen as reasonably practical is another matter.



It is all very well tossing H&S terms about, but please keep in context. I am Professional Head for safety and quality for a company working in a safety-critical industry and previously worked as a Regulator in the same, so I think I can claim to have a smattering of experience in all levels of risk assessment/control.

Reasonably practicable is a test of gross disregard. If you work to achieve ALARP for catastrophic events, there are specific numerical (probability) criteria for levels of incident you need to demonstrate.

However, this is not catastrophic risk but usual day to day risk, so lets take the risk assessment approach to decide what risk controls measures are "reasonably practicable." A cycling helmet is PPE and to talk about whether PPE is "reasonably practicable" or not is doing the usual "I know a bit about H&S but not a lot" thing. Well before then, the Principles of Prevention should be applied.

The Principles of Prevention is Reg 4 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work regs, and following them is an "absolute duty"- you SHALL follow the Principles of Prevention when carrying out a risk assessment and deciding what risk controls to put in place.

So, let's take the Principles of Prevention approach to the risk to cyclists from cycling. To do the assessment properly, we need to define a few more things- place, activity, persons effected (as per the HSE 5-steps model). So, let's take an experienced commuter on well-maintained a touring bike using a mix of town roads, a bit of off-road but decent cycle path and a couple of roundabouts- usual sort of commute. I will take the Principles of Prevention approach to assessing the risk here, but heavily summarized:

The main hazards are being struck by a car/motor vehicle and falling off. We then consider risk (i.e. consequence and likelihood) for each. For a commuter, falling off is generally low likelihood, and the outcome is generally low to medium. Just as not every papercut leads to an infection causing death (that suggestion is how you spot an inexperienced risk-assessor :D ), not every fall off a bike leads to catastrophic brain damage or death. That's where understanding the details of stats of accident types for your context is important. Biggest risk is being struck by a motor vehicle.

(1) Can we remove the hazard totally?
We need to get to work, telecommuting is not viable so we need to travel. The stats indicate that walking or driving is just as high a risk, so in this case, removing the risk cannot be done.

(2) Collective measures.
Can we put in some collective measures to control the risk?
The risk is significant, and if using H&S regulations, collective measures always take priority over individual measures. So, we would require some segregation in place, motor vehicle speed limits (possibly speed limiters) and site rules enforced. Chances are, we'd ban use of mobile phones too; and we would need competent staff with proper supervision. In the same context, proper enforcement of speed limits, highway code and phone use whilst driving would be required, as would a decent standard of driving, probably with re-tests every couple of years. Things like making bikes and motor vehicles were properly maintained would also come into play.

(3) Personal protective equipment.
At this point, the main risk is controlled. We may consider hi-vis; but cycle helmets would be unlikely as the protective effect in this context is low and they are uncomfortable for a long period. Also, the research indicates that in some circumstances they can increase the risk, plus if we introduce them as mandatory for cycling we also should introduce them for drivers of motor vehicle and pedestrians. Either a blanket introduction or not at all.

So, there's a risk assessment for cycle commuting. Obviously if you are charging downhill on a rocky trail and the main hazard is high-speed collision head-first with a tree, the whole profile of risk controls changes; probably why downhillers wear full-face helmets and body-armour.

Of course, in H&S land as with other things, there is a tendency for those in power to move immediately to "PPE" and indulge in victim-blaming. "Dress em all in PPE and they will be OK" rather than investing in proper collective measures like edge-protection to prevent falls when working on a flat roof.

It doesn't mean that folks cannot wear additional stuff if it makes them feel better inside (so long as it doesn't increase the risk), but in a workplace I wouldn't be able to justify mandating it. I am not a fan of blanket PPE unless it really does control a risk for the majority or wearers. That's not to say some workplaces don't fall on the bandwagons and push cycle helmets for in-work cycling, but equally, lots of workplaces get the whole risk assessment thing wrong too. To properly use the approach requires not only experience but also the willingness to make a decision NOT to put in place a specific available control and so open up potential for criticism or blame in event of an incident, even when using that additional measure would have made no difference to incident happening or outcome!. If I see a risk control system based around lots of PPE and personal measures, then unless it's in a valid context (e.g. firefighters), then it's a clear symptom of someone who doesn't fully understand risk assessment.

Just my view though; ultimately, most (neurotypical) people make decisions with a lot of emotional and symbolic input, so no doubt many will disagree with my analysis!

(No, I don't wear a helmet any more when commuting, because I did the risk assessment, studied the research and made a decision).

TPO

Tonyf33
Posts: 3926
Joined: 17 Nov 2007, 3:31pm
Location: Letchworth N.Herts

Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic hats)

Postby Tonyf33 » 28 May 2016, 2:14am

The above has been mentioned with regard to logical steps/correct procedure etc elsewhere.

A couple of things though:

"The main hazards are being struck by a car/motor vehicle and falling off", I'd say you are confusing hazard with consequence/outcome, no?
In all instances it is critical to understand the difference otherwise in part you'll fail to understand the 'why something happened' and by definition cannot then apply effective preventative methods/procedures.
For a commuter, falling off is generally low likelihood,

Liklihood of "falling off" (the consequence/outcome of not overcoming/avoiding the hazard) for an experienced commuter is not low to medium, in fact in the extremely low occurence range. Think about how often you have fallen off ever...mine is thrice in 32 years (incl an newbie SPD moment)

the 'likelihood' of harm/injury at or above that being considered to prevent (head injury) would be extremely low...mine is ZERO despite being struck twice by motorvehicles
given the data we already have we know that that is the case otherwise we'd have had high tens of thousands of TBI cases and low thousand of deaths solely from head injury pre helmets.

Can you even describe cycle helmets as 'PPE' if the H&SE have already decreed that they aren't?

John-D
Posts: 241
Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 9:31am
Location: Haworth, West Yorkshire

Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic hats)

Postby John-D » 28 May 2016, 7:29am

Have the HSE 'decreed' that? I think they simply say that like motorcycle helmets they are not covered by the PPE Regulations.

Tonyf33
Posts: 3926
Joined: 17 Nov 2007, 3:31pm
Location: Letchworth N.Herts

Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic hats)

Postby Tonyf33 » 28 May 2016, 12:48pm

John-D wrote:Have the HSE 'decreed' that? I think they simply say that like motorcycle helmets they are not covered by the PPE Regulations.

They have made a particular note to mention that cycle helmets are not covered by the regulations whilst used on the road. That is fairly damning in my honest opinion.

John-D
Posts: 241
Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 9:31am
Location: Haworth, West Yorkshire

Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic hats)

Postby John-D » 28 May 2016, 9:27pm

Tonyf33 wrote:
John-D wrote:Have the HSE 'decreed' that? I think they simply say that like motorcycle helmets they are not covered by the PPE Regulations.

They have made a particular note to mention that cycle helmets are not covered by the regulations whilst used on the road. That is fairly damning in my honest opinion.


Not really. The HSE view is based on the 1992 Regulations, which state:
(2) Regulations 4 to 12 shall not apply in respect of personal protective equipment which is –
(d) personal protective equipment used for protection while travelling on a road within the meaning (in England and Wales) of section 192(1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988, and (in Scotland) of section 151 of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984;

The supporting HSE guidance says:
Helmets
The regulations do not cover the use of protective equipment such as cycle helmets or crash helmets worn by employees on the roads. Motorcycle crash helmets are legally required for motorcyclists under road traffic legislation - - -

Bicycler
Posts: 3400
Joined: 4 Dec 2013, 3:33pm

Re: "Chopper" Cyclist killed in 3-rider collision (Plastic hats)

Postby Bicycler » 29 May 2016, 12:38am

This isn't an issue unique to cycle helmets. We quite frequently have discussions where certain people are using a narrow, technical definition of a term and others are using a broader definition. In this case I can understand why the term ppe might be used both narrowly and broadly. However, when writing PPE in capital letters (as the previous poster did) it does imply that you are referring to a specific (narrow) definition of the term.

Anyway, let's not overly concern ourselves about this. We all agree that helmets are intended to provide a level of head protection (and thus may be described as protective equipment) and we all agree that they are not PPE within the context of the regulations.