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Maria de Villota suffers testing crash at Duxford [split]


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#1101 Tony Mandara

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 12:49

Does anyone else think that the loading platform was at a convenient height for a 'makeshift' sitting place to watch the car on the runway?
Whilst being at a very inconvenient height for someone sitting in a F1 car to even see (a horizontal metal platform).

..Pure speculation again of course, but if this is the case then culpabilty is quite clear IMHO.

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#1102 Rich

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 13:36

Does anyone else think that the loading platform was at a convenient height for a 'makeshift' sitting place to watch the car on the runway?


What if the truck was still offloading gear? The Marussia truck is parked well out of the way and clearly all the necessary equipment has already been removed from it. The rental truck is parked next to the marquee with its ramp down. The accident happened quite early in the morning, some time shortly after 09h00. From this it's not unreasonable to conclude that the rental truck might have got to the airfield later than the Marussia truck did. I guess the team wanted to get everything unloaded from the rental truck and then move it out of the way, into the same position roughly as the Marussia truck. I can't see any other reason to have the Marussia truck parked in such a different position to the rental truck. The MO of racing teams seems to be to park trucks side by side.

It's been a wet summer in England and it's not ideal to do straightline runs in driving rain. Maybe the rental truck was late, the team were running behind schedule, the weather looked like changing for the worse and everybody was anxious to get in some runs before the rain. In which case, it puts a different angle on things.

The automatic assumption that the ramp shouldn't be down is untenable. These trucks are given ramps for a reason, the ramp must be down at some point if the truck is to fulfill its purpose. So the assumption that the ramp shouldn't be down when the car is testing is countered by the corollary that the car shouldn't be sent out for a run while the ramp is down. So it may not have been a breach by the truck operator but could ostensibly be the decision of someone keen to begin the test runs before the necessary preparatory work had been concluded.

These details are not known yet but the early time of the accident does raise it as a possibility.


#1103 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 13:49

The purpose of the truck is transport. The lift gate just makes loading and unloading easier.

If they were in a hurry, that's a reason but not an excuse. When you rush things you have accidents. So no the car shouldn't have been sent out or be allowed to operate in an unsafe environment.

#1104 Slowinfastout

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 14:56

But the tent and the people also were in a reachable location like the truck.. there were also airplanes and other stuff further away, but still pretty close when you consider how fast a F1 can travel (possibly out of control).

Where do you stop and begin to accept the risk of mechanical failure and/or trust the driver?

It's pretty obvious now that the tail lift was in a hazardous position height-wise, but I don't consider the location of the truck to have been more hazardous than what we've come to accept with many other things.. like marshals on the tracks to recover a car, under a yellow the cars still go fast enough to kill a marshall several times over.

So what do you do? You remove the hazards one by one as people are killed or severely injured? You remove some hazards and arbitrarily leave others as acceptable risk?

#1105 SirRacer

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 15:03

But the tent and the people also were in a reachable location like the truck.. there were also airplanes and other stuff further away, but still pretty close when you consider how fast a F1 can travel (possibly out of control).

Where do you stop and begin to accept the risk of mechanical failure and/or trust the driver?

It's pretty obvious now that the tail lift was in a hazardous position height-wise, but I don't consider the location of the truck to have been more hazardous than what we've come to accept with many other things.. like marshals on the tracks to recover a car, under a yellow the cars still go fast enough to kill a marshall several times over.

So what do you do? You remove the hazards one by one as people are killed or severely injured? You remove some hazards and arbitrarily leave others as acceptable risk?

Truck was an avoidable risk for driver, tent was an avoidable risk for people there.

The scene, all in all, could've been safer for everyone.

#1106 Gareth

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 15:05

So what do you do? You remove the hazards one by one as people are killed or severely injured? You remove some hazards and arbitrarily leave others as acceptable risk?

A judgement of acceptable risk isn't just a case of how dangerous something is. There's also the weighing up of the benefit of having the risk there and the costs of preventing the thing from being there, vs the risk of it being there.

With a tail lift, I can't think of a benefit of it being down during the test nor can I believe that the cost of putting it up (delaying a load or unload until after the test or simply having someone to bother to put it up when not in use, depending on the situation) would outweigh the risk it presents. The other items you mention are not so clear cut, IMO. There is a clear benefit to marshals and a clear cost to stopping a race whenever they are on track (rather than waving yellows) - neither is the case with the truck tail lift. There is a clear benefit to having sponsors attend an event, a cost to removing the aircraft - neither is the case with the tail lift.

Were there other risks present that day at the test? Yes. Was it only misfortune that meant that this risk (tail lift) was the one realised? Yes. Does that mean there shouldn't be an analysis of whether the cost/benefit of leaving the tail lift down made it an acceptable risk? No. What's the result of that analysis? IMO, given the distinct lack of cost in keeping it up and the obvious benefit to doing so, I think it was clearly an unacceptable risk.

#1107 Slowinfastout

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 15:13

Truck was an avoidable risk for driver, tent was an avoidable risk for people there.

The scene, all in all, could've been safer for everyone.


True, obviously, but it's the case for every single event involving cars that move.

I know we've been there before, but it would also be safer without open cockpits... personally having raced snowmobiles and driven all the most unsafe toys I could get my hands on, I don't think that's reasonable..

Safety seems to be a pretty adaptable concept, we close our eyes on an absurd quantity of stuff, and then a freak accident happens and we pretend to improve things by closing a tiny gap.. I'm not comfortable with that even though I get the point.

#1108 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 15:18

But if you take care of the basic issues you probably don't need to go all the way to canopies.

#1109 Slowinfastout

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 15:23

But if you take care of the basic issues you probably don't need to go all the way to canopies.


It was just an example I used.. we could go all day long listing possible safety improvements.

I just think there's an element of hypocrisy in our reactions to different incidents, I definitely include myself in that too.

#1110 pdac

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 15:47

Probably best just to wait for the HSE report to come out. However, my guess is that it will be extremely damning of the set up on the day and will probably make quite strong recommendations for future events. I believe that they will come to the conclusion that the accident was predictable and avoidable and as such should never have happened. But we'll see.

#1111 Rich

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 16:16

Probably best just to wait for the HSE report to come out. However, my guess is that it will be extremely damning of the set up on the day and will probably make quite strong recommendations for future events. I believe that they will come to the conclusion that the accident was predictable and avoidable and as such should never have happened. But we'll see.


An HSE report isn't necessarily going to change things. Years ago, a cameraman colleague of mine was sent to cover the opening of a new luxury hotel. They were flying in VIP guests from all around the country and, in an ideal world, the hotel would have been completely finished. But, in the construction industry, things don't always happen on schedule. My colleague was running to fetch something from his vehicle and he ran straight through a closed plate glass sliding door which hadn't yet had the visibility/safety stickers applied. What were the hotel owners going to do - turn away the VIP guests at the airport with "Sorry, we've had to cancel the opening ceremony because the safety stickers aren't in place yet", or push ahead in the hope that nothing happens? I know what the H&S investigator will advise. I also know what the hotel owners will do. That's why hotel owners aren't H&S investigators and why H&S investigators aren't business owners.

People take chances. It shouldn't happen in an ideal world where everything runs strictly according to H&S guidelines. But that world doesn't exist.

#1112 Enzoluis

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 18:03

Truck was an avoidable risk for driver, tent was an avoidable risk for people there.

The scene, all in all, could've been safer for everyone.



Then the Massa┬┤s father is an avoidable risk every GP weekend.


#1113 Imperial

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 21:04

But the tent and the people also were in a reachable location like the truck.. there were also airplanes and other stuff further away, but still pretty close when you consider how fast a F1 can travel (possibly out of control).


Indeed.

One only has to look at the sheer unchecked ferocity of Greg Moore's fatal Champ Car crash to see what can happen when a race car is hurtling out of control at 200mph+ and with grass to dig into as an added risk factor.




#1114 pingu666

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 00:18

the tent + lorry is not any different that lots of paddocks around the world, on any given weekend, really its just the ramp being at that unfortunate height

#1115 Wingcommander

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 04:55

But if you take care of the basic issues you probably don't need to go all the way to canopies.


Yes you do. Having an open cockpit is an unnecessary risk and causes some totally avoidable accidents. And after reading all the nitpicking in this thread about safety, i can't believe that someone still thinks that the canopies aren't necessary.

#1116 smitten

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 07:07

i can't believe that someone still thinks that the canopies aren't necessary.


I can't believe you think closed canopies are a panacea. As has been pointed out many times, canopies introduce different risks to drivers and the question is which provides less risk overall.

#1117 Rinehart

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 10:34

Basically that Maria didn't realise the car didn't have a clutch pedal so pressed the brake by mistake.

Which as an analysis is a bit weak. Don't SuperLeague cars have a clutch paddle?


She didn't REALISE there wasn't a clutch pedal. Pff, no chance - that's almost a veiled insult to suggest that. Was that Gary Anderson the ex Jordan tech that came up with that, or Gary Anderson, my decorator?!

#1118 Rinehart

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 10:43

Pedals and wheel buttons confusion aside, one thing I find strange is that the actual steering wheel doesn't appear to have been utilised in order to avoid disaster.
Either she had her head buried down in the cockpit searching for buttons, or the suggestion that she was avoiding team personal gains weight.

#1119 pdac

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 11:02

Pedals and wheel buttons confusion aside, one thing I find strange is that the actual steering wheel doesn't appear to have been utilised in order to avoid disaster.
Either she had her head buried down in the cockpit searching for buttons, or the suggestion that she was avoiding team personal gains weight.

It's possible that, from her viewing angle, it wasn't apparant that the tailgate was in front of her.

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#1120 Clatter

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 12:13

It's possible that, from her viewing angle, it wasn't apparant that the tailgate was in front of her.


If she was dodging personnel I doubt she even looked.


#1121 loki

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 18:33

The data acquisition will tell you everything.


Yep. It's easy to make a mistake. Look at some of the pro drivers now in any series. Too bad, she had potential but I don't know that the F1 Boys Club is ready for a female driver regardless of talent.


#1122 Clatter

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 18:38

Yep. It's easy to make a mistake. Look at some of the pro drivers now in any series. Too bad, she had potential but I don't know that the F1 Boys Club is ready for a female driver regardless of talent.


If a female comes along and is truly talented enough she will be snapped up.

#1123 tifosiMac

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 18:42

Too bad, she had potential but I don't know that the F1 Boys Club is ready for a female driver regardless of talent.

Its not like F1 has never had a female F1 driver though is it?

Its not a case that there aren't any because they are women, its because the talebt pool doesn't have a female quite worthy of a full time seat. This doesn't mean we won't see one based on gender and as Clatter says if there is a good enough female driver, she will be snapped up.

#1124 4L3X

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 19:09

BTW how many times late in his career did Rubens Barrichello botched his starts? Mistakes happen. Re: clutch point Check and execution

I bet some teams regard losing 10 places on the grid far worse than a minor crash while testing. I have the only **** up was the truck positioning, and not the actual mistake, IMHO.

Edited by 4L3X, 18 July 2012 - 19:12.


#1125 loki

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 02:22

Its not like F1 has never had a female F1 driver though is it?

Its not a case that there aren't any because they are women, its because the talebt pool doesn't have a female quite worthy of a full time seat. This doesn't mean we won't see one based on gender and as Clatter says if there is a good enough female driver, she will be snapped up.


There are men on the grid right now that don't belong in F1 but they're there anyway. A bag full of money and some testicles still go along way in F1.


#1126 PassWind

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 03:28

An HSE report isn't necessarily going to change things. Years ago, a cameraman colleague of mine was sent to cover the opening of a new luxury hotel. They were flying in VIP guests from all around the country and, in an ideal world, the hotel would have been completely finished. But, in the construction industry, things don't always happen on schedule. My colleague was running to fetch something from his vehicle and he ran straight through a closed plate glass sliding door which hadn't yet had the visibility/safety stickers applied. What were the hotel owners going to do - turn away the VIP guests at the airport with "Sorry, we've had to cancel the opening ceremony because the safety stickers aren't in place yet", or push ahead in the hope that nothing happens? I know what the H&S investigator will advise. I also know what the hotel owners will do. That's why hotel owners aren't H&S investigators and why H&S investigators aren't business owners.

People take chances. It shouldn't happen in an ideal world where everything runs strictly according to H&S guidelines. But that world doesn't exist.


In this country there are exemptions for Journalists under OHS laws, not to say there is no protection for the journalists but it takes into account their sometimes dynamic work places.

Aside from what happened to your freind there are certainly questions that needed answering regardless of the occasion, stickers or no stickers. HSE has a bad name, why I don't know, the main aim of any HSE manager is to allow their company to make profit with reduced overall risk. If they are not doing that and are merely posing as company secret police, they ought to be sacked. Internal HSE should be focused on enabling business without risk not stalling it.

Real world is that big companies know that injuries and incidents cost them more than taking the measures to prevent them, excellent HSE staff make companies more profit in the long term.

This incident in the long term could sink Maurissa, just the effect on their sponsors in regards to the perception of the team. We can already see the costs associated in damage limitation, they have engaged a third party, they would be open book on looking after the driver and family, the effect rolls onto to operations where on track performance leads to profit. Resources in the team will now be directed to dealing with this, taking away from the ability to get better track results. It all builds up and if say it costs them 20 million in overall costs to fix this the couple of thousand spent in labour costs to have a safe testing venue based on some simple elimination and isolation controls just makes business sense.

People are focusing on the driving error when it should be focused on the likely hood of a driving error, given what we know of motor racing the likely hood of driving error is, likely to happen therefore your controls focus on consequence of that occurring. Hence focus should be on site set up.

Like your friend what is a the likely hood of someone walking in a glass panel in a access way, I would say highly likely, I have seen it many times and if I have there are then millions if not billions of instance where people have done it. Want to use glass? Sure but consider the consequence of someone running into it, simple engineering calculations and your glass door has design parameters that ensure it doesn't break and if broken it doesn't shatter, reducing the consequences. Likewise if the car loses control it doesnt impact with something that overcomes its built in crash protection, which in this case failed.

Edited by PassWind, 19 July 2012 - 03:32.


#1127 Imperial

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 06:51

Of course with all this talk over legal bills etc, who knows de Vilotta's contract has written in it about accidents proven to be caused by her? A no-legal claim clause maybe. If so, tail lifts would be irrelevant.

There's all this talk about looking after Maria and her family, yet Marussia have already done something they were under no obligation to do: release a statement confirming their car was not at fault.

That statement wasn't a human interest story, it will surely have been released at the behest of their lawyers.

Edited by Imperial, 19 July 2012 - 06:52.


#1128 F1ultimate

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 08:40

Of course with all this talk over legal bills etc, who knows de Vilotta's contract has written in it about accidents proven to be caused by her? A no-legal claim clause maybe. If so, tail lifts would be irrelevant.

There's all this talk about looking after Maria and her family, yet Marussia have already done something they were under no obligation to do: release a statement confirming their car was not at fault.

That statement wasn't a human interest story, it will surely have been released at the behest of their lawyers.


She did not cause the accident but was a big factor. However she could be wanting to file a negligence suit for the loading bay having been left in such a hazardous state.

On the other hand, had the loading bay not been in the way she could possibly have crashed into the under carriage of the truck, or driven into the gazebo where the mechanics where. More importantly motorsport is always dangerous when practiced on an open circuit.

#1129 Tsarwash

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 08:46

An HSE report isn't necessarily going to change things. Years ago, a cameraman colleague of mine was sent to cover the opening of a new luxury hotel. They were flying in VIP guests from all around the country and, in an ideal world, the hotel would have been completely finished. But, in the construction industry, things don't always happen on schedule. My colleague was running to fetch something from his vehicle and he ran straight through a closed plate glass sliding door which hadn't yet had the visibility/safety stickers applied. What were the hotel owners going to do - turn away the VIP guests at the airport with "Sorry, we've had to cancel the opening ceremony because the safety stickers aren't in place yet", or push ahead in the hope that nothing happens? I know what the H&S investigator will advise. I also know what the hotel owners will do. That's why hotel owners aren't H&S investigators and why H&S investigators aren't business owners.

People take chances. It shouldn't happen in an ideal world where everything runs strictly according to H&S guidelines. But that world doesn't exist.

If there's an obvious danger to the public, then it needs to be addressed before the public is allowed on site. I would have been pretty pissed off if I was your friend, unless the door had only been fitted an hour beforehand.


#1130 Imperial

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 09:36

She did not cause the accident


No statement has been made to this effect.

#1131 Rich

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 12:46

In this country there are exemptions for Journalists under OHS laws, not to say there is no protection for the journalists but it takes into account their sometimes dynamic work places.


The thing is that it could have happened to anybody at the site, including the VIPs. Clearly it was a safety hazard. But again, what were they going to do? Turn away VIPs who have taken a day out of their hectic schedule because there aren't stickers on the glass doors? They'd be the laughing stock of the industry if they did that.

HSE has a bad name, why I don't know,


HSE is in much the same space as the Internal Affairs investigative section of a police department or tax auditors for the IRS. They all do an important and necessary job but they can't expect to be popular for it.

the main aim of any HSE manager is to allow their company to make profit with reduced overall risk. If they are not doing that and are merely posing as company secret police, they ought to be sacked. Internal HSE should be focused on enabling business without risk not stalling it.


That is well and good but unfortunately it doesn't always work that way. Because, quite often, HSE regulations put a burden on struggling businesses. We saw a perfect example of it in the last few days here. A truck transporting farm workers was hit by a train at a level crossing, killing everybody in the truck and scattering body parts over hundreds of yards. Predictably, the government HSE suits wailed "it's unthinkable in this day and age that farm workers should be transported by truck. We must pass a law mandating that farmers must only transport workers in buses with safety belts for each passenger." That's fine for a govt employee sitting in an office with a guaranteed salary. Let that same guy run a farm and see what he thinks then. Farmers are taking strain. Most of them are up to their armpits in loans and the banks are tightening up on repayment terms because they're terrified of "toxic debt" a la Lehmann Bros. The international situation has caused one of the farmer's biggest inputs (fuel cost) to skyrocket and there have been knock-on effects for their other inputs like fertilizer and seeds. Due to unemployment, criminal attacks on farms are increasing so the farmer has to spend more on security. Unions are demanding higher wages for farm workers. Yet supermarkets are demanding lower (or static) wholesale prices for produce. Because they, too, are struggling to survive. This is the farmer's daily reality.

Most farmers will own one or even several trucks because it's essential for farming. You need a vehicle to deliver produce to market and also to fetch supplies like bags of seed or fertilizer or cement. So the truck doubles up as transport for workers too, it's not something extra that the farmer has to buy. Now HSE want him to buy a bus purely to transport workers, it has no other use on the farm. With all these other cost factors to consider, where is the farmer going to find the funds to buy a bus?? It's not going to happen. And even if they pass a law to that effect, it won't be enforced. Farms are distant properties in unpopulated areas, there are no cops within miles of them. So the farmers will just keep doing what they've always done, it's unrealistic to expect them to change just because some HSE regulation says they must.

Like your friend what is a the likely hood of someone walking in a glass panel in a access way, I would say highly likely, I have seen it many times and if I have there are then millions if not billions of instance where people have done it. Want to use glass? Sure but consider the consequence of someone running into it, simple engineering calculations and your glass door has design parameters that ensure it doesn't break and if broken it doesn't shatter, reducing the consequences.


Sure. It's not that the hotel weren't aware of the hazards or didn't intend putting up the safety stickers. It's just that it was still on the To Do list. There are a million and one things to do before a hotel gets opened, circumstances conspire to delay some things. It could be something as simple as the truck with the delivery of stickers having a breakdown and not getting there in time. Or inclement weather meaning that the stickers took longer than expected to dry at the printers. So sorry, we can only deliver them tomorrow. That doesn't help if my opening is today. In such cases, the management has to make a call - cancel the entire event or take a calculated risk. One shouldn't blame them for taking the calculated risk. It's not an excuse but it is to be expected.

As a species, we take calculated risks. It's what we do. Nobody who has ever been attacked by a shark can claim that they were unaware of the possibility. That didn't stop them swimming in the ocean. Nor will it stop millions of others from swimming in the ocean in future. Because life would become very tedious indeed if we were so risk-averse that we safety was always our only priority.

#1132 Rich

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 13:14

If there's an obvious danger to the public, then it needs to be addressed before the public is allowed on site. I would have been pretty pissed off if I was your friend, unless the door had only been fitted an hour beforehand.


My mate was a very sensible and rational salt-of-the-earth film crew type guy. He felt bad that he'd showered their entrance hall in glass even as VIP vehicles were pulling into the parking lot, they felt bad that he could have been injured (but wasn't, fortunately) by them not having the stickers in place. So he apologised, they apologised and everybody parted as friends. He realised that, even if the stickers weren't in place and he could have been injured, it was nobody's intent to hurt him. It was an accident and accidents can and will happen. Although this was back in the 80s when people didn't have their lawyers on speed dial.

#1133 PassWind

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 18:45

The thing is that it could have happened to anybody at the site, including the VIPs. Clearly it was a safety hazard. But again, what were they going to do? Turn away VIPs who have taken a day out of their hectic schedule because there aren't stickers on the glass doors? They'd be the laughing stock of the industry if they did that.



HSE is in much the same space as the Internal Affairs investigative section of a police department or tax auditors for the IRS. They all do an important and necessary job but they can't expect to be popular for it.



That is well and good but unfortunately it doesn't always work that way. Because, quite often, HSE regulations put a burden on struggling businesses. We saw a perfect example of it in the last few days here. A truck transporting farm workers was hit by a train at a level crossing, killing everybody in the truck and scattering body parts over hundreds of yards. Predictably, the government HSE suits wailed "it's unthinkable in this day and age that farm workers should be transported by truck. We must pass a law mandating that farmers must only transport workers in buses with safety belts for each passenger." That's fine for a govt employee sitting in an office with a guaranteed salary. Let that same guy run a farm and see what he thinks then. Farmers are taking strain. Most of them are up to their armpits in loans and the banks are tightening up on repayment terms because they're terrified of "toxic debt" a la Lehmann Bros. The international situation has caused one of the farmer's biggest inputs (fuel cost) to skyrocket and there have been knock-on effects for their other inputs like fertilizer and seeds. Due to unemployment, criminal attacks on farms are increasing so the farmer has to spend more on security. Unions are demanding higher wages for farm workers. Yet supermarkets are demanding lower (or static) wholesale prices for produce. Because they, too, are struggling to survive. This is the farmer's daily reality.

Most farmers will own one or even several trucks because it's essential for farming. You need a vehicle to deliver produce to market and also to fetch supplies like bags of seed or fertilizer or cement. So the truck doubles up as transport for workers too, it's not something extra that the farmer has to buy. Now HSE want him to buy a bus purely to transport workers, it has no other use on the farm. With all these other cost factors to consider, where is the farmer going to find the funds to buy a bus?? It's not going to happen. And even if they pass a law to that effect, it won't be enforced. Farms are distant properties in unpopulated areas, there are no cops within miles of them. So the farmers will just keep doing what they've always done, it's unrealistic to expect them to change just because some HSE regulation says they must.



Sure. It's not that the hotel weren't aware of the hazards or didn't intend putting up the safety stickers. It's just that it was still on the To Do list. There are a million and one things to do before a hotel gets opened, circumstances conspire to delay some things. It could be something as simple as the truck with the delivery of stickers having a breakdown and not getting there in time. Or inclement weather meaning that the stickers took longer than expected to dry at the printers. So sorry, we can only deliver them tomorrow. That doesn't help if my opening is today. In such cases, the management has to make a call - cancel the entire event or take a calculated risk. One shouldn't blame them for taking the calculated risk. It's not an excuse but it is to be expected.

As a species, we take calculated risks. It's what we do. Nobody who has ever been attacked by a shark can claim that they were unaware of the possibility. That didn't stop them swimming in the ocean. Nor will it stop millions of others from swimming in the ocean in future. Because life would become very tedious indeed if we were so risk-averse that we safety was always our only priority.


Agree with your outrage on the farming example, and generally farmers here do not have to meet the same criteria as larger companies although one must ask is it ok to waste life in order to make money, your country is in a different situation than say most European, North American, Australia and New Zealand. In China it's ok to kill 20000 workers per year mining coal, in Australia it's unacceptable to kill one. We mine 1/6 of the coal China does with 1/100th of the labour force with 1:5000 the ratio of deaths. We mine more with less workers and less injuries and China buys our coal because it's a reliable high quality coal mined efficently. There is a competitive edge having safe therefore efficent work places.

As to the bus scenario, this is what does my head in. Having a bus makes no difference to the outcome of a train hitting a vehicle, likewise having stickers on glass doors makes no difference to the outcome of running into the glass. What would make a difference is having glass that didn't break, stickers are a bandaid solution, just put the right glass in there in the first place. If I was investigating that incident I wouldn't care about the absent stickers, to me that it is a minor non-conformance, what I really want to know is why that type of glass was used for the door. Likewise how do you stop a vehicle from being in the path of a train? If your serious about it, you put in gated level crossings or you overpass the rail line, in rural areas you gate it. Where you are this may not be economically practical and it may be that the law or solution that was put foward is political placating of the masses because it sounds nothing like something a true inspectorate would come up with. I do not truly know how political posturing works in South Africa but I am guessing there are some cultural drivers that outsiders like me could not make sense of.

Every country is different, there is just one litmus test. Is it ok to lose your life at work even if it could have been prevented. What we do recreationally is our own risk to manage if we choose to or not.


#1134 spacekid

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 18:53

Yep. It's easy to make a mistake. Look at some of the pro drivers now in any series. Too bad, she had potential but I don't know that the F1 Boys Club is ready for a female driver regardless of talent.


I think enough time has passed now that I can say something that has been on my mind for a little while now... I'm very sorry that Maria suffered this accident, and I truly wish her all the best for a recovery.

But can we please get away from this idea that she had potential or there was any sort of F1 race driving career available to her. Its just emotional hyperbole, and I'm not sure what the point is. I honestly don't think it serves her well to make such wild claims, and actually I find it slightly odd and distastful to re-write history because the poor soul had a nasty accident. She is a 32 year old with a very unspectacular racing career, and pretty much zero potential for an F1 racing career.

There have been female F1 drivers in the past, and I'm sure there will be again in the future. What I personally want to see is the fastest and most talented people in the seat regardless of pretty much any other factor.

#1135 Rich

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 20:48

Agree with your outrage on the farming example, and generally farmers here do not have to meet the same criteria as larger companies although one must ask is it ok to waste life in order to make money, your country is in a different situation than say most European, North American, Australia and New Zealand. In China it's ok to kill 20000 workers per year mining coal, in Australia it's unacceptable to kill one. We mine 1/6 of the coal China does with 1/100th of the labour force with 1:5000 the ratio of deaths. We mine more with less workers and less injuries and China buys our coal because it's a reliable high quality coal mined efficently. There is a competitive edge having safe therefore efficent work places.


That is a very valid point, there are many places where high standards of safety (or other regulations) aren't affordable. I would expect Microsoft to provide toilet facilities for people in wheelchairs. Expecting a backyard hair salon in Soweto to do it is a bit much. We have this problem all the time. Govt and various other agencies offer training courses, especially to Small/Medium/Micro Enterprises, and nobody pitches up. So they ask why and the business owners tell them "I have three people working with me. Do you think I can afford to lose one of them for three weeks, to attend your training course?" So the courses are attended primarily by the large companies who have thousands of staff and can afford to miss several of them for a month. Those aren't the companies that need training help the most.

As to the bus scenario, this is what does my head in. Having a bus makes no difference to the outcome of a train hitting a vehicle, likewise having stickers on glass doors makes no difference to the outcome of running into the glass. What would make a difference is having glass that didn't break, stickers are a bandaid solution, just put the right glass in there in the first place. If I was investigating that incident I wouldn't care about the absent stickers, to me that it is a minor non-conformance, what I really want to know is why that type of glass was used for the door. Likewise how do you stop a vehicle from being in the path of a train? If your serious about it, you put in gated level crossings or you overpass the rail line, in rural areas you gate it. Where you are this may not be economically practical and it may be that the law or solution that was put foward is political placating of the masses because it sounds nothing like something a true inspectorate would come up with. I do not truly know how political posturing works in South Africa but I am guessing there are some cultural drivers that outsiders like me could not make sense of.


This happened back in the 80s, I'm not sure they'd fit the same glass today. However, it must either have been decent glass or he must have been very lucky because he was totally unhurt, not even a slight cut. Yet the entire place was littered with glass shards. He's a big bloke, 250lbs or so, and was running at full tilt. Suffice it to say, the glass door came off second best. However, even if it is safety glass that can't shatter, my understanding is that HSE regs require the stickers to be in place. Because, even if the glass doesn't break, he could still break his nose or something if he walked into it.

Every country is different, there is just one litmus test. Is it ok to lose your life at work even if it could have been prevented. What we do recreationally is our own risk to manage if we choose to or not.


The problem is that States are extending into the recreational/domestic area as well. It might not be corporate HSE as you experience it, but it's still done under the generic guise of HSE. My municipality's latest trick is mandating that every single swimming pool in the city must be surrounded by a child-proof fence. If a domestic pool isn't and a child drowns in it, the parents will be charged with manslaughter. As if the parents, already grieving the loss of a child, really really need a criminal record on top of that. And because "rules are rules" there are no exceptions. I've been living in my house for sixteen years and have never had visitors who can't swim. My friends and family can all swim, as can their kids. But I must have the fence installed. I pointed out to them that my pool is separated from the house by a patio and that the patio has a fence around it with a child-proof gate. Nope, that's not good enough. The pool must have the fence around it, not the patio. So, in the middle of a recession in which some families are handing in their pets at the SPCA because they can no longer afford to feed them, families must now find an extra 7k-15k local to put up a fence even if they don't have kids and don't need it - or else face the prospect of serious criminal charges. And people wonder why HSE is unpopular? Again, it's not your type of HSE but it is the branch of HSE that Jeremy Clarkson is constantly whining about. And I can see his point. I'm all for being sensible and safe wherever possible. But there comes a point when the State gets a leeetle too Big Brotherish for my tastes.

#1136 Juan Kerr

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 21:01

I reckon she just lapsed and took her fingers off the clutch paddle releasing it after pulling it in, like you would the gear paddle. I think she just let it go out of habit. Its something simple like that and no point calling her an idiot if that turns out to be the case it would just be a lapse through inexperience. The main thing though that everybody must concentrate on is the fact that she was pointing towards a tail-lift which just so happened to be the right height to cause that damage. Its just a bad fluke, life is that cruel.

#1137 No brain no pain

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 21:23

If a female comes along and is truly talented enough she will be snapped up.


:up:

Couldn't agree more. Whatever one thinks and means about; let's say Danica Patrick; she did draw much needed attention to the Indy Cars.

#1138 No brain no pain

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 21:40

Of course with all this talk over legal bills etc, who knows de Vilotta's contract has written in it about accidents proven to be caused by her? A no-legal claim clause maybe. If so, tail lifts would be irrelevant.

There's all this talk about looking after Maria and her family, yet Marussia have already done something they were under no obligation to do: release a statement confirming their car was not at fault.

That statement wasn't a human interest story, it will surely have been released at the behest of their lawyers.


I agree fully with you. IMHO that statement from Marussia came way too early, and they should definitely in an "ideal world" have waited for the two other investigations. To me this is like kicking a person who is very down mentally and physically. No need to do it; BUT ther are big money involved and I do guess that they have had to make that statement to calm down one of the new shareholders, Max Chilton; to "protect his investment" in the team in the best possible way, and not to draw attention away from his son Tom Chilton's debut in F1.

#1139 Prost1997T

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 15:35

:up:

Couldn't agree more. Whatever one thinks and means about; let's say Danica Patrick; she did draw much needed attention to the Indy Cars.


Oriol Servia's performances (basically around midpack average over the season) were largely similar to Patrick's in Indycar, but because the media attention was on Danica, she also got most of the heat. Even for incidents that weren't her fault (like Sato and Matos hitting her car). If she was better at set-up on road courses she'd have performed better in the races - starting from 21st is always a major handicap. In fact she would have finished 3 consecutive seasons without DNFs if it wasn't for Matos.

Edited by Prost1997T, 20 July 2012 - 15:40.


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#1140 dave34m

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 06:08

I've said it since the beggining of this thread...

For me the problem is not the car launching itself, a car driver that lost controll, etc... that's why they put protections everywhere in the circuits, because these cars can lose controll. Even in the pitlane (most of them anyway), the pitwalls are protected, so are the people working in the pitstops wearing helmets, gloves, etc to avoid all the risk they can while still doing the job.

A tail-lift was a VERY avoidable HIGHLY dangerous thing to have there, and if it is someone to blame, is the Marussia responsable guy for setting up the scene, or the safety guy.

Guess you wouldnt be happy about these type of things then. http://www.youtube.c...eature=youtu.be
Personally I enjoy being able to close to these type of demonstrations even if there is a possiblity of something going wrong and maybe someone getting hurt. Goodwood FOS could be discribed as an accident waiting to happen but its great to see these cars running at speed and not having to be behind protective fences.

#1141 Sakae

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 06:41

How is she recovering? (We haven't really forgotten, it's just that headlines disappeared).

#1142 Wander

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 07:24

I think enough time has passed now that I can say something that has been on my mind for a little while now... I'm very sorry that Maria suffered this accident, and I truly wish her all the best for a recovery.

But can we please get away from this idea that she had potential or there was any sort of F1 race driving career available to her. Its just emotional hyperbole, and I'm not sure what the point is. I honestly don't think it serves her well to make such wild claims, and actually I find it slightly odd and distastful to re-write history because the poor soul had a nasty accident. She is a 32 year old with a very unspectacular racing career, and pretty much zero potential for an F1 racing career.

There have been female F1 drivers in the past, and I'm sure there will be again in the future. What I personally want to see is the fastest and most talented people in the seat regardless of pretty much any other factor.


Absolutely true. :up:

If a female comes along and is truly talented enough she will be snapped up.


This. It is a shame that Maria had the accident, but she was not going to be the next woman to race F1. When we get a woman who can consistently fight for podiums in GP3 or GP2 at less than 30 years old, I guarantee that she will get an F1 seat in no time.

#1143 SirRacer

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 10:14

How is she recovering? (We haven't really forgotten, it's just that headlines disappeared).

She is already in Spain. Marussia released today the press note, she left the hospital in UK yesterday.

They don't say where is she in Spain, but I'd guess shes in a hospital close to her home.

Great news :up:

#1144 One

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 10:17

She is already in Spain. Marussia released today the press note, she left the hospital in UK yesterday.

They don't say where is she in Spain, but I'd guess shes in a hospital close to her home.

Great news :up:


Some site, says that she is at home.
In anyways, good news! trustful environment should bring her a quicker recovery!

In anyways, a car which has no malfunctioning does not mean a car which is ill operational.

#1145 puxanando

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 10:38

Maria is at home in Spain and she sendas a letter to his fans giving the "Thank You" to everybody.

Posted Image

#1146 sniper80

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 10:55

This woman has a lot of courage. Recover well!

#1147 SirRacer

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 11:01

Maria is at home in Spain and she sendas a letter to his fans giving the "Thank You" to everybody.

Posted Image


"Thanks to everyone for the encouragements and love sent to me, I get all of them and it makes me feel strong and hopeful.

Maria"

#1148 Sakae

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 11:30

Great news!

#1149 SealTheDiffuser

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 20:55

German AutoMotorUndSport reports that she basically arrived in a half circle infront of the marquee, tried to stop without engaging the clutch or putting the car in neutral, the cold tyres and cold brakes led to blocking front tyres, then engine then pushed her (maybe anti-stall kicked in , my thought) forward into the truck. with her arms crossed because of her steering input, she was not able to engage the clutch or put the car in neutral while beeing pushed forward.

Don't now if this is true. Plausible?

#1150 Wander

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 21:11

I guess it has to be plausible knowing what we know.