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Old 11 May 2010, 07:37   #31
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I'm going to dive in based on what I do & my experience of RIBs & Insurance & people being sued / insurers paying or not paying any claims.

Good points made by all really. Key things I see to consider ;

Risk - as has been said you can mitigate , but not remove risk from going out in any boat - but need to be taking ' reasonable' steps to mitigate it & this will vary from one day to the next, one boat to the next, and one location to another.

While the world most comprehensive Risk assessment . Method statement, wrapping up in cotton wool will help defend your position it will all come down to a judge (who may or may not know anything about boats/ribs etc) taking a view on how he/she should be applying the law. Of course this is based on the worst case where someone is trying to blame/ sue you. The value of signed declarations by customer etc at this stage become arguable depending on the case. They can show you have considered the risk & done everything you can, or a judge may view you have considered it & then failed to mitigate it as far as ' reasonable' ! - i.e. with a list of 'conditions' as per someone's form - is the list definitive ? Or if by missing out some random thing can you be deemed as not doing everything 'reasonable' ? - (this is not a criticism in any way but some change to wording along the lines of conditions such as, including , but not limited to ……could widen the bounds of what you are asking)

I have seen cases where judgments get overturned on appeal, or at higher levels of the system( where Judges have a better understanding/ more experience of the law)alas - not always overturned the right way ! I can let people have the outline of these if they are interested.

Luckily at this stage everyone has paid a hefty (unfortunately for everyone's bottom line !) insurance premium to ensure that it all gets paid for by someone else - hence the insurers themselves are the ultimate risk mitigation for this stuff.

I'll admit commercial marine is not in any way a specialism of mine but the principals that apply are very very similar in nearly all cases of liability.

Pete
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Old 11 May 2010, 07:49   #32
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Alot of time the statement "as far as reasonably practical" is used, ie if you have done all you can to reduce the risk that is reasonably practical.
Alot of this is to do with cost and how much the risk is reduced. Obviously shock mitigation seating would help prevent injury but is it reasonably practical to take your boat out of service and have the additional expense of fitting the seats, not really but on a new build it may be considered.
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Old 11 May 2010, 07:57   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy View Post
Alot of time the statement "as far as reasonably practical" is used, ie if you have done all you can to reduce the risk that is reasonably practical.
Alot of this is to do with cost and how much the risk is reduced. Obviously shock mitigation seating would help prevent injury but is it reasonably practical to take your boat out of service and have the additional expense of fitting the seats, not really but on a new build it may be considered.
Good point Chewy - Luckily the law has stated that in any decision the court has to asses ;

'not only the liklehood that someone may be injured and the seriousness of the injury that may occur, but also the social value of the activety which gives rise to the risk and the costs of the preventative measures'.

So the cost of Ullmans for each seat on a RIB would be considered ! ( hopefully as way OTT ! )
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Old 11 May 2010, 08:56   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy View Post
Alot of time the statement "as far as reasonably practical" is used, ie if you have done all you can to reduce the risk that is reasonably practical.
Alot of this is to do with cost and how much the risk is reduced. Obviously shock mitigation seating would help prevent injury but is it reasonably practical to take your boat out of service and have the additional expense of fitting the seats, not really but on a new build it may be considered.
Indeed - but on a RIB Blast - there is often no actual reason for the activity other than to have fun, and to make money for the owner/skipper. It could be argued that the reasonably practical option is either not to run, or not to run in certain weather conditions (e.g only F2 or less) etc. Or say to drive at <20 knots where you can still make a journey, but the risk of shock injury is going to fall significantly. Reasonably practicable does not necessarily mean commercially viable.

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'not only the liklehood that someone may be injured and the seriousness of the injury that may occur, but also the social value of the activety which gives rise to the risk and the costs of the preventative measures'.

So the cost of Ullmans for each seat on a RIB would be considered ! ( hopefully as way OTT ! )
would it? firstly I'm not sure you can argue a huge "social value" from RIB trips. There may be some small local economic benefit, there may be individuals or groups who get great social benefits - but in general its just fun and some relatively conservative profits for the owner isn't it? Are Ullmans OTT? Obviously its a big capital cost but ammortised along with the cost of the boat it would add little (£2?) per passenger per trip to the charges. The real question would be whether Ullmans substantially reduce the probability of significant injury when sat on by inexperienced users on a "one off basis". Firstly to get the best out them do they not need set up for the user? Secondly are they not there to deal with repeated shock, on a regular basis rather than a few big bangs for an hour and then nothing for a year? Finally do you still need to be "sitting right" on one, so the biggest risk factor is still not controlled.
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Old 11 May 2010, 08:59   #35
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Reasonably practicable does not necessarily mean commercially viable.
If its not commerially viable then its not reasonably practical!
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Old 11 May 2010, 10:04   #36
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would it? firstly I'm not sure you can argue a huge "social value" from RIB trips. There may be some small local economic benefit, there may be individuals or groups who get great social benefits - but in general its just fun and some relatively conservative profits for the owner isn't it? Are Ullmans OTT? Obviously its a big capital cost but ammortised along with the cost of the boat it would add little (£2?) per passenger per trip to the charges. The real question would be whether Ullmans substantially reduce the probability of significant injury when sat on by inexperienced users on a "one off basis". Firstly to get the best out them do they not need set up for the user? Secondly are they not there to deal with repeated shock, on a regular basis rather than a few big bangs for an hour and then nothing for a year? Finally do you still need to be "sitting right" on one, so the biggest risk factor is still not controlled.
Everything has a social value if you know how to consider it - eg - the appreciation of the local dorset coastline/ history, views of the Thames & famous property on it , appreciation of whales & dolphins. All add 'value' to society. The point is that yes you can stop people doing these things , but at what cost (not financial) to society ?

I think the £2 per passenger per trip 'lost' could make some business unviable - you seem to make the point then argue against it ............

Probably serves me right for trying to put a perspective across based on law and fact . I'll stick to waffle from now on.
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Old 11 May 2010, 10:42   #37
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In July there are some new EU rules about vibration etc and taking care of workers etc?

EUROPEAN UNION HUMAN VIBRATION DIRECTIVE

So does that mean that you will have to provide Suspension seats at least for crew if not everyone on board as a duty of care ?
+ start again with risk assessments etc

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Old 11 May 2010, 10:48   #38
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Everything has a social value if you know how to consider it - eg - the appreciation of the local dorset coastline/ history, views of the Thames & famous property on it , appreciation of whales & dolphins. All add 'value' to society. The point is that yes you can stop people doing these things , but at what cost (not financial) to society ?
but those are (or could be) relatively safe ways to be a passenger on a RIB. Too choppy / too risky for passengers - you just slow down. Its the RIB thrill ride / blast where this clearly isn't so easy. The whole point it to carry out high G manoeuvres, have an adrenaline rush, jump waves etc. I'm assuming that the "disclaimer" people were being asked to sign further up this thread was for a high speed thrill ride rather than a SeaSafari ?

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I think the £2 per passenger per trip 'lost' could make some business unviable - you seem to make the point then argue against it ............
no the point I was trying to make was Ullmans would add relatively little to the cost of the operation (and presumably therefore to tickets) - but that actually I don't think Ullmans would bring a real benefit to typical irregular users.
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Old 11 May 2010, 11:02   #39
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no the point I was trying to make was Ullmans would add relatively little to the cost of the operation (and presumably therefore to tickets) - but that actually I don't think Ullmans would bring a real benefit to typical irregular users.
Have you seen the price of Ullman seats, pointless buying them if you don't they would be a real benefit.
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Old 11 May 2010, 11:15   #40
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If its not commerially viable then its not reasonably practical!
We might need to agree to disagree - but I am certain that reasonably practical does not always mean commercially viable. Here's what HSE say:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/theory/alarpglance.htm

In particular “‘Reasonably practicable’ is a narrower term than ‘physically possible’ … a computation must be made by the owner in which the quantum of risk is placed on one scale and the sacrifice involved in the measures necessary for averting the risk (whether in money, time or trouble) is placed in the other, and that, if it be shown that there is a gross disproportion between them – the risk being insignificant in relation to the sacrifice – the defendants discharge the onus on them.”

It is the disproportion between the sacrifice and the risk reduction that determines practicality. Permanently disability balanced against say £30k on safety equipment may not be disproportionate. The fact that the £30k might put you out of business is irrelevant - it simply means you need to put your prices up to offer a safe service, or accept that you can't work in that arena.
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