Rules, regs and competence

Every event must have rules and regulations for exhibiting, but I see no sign of them on the entry passes I've got stuffed in the back of my folder.
A windscreen sticker and a exhibitors card is all organisers seem to run to. We are operating pretty lethal devices, some producing quite hairy amounts of electricity quite aside from the whirring gears and flailing rods.
I'm sure Dave Croft won't mind me cross posting this URL
http://community.webshots.com/photo/152558084/152558982eXTBkD
which covers the rules for Astle Park - and a model of gentlemanly conduct and common sense they are too. Reading them, it crosses my mind that we (as exhibitors) are never asked to complete a Risk Assessment nor give any statement of competence at rallies, shows etc. I assume that someone somewhere sticks their neck out for us and signs off a RA for that part of the event in the reasonable expectation that, as decent chaps, we'll all do as we are bid by the stewards. My fair grasp of the legal position indicates that, as individuals, that is a view to which we should adhere ...
Turning to the matter of competence, there was brief discussion some time ago about upcoming certification of operators. It's a fair point: given time, I suppose I could figure out, start and operate most piston engines you might care to let me loose on without banging me head on the beam or jamming me fingers in the pulley - but I've been doing it for over forty years, so I damn well should! But whether or not that is the case for the bloke next to me in the engine pen, who knows? Only a couple of thousand quid separate anyone at all from a ton of open crank engine and the space next to me. Scary when you think of it .
Does anyone know if there is any likely "competence" legislation in the offing that is likely to affect us? If so, we really ought to get ahead of the game and look at ways in which we might readily obtain such certification and at little cost.
Regards,
Kim Siddorn,
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The Northolt Historic Engine Club to which I belong holds its meetings at a council owned collection of agricultural equipment. Club members used to maintain and restore this equipment on a completely voluntary basis until a few years ago, when the council said that this would no longer be allowed as the lack of a competent person meant that their insurance was invalidated. The council has no money for such things with the result that the collection is now quietly rotting away. Apparently a 'competent person' means to the insurers someone with a qualification in agricultural engineering, though how knowing how to service a modern satellite guided combine relates to not getting your arm chopped off by an unguarded open crank beats me!
--
NHH

"J K Siddorn" < snipped-for-privacy@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote (snip):-
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Hmm, I smell a can of worms being opened. You are probably right Kim, we do not look at safety formally. There are 2 types of people they have to protect. The public. Event organisers guard all stationary engines with a rope barrier. That keeps members of the public from the moving bits. Generators are only dangerous if 1) either both terminals are touched or 2) if one terminal is earthed and the other is touched. Both are unlikely given the distance guarding bit. Flying engine bits are fortunately rare. If that happens they it is no longer stationary engine and the owner is liable for not describing it accurately. Seriously, safety is never absolute. Any risk analysis would define that possibility as unlikely. As someone recently said, air receivers and steam vessels should have a current inspection certificate. They can be very dangerous if they fail. A risk analysis looks at, and quantifies, a number of factors. Hazard, Duration, Likelihood and Severity of injury. The product of all these is Risk. Risk is the probability of harm occurring. All of these should be quantified with the existing safety measures in place. Hazards from our engines are basically bits flying off, moving parts, exploding pressure vessels and a few cases of electricity generation. Duration is very short, say 8 hours per day for 2 days. Likelihood of injury to the public is low. It's very rare that bits fly off engines and they could go away from the public as well as towards them, reducing the likelihood of injury even further. The existing inspection requirements for pressure vessels reduces that possibility to an acceptable level. The likelihood of electrical shock to the public is also very low. Severity of injury can be quite high, even death. The most likely injury is low to medium. Multiply all of these together and you see that we do not represent a significant risk to the public.The consideration here is safety of the public and the distance guard satisfies that as far as is practical and reasonable. The fact that our shows are temporary events means that fixed barriers are not reasonable. No doubt Paul Evans can give chapter and verse on the guarding requirements when engines are run in a permanent setting. There the time scale is very different. The other group of people to consider are the exhibitors.The risk to them is much higher. However, they have to accept that risk in order to operate their machines. They sign an indemnity. They should know their engines sufficiently well to be considered competent to operate their own machinery. As such, the organisers may have discharged their responsibility.To exclude them from the fenced area is clearly unreasonable. It is also assumed that they possess a level of competence. The HSE defines the requirements for industrial competence. There are 4 requirements. Knowledge, Skill, Training and Experience. If you think of a modern driving test, all these are tested. I agree that a possible answer is to licence all exhibitors. This would be extremely difficult in practice as there are so many variations in stationary engines and the things they drive. You may note that there is a requirement for all drivers to be licenced. Well that has rambled on for longer than I intended and lunch time is over now.
John

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Actually, I don't think the public are at much of a risk either and wholeheartedly agree with John's assessment of the risk to them from competently managed engines and machinery.
My principal concerns here are firstly the dangers to the public from incompetently handled machinery and secondly the danger to other exhibitors from that source.
Outside our brief, I know, but at one big show last year which I attended as a spectator, a number of tracked army vehicles were driven along a access way between the arena and their base full of wandering people, kids, dogs and pushchairs . In one case, the driver was invisible and operations were being directed by a ten year old standing in the turret shouting instructions. Nothing untoward occurred, but more by guess than God!
Obviously, we are in a much safer line of country, but I have pitched up next to someone who apparently knew nothing whatsoever about the Iron Toy in his charge and needed to be shown how to start it ("bought it yesterday") and (later) remove and clean a plug. We all must learn, but doing so six feet away from the public separated only by a Rope of Difference is not good practice, I think.
Like everyone here, I suspect, I am no friend to an overbearing set of rules and regulations, but should there not be a basic minimum requirement of competence?
If so, should (and how and who) do we test for it?
Regards,
Kim Siddorn,
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Hi Kim, I didn't post that form on this group because I didn't want to start this argument in this country. I only wished to see the forms you got for an event abroad. In Australia it has almost ruined the shows with the compulsery metal fencing & only the owner of the engine allowed in the pens (Not his relatives). As it is we have the happy medium between the Yanks "Anything goes, Ropes optional" & the excessive rules in Oz. As we are there is always several others watching what you do with your engine & if you are being stupid they will help you. (or tell the steward if you won't listen).
-- Dave Croft Warrington England http://www.oldengine.org/members/croft/homepage / http://community.webshots.com/user/crftdv
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My one and only comment on this thread would be things seem fine as they are to me. I would leave well alone.
If it ain't broke, don't get some insurance man, solicitor or training consultant involved, because then it soon will be broke. As will the participants, if any can be persuaded to do the XXX course to get the certificate of competence, renewable every X years, the emissions tests and all those other pieces of paper which seem to be sucking the good out of modern life.
Arthur G
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Creeping bureaucracy in the form of SVA and SORN is one reason why I am no longer involved with kit cars. True, I don't currently rally engines either, but if some sort of certificate of competence scheme were to be introduced then it would be a fair bet I never will.
--
NHH

"Arthur G" < snipped-for-privacy@mfdcapacitors.co.uk> wrote in message
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Iffy subject this at the moment.
We have had a number of discussions with a couple of insurance companies and a friend "up there" in the HSE - very much off the record without rocking boats etc. There are moves for a formal Certificate of Competence for operating vintage machinery in a public place and we have been told it will almost certainly happen in the near future. It is aimed more at the commercial/museum environment but there is always the possibility it will be extended to the hobby particularly when such large engines are making their way back on to the rally field, in fact it is more than likely.
There are several recorded incidents at rallies last year one of which could have proved fatal had the lump concerned (2lb) hit anybody. The concern is aimed more at the larger engines being exhibited rather than Lister/Petter sized stuff.
I have video of a large open crank engine that is regularly rallied where you can see the support for the outrigger bearing moving a large amount in relation to the bed and I'll swear you can see the crank flexing at the outside of the main bearing (probably not visible really, you just fancy it is). There is good chance that the crank will fail on this engine in the not too distant future, in addition this engine, like many other large exhibits, is run at rated speed. It would be far better to reset the governor to run slowly as both The Anson and ourselves do - safer and makes the engine more visible to the public . The owner has said this is b******s and is not intending to remedy either situation.
4 tons of flywheel is going to hurt anyone it hits were it to break free, to be fair it is more likely to snap on the pin but you never know..
The problem is that whilst 99% of people are careful and thorough there are always cowboys about. We were sold an engine in "excellent condition" that turned out to have had a building dropped on it (we assume). The flywheels had been filled and painted but were actually cracked/broken in six places on each wheel. Odds on they would have let go at some point and weighing 1/4 of a ton each could have been lethal, sooner or later it is going to happen and someone will get hurt. We now get all the larger wheels crack tested as you can't know all the history - how many people with large engines at rallies will have done that? Perhaps that should be a requirement for spoked flywheels in the same way as a boiler certificate on a hot fog.
It might be better for clubs to get together and produce have a simple "know your engine" type basic safety course/whatever so that in the event of something happening it can be said the problem has been addressed with a voluntary code of practice - sorry if that sounds like red tape.
The way society is going at the moment legislation is inevitable. The problem is how to deal with it in such a way that it does not kill off the hobby on the private side and stop the working of engines on the museum side.
No doubt a lot of people will disagree with this lot and insist that it is not needed and will never happen, hope it doesn't, but think it will, better to be prepared.
In the words of Fraser from Dads Army "You're all dooomedd" :-)
Paul
p.s. Bonus - get rid of the lawnmower engine ticket brigade if basic safety ticket was required.
-- ____________________________________
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I certainly see this as equivalent to the introduction of SVA (single vehicle approval) for kit cars. For years everybody assumed that as long as everybody was sensible and the dreaded 'Home made car mows down bus queue' headline never materialised, then things would continue as they were allowing the registration for road use of practically anything which would pass an MOT. After all, the insurance industry rated kit cars as a good risk - the Marlin used to cost me about half as much to insure as my 'everyday' Ford Escort. But clearly some worrier in Westminster (or more likely in Brussels) decided it all looked too much like fun and we needed protecting from ourselves, so now amateur built vehicles must pass a thorough and expensive SVA test covering all manner of things - for instance, one can no longer simply fit a set of dashboard instruments from an old Triumph Spitfire as those vicious chrome bezels will surely kill you!
I seriously hope something similar does not happen to the exhibition of privately owned stationary engines (I can see there might be some argument for it in a museum environment) as I think it would kill rallying stone dead.
BTW. How does such a litigious nation as America get away with so little regulation of this sort?
--
NHH


"Paul Evans" < snipped-for-privacy@semidiesel.com> wrote in message
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safety ticket was required.
No it wouldn't I would still turn up like a bad penny.
John
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Bait hook, cast, bite. :-)
Paul
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a
Snip
not
The fact that the collection is described as Agricultural means the competent person must be qualified in that subject. However, the HSE view of competence supports yours. See my other post on this subject.
John
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The collection does include a number of engines.
The HSE view of competence sounds sensible enough - but without a piece of paper, how do you demonstrate that to a council or insurance company who's natural tendency is to err on the side of caution?
To be honest, all that is required to run an engine safely is common sense. Mind you, we all have lapses in that department - just the other day I went to flick the chips off the end of a lathe tool before the chuck had quite come to a halt. I only got a rap on the knuckles that time, but it could so easily have been worse.
--
NHH

"John Manders" < snipped-for-privacy@rl.ac.uk> wrote
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I appoint competent persons at work. The normal requirement is to pass an exam in an aprpriate subject. That produces a certificate. The individual is then individually assessed on the subject with resect to his particular working situation, by a qualified and experienced person. The results are recorded. Where appropriate, the individuals work is also recorded to show experience. They are then apointed as competent persons. The apointment is in writing and the person must sign to accept the responsibility. That person is then required to work with his knowledge to maintain his experience. periodic re-assessment is required to maintain his appointment.

sense.
went
so
Easily done and fortunately of little consequence this time. We class that sort of thing as a near miss (when it's reported) and investigate it as if it were an accident in the hope that it won't be an accident next time. I don't want to worry people but ALL non-medical deaths are investigated by the police. They work with a blame culture and prosecutions frequently result. I don't want to be the subject of their investigations. Before anyone asks, no, I'm not a H&S person, just an engineer who doesn't like the sight of blood. Yes, I have also done the sort of thing you describe.
John
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On Tue, 15 Jun 2004 10:58:00 +0100, "J K Siddorn"

<snipped>
No mention yet of inflammables (fuel) ??
-- Peter A Forbes Prepair Ltd, Luton, UK snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk http://www.prepair.co.uk
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In our experience of 2+ years, you would normally find a list of exhibitors rules etc. on the entry form, either on the same side as your tear-off part or on the reverse. You are always asked to provide proof of your public liability insurance. As an added precaution, we always take our p.l. certificates with us to every show, as any official is at liberty to ask to see it at any time. Makes sense and gives us peace of mind that we've got it. There is an excellent piece in SEM JULY edition on pages 10 and 11 about 'responsible' exhibiting. My only nightmare is a member of the public casually flicking a cigarette end over the fence. After witnessing pre-school children putting their fingers through the netting, in full view of their parents, I believe anything is possible. (Fran Drake, actually)
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Petrol is actually not as easy to light with a glowing cig as Hollywood would have us believe.

view
The problem here is that no one really believes that anything can hurt then anymore. I think it stems from the time when the purpose of guards changed from preventing accidental contact, to preventing deliberate attempts at contact with potentially dangerous things - I certainly learned at a pretty young age that it was not a good idea to stick your fingers through the widely spaced bars which commonly surounded electric fans in the 1960's! I also remember being at an early rally (I was probably 9 or 10) when an engine owner shouted "oi, get your fingers out of there". I was quite indignant at the time, after all the engine wasn't runing and I was only trying to explain the workings of a hit-and-miss governor to my uncle - precocious little sod!
--
NHH




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On Tue, 15 Jun 2004 20:30:05 +0100, "Mark Howard"

You're lucky!
I was exhibiting my Bamford having had the flywheels off to paint them and on its first outing (on tarmac, fortunately) I heard a "tinkle" and found one of the flywheel keys on the floor. I stopped the engine, but one flywheel took a LOT longer to stop!
Brian L Dominic
Web Sites: NB Rumpus: http://www.nbrumpus.co.uk Friends of the Cromford Canal: http://www.cromfordcanal.org.uk Mid-Derbyshire Light Railway: http://www.mderbyshire.lightrailway.btinternet.co.uk/index.html
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Brian wrote:
I was exhibiting my Bamford having had the flywheels off to paint them

A mechanical version of exlax (sp?)?
Mark
put their pint down, sat back and said:

events
http://www.mderbyshire.lightrailway.btinternet.co.uk/index.html
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