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Old 16 October 2006, 13:08   #1
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Zodiac disputes Canadian study on back safety

Just read this and found it interested

Bogi


Zodiac disputes Canadian study on back safety

By IBI Magazine

Zodiac North America has questioned the scientific validity of a Canadian study that investigated the effect of Zodiac Hurricanes on the backs of operators in rough seas. Weir Canada Inc has done a study for the Canadian Coast Guard to determine potential health problems associated with the Zodiac Hurricane 733. The Canadian Coast Guard owns about 100 of the 7.3m (24ft) boats, known as RHIBs, often used for rescue in poor weather. They are also common boats in navies and other coast guards around the world. The 733 series is also for sale on the recreational boating market.

The C$85,000 study found that the up-and-down vibrations during travel through heavy seas sometimes exceeded health thresholds established for operators of land vehicles, the only comparable standard available.

An engineer with Zodiac Hurricane Technologies Inc, however, told Canada.com that the study required operators to sit firmly in their seats during the bumpy rides, contrary to Zodiac's advice to customers and to the Coast Guard's own instructions to its sailors.

"The scientific validity of the study that the Coast Guard did on the boats is questionable because the configuration that they tested is not the configuration that people actually use when they're driving the boats," said Zodiac's John Garfitt. "In fact, they should not keep their bums firmly planted in their seats because that will result in back injuries — it's just common sense."

The Canadian Coast Guard ordered the study after one of its sailors won a workers' compensation claim for hip problems he alleged were aggravated by the pounding of an RHIB.

Garfitt told the news site these boats often endure conditions other vessels cannot manage. "RHIBs are the boats that go out in the worst weather, under the worst conditions, when everything else is back at the dock," he said. "There's an onus on the people driving them to use common sense. You need to be trained and you need to operate them in a sensible way."

Garfitt said the company is not aware of any claims about back injuries linked to Zodiac RHIBs.


(16 October 2006)
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Old 16 October 2006, 14:40   #2
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Interesting stuff Bogib. I had read a report of the study in the local paper and must get around to asking my Coastguard buddy what he thinks. I suspect much of the study is to do with the litigation/compensation happy culture that unfortunately exists in much of the Canadian government operations!
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Old 16 October 2006, 15:13   #3
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Word of warning...

Please be careful ... whilst searching for more info on this thread via Google, I noticed that the Canadian CoastGuard website appears to have been hacked... probably best not to go there for a while!
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Old 17 October 2006, 14:17   #4
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V interesting.
Given the nature of work/sea states for/in which RIBs are used, it is highly likely that crew will be subject to some form of heightened ergonomic and anatomical risk.

In a work situation in Europe, employees' rights in this area would be addressed under the Physical Agents (Vibration) Directive. Here's an link which details some points raised during the consultation stages of this Directive - some good RIB-specific points made by The Chamber of Shipping, Bureau Veritas and Human Sciences & Engineering Ltd.

http://www.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/mcga-co...recieved-2.htm

IMHO, people with pre-existing, or a predisposition to, musculoskeletal problems (bony/muscular/joint conditions) probably shouldn't be engaging in regular RIBbing lifestyles.

The best the rest of us can do to stay ache-free is to carry out some simple neck & shoulder stretches before setting off (sounds naff, but actually works) and to maintain a wide base of support with knees bent whilst standing.
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Old 17 October 2006, 14:44   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NautiAndNice
;IMHO, people with pre-existing, or a predisposition to, musculoskeletal problems (bony/muscular/joint conditions) probably shouldn't be engaging in regular RIBbing lifestyles.
When I asked my Consultant Orthopedic bloke about whether I should give up Ribbing a couple of months after slipping a disc he looked at me rather witheringly and commented that it would probably be a good idea yes! This was one reason I sold my RIB - the other being the plan to emmigrate to Canada. Would I still have a RIB if I could? Yes, but I would be careful to the point of paranoia about when I go out and what I did. Sad but true.
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Old 17 October 2006, 15:02   #6
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When I asked my Consultant Orthopedic bloke about whether I should give up Ribbing.....
Yeah, but most of those medical types would recommend we give up everything apart from gentle yoga.

I had an Osteopath that told me I should never swim breaststroke again as it will damage my Sacro-Illiac joint... I've just started playing WaterPolo... and it's never felt better (although I do do yoga as well).

It's just not worth wrapping yourself up in cotton wool... there's so many fun things to do out there!

List to Santa...

1x ZapCat

:-D :-D :-D

WMM ;-)
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Old 17 October 2006, 15:15   #7
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Hmmm.. I guess I count as a "medical type" ... but I'm definately not one of the Cotton Wool brigade!!
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Old 17 October 2006, 15:36   #8
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Originally Posted by NautiAndNice View Post
Hmmm.. I guess I count as a "medical type" ...
Hmm, Alternative therapy is what we call it round here!
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Old 17 October 2006, 16:02   #9
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Hmm, Alternative therapy is what we call it round here!
Titles are neither here nor there ... reputations are what count!
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Old 17 October 2006, 16:35   #10
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I find going on the RIB helps my bad back!!!
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