3rd Annual SCORE Off-Road Safety Workshop, and Beach Party
July 28th, 2018 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
San Diego, CA
This 3rd Annual Safety Workshop, reserved for SCORE off-road racers, crew and family, took place at SCORE’s President Roger Norman’s residence in Mission Bay, California on July 28, 2018.
A warm welcome to the workshop and its purpose was provided by Roger and Stand 21’s Safety Foundation President, Yves Morizot, after their introduction by Stand 21 Safety Foundation’s Director, Don Taylor.
To set the tone for the day, this was followed by two videos, one of the Dan Ebberts’ 2012 Baja 1000 refueling accident, where Dan was gravely injured after his car exploded in flames. The second video was of Mr. Morizot’s own son, Romain, performing a spectacular live demonstration of the protection offered by clothing, shoes, gloves and helmet manufactured by the Stand 21 Company, certified by the FIA and the SFI and available to anyone, after being set ablaze by a specially trained crew.
Roger and Don proceeded in presenting SCORE’s safety advances since Roger took over the series, that included new “Stella III” electronic proximity devices allowing a greater awareness when following competitors on 2 and 4 wheels in dusty conditions, as well as a serious improvement in the ambulance service and equipment provided through collaboration with the Mexican authorities in Baja and the Cruz Rosa EMS organization.
Mike Hurst, Ed Becker, Don Taylor, Philippe DeLespinay, Roger Norman, Yves Morizot
Track EMS and emergency medical expert Joe Powell pointed out the many issues facing racers, crew and families at various racing venues where track safety could be improved. Awareness and knowledge of on-track emergency services as well as the fire extinguishing crew’s location should be a priority for racers and crew.
Another subject discussed was the often low level of crew safety equipment at events, effectively the willful neglect of acquiring adequate protection such as fire retardant clothing, gloves and shoes, leading to sometimes life threatening injuries. The high cost of the best equipment is most often cited as the reason they skimp on protection, but it was pointed out that the costs of a hospital stay, and missing work, can be far greater.
Mike Hurst who is SFI’s Technical Manager gave the audience a virtual tour of the SFI’s testing facilities in Poway, California. Mike explained the difference in heat transfer and mechanical resistance between various fibers. Once again, the subject of wearing polyester or nylon underwear beneath the driver’s suit, materials which can melt on the skin even without direct contact with flame came up as an unwise practice by so many racers, and crew. Mike also reminded the audience about the increasing problem of fake safety equipment manufactured mostly in Asia by unscrupulous companies. These products, sold online at very low prices, bear fake certification labels and are for the most part very dangerous as shown by test performed by the SFI. Racing harnesses, racing suits, helmets as well as other garments, often made of inadequate materials that can result in serious injuries or death compared to properly constructed and certified products. The SFI is going forward with electronic labeling, following the FIA’s barcode example.
We were delighted to welcome Snell Foundation’s Executive Director Ed Becker, who clearly explained using simple graphics, the differences between helmet certifications from Snell, the FIA and the ECE, as well as current standards and protection levels. It is important to note that an FIA 8860-2010 certified helmet offers 25% greater impact protection than a SNELL SA-2015, SFI 31.2A or FIA 8859-2015 certified helmet, but at a cost that can be over 8 times more expensive. He then asked the question, “What is your head worth”?
This was followed by an interactive discussion where many subjects were addressed, that included the wearing of frontal head restraint devices, the proper maintenance of helmets and various racing conditions encountered at various racing events in Mexico.
Throughout the day, the audience was quick to add helpful comments on safety practices based on their experience, and to make suggestions for SCORE’s consideration on how to better promote safety for all of SCORE’s drivers and teams.
As the day’s program was themed “Fire and Ice”, having covered the subject of fire safety in the morning, the group adjourned to enjoy ice cold drinks and a delicious lunch as well as some relaxation time at the beach front.