What the safety officer did next….

I’ve been getting lots of feedback since Craig invited me to join ‘the team’ as Safety Officer – and even better, some of it has been positive! So, time for an update on what has been going on in the last few weeks.

I haven’t yet been able to carry out the promised safety review – but that will happen before the year is out. I’ll be talking to as many members as I can about this to gather thoughts, ideas and suggestions on how we can improve safety at our club. If you get the tingle of a bright idea in the meantime, please let me know at safetyofficer@southdowngliding.co.uk or just grab me next time you see me at the club for a natter.

My last report talked about communication – and we’re getting there. Early feedback was that we weren’t good at sharing the MRFI inputs we received from members, and (maybe as a consequence) it wasn’t being used as much as it might.  With great input from the website guys (thanks Andrew and Mark), we’ve changed the look and feel of the safety and operations pages to make information more easily accessible. Flight Safety information and MRFIs are now on the same page, with a big button to help find it.

Operations Manuals and Flight Manuals are now directly accessible from the members menu in the sidebar – so no excuses not to look at them!

You can now access directly an up to date table of MRFIs (just for this year at the moment, but that may change). From the same page you can post a new MRFI – so to remind everyone:

-MRFIs help us understand, manage and mitigate the risks of our sport

-I can’t identify the sender – it’s anonymous (if you want)

-Anyone can fill in a MRFI if they see something go wrong

If you were at September’s ‘state of the union’ meeting, you will have heard me say that there seems to be a fear of ‘comeback’ if you admit a mistake or a misstep… there won’t be. The point is to make our gliding activities safer for everyone – we have a real learning opportunity offered by MRFIs, especially for less experienced and younger pilots, and we need to take advantage of it!

A quick review of recent MRFIs suggests that we could all do with paying more attention to what is going on around us, whether on the ground or in the air. Take a look at the latest MRFI update on the website, which reports an incident where a buggy collided with a glider amongst others. We are looking at how new members are trained and coached in driving club vehicles as a result, but of course it may not have been a new member…..

In similar vein, Duncan reminded me that operating from the southern end on a busy day with lots of gliders, people and cars milling about means we see problems with cars and pedestrians crossing in front of landing gliders. Ridge running time approaching means lots of visitors, trailers parked at the southern end, and a packed grid - time to refresh our thinking on this.


By Paul Isaacs

SAFETY OFFICER Continued Mail: safetyofficer@southdowngliding.co.uk