Posties' Helmets

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Michael Macclan, Apr 10, 2003.

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  1. Some interesting points in the following article. Carol Thain may not be wrong when she says that a
    helmet would reduce injuries in low impact collisions but does it necessarily follow that, "In most
    cases of head impact it would provide significant protection to the wearer"? It's the word
    'significant' that troubles me. Assuming that most instances of head impact are of the low impact
    variety is there a need for 'significant protection'? I assume that most injuries caused in low
    impact collisions are insignificant. Saying that a helmet can provide 'significant protection'
    implies that it protects in situations for which it isn't designed, doesn't it?

    Also, if you're really interested in safety, why have a dark blue helmet with black stripes? Hardly
    makes it more visible, does it?

    Safety first for cycling Posties by Billy Youngson, The Buchan Observer, 10/04/03

    http://www.buchanie.co.uk/archived/2003/Week_015/news/cycle.asp

    CYCLING Peterhead posties were some of the first in country to try out new mandatory safety helmets.
    Royal Mail has issued all 37,000 Royal Mail staff who do their rounds on their bike with the new
    helmets and high-visibility clothing. It has been brought in after extensive tests to find ways of
    making Britain's posties safer. At the beginning of last year, Royal Mail looked at different
    colours, fit, style, comfort and usability for the uniform. Royal Mail spokeswoman Carol Thain said:
    "Research undertaken by the Transport Research Laboratory concluded that the routine wearing of
    cycle helmets would reduce injuries in low impact collisions. "In most cases of head impact it would
    provide significant protection to the wearer." Further research analysing the causes of road traffic
    accidents involving cyclists showed that in many cases the motorist did not see the cyclist. Mrs
    Thain said: "Therefore the wearing of high visibility garments introduces measures to reduce the
    risk of collision." She added: "Royal Mail has the largest cycle fleet in the country and the safety
    of our cyclists is absolutely paramount." June McMahon, Acting Manager at Peterhead Delivery Office
    said: "Staff at Peterhead are very enthusiastic about wearing the cycle helmets and look forward to
    doing their duties in a safer environment." Individuals will receive a pack which consists of a top
    quality adjustable helmet with an integral set of pads, a spare set of pads, a hat for use with the
    helmet in cold weather and a waterproof cap to be worn over the top of the helmet in wet weather.
    Each helmet will have discrete branding and serve mainly to positively identify ownership in case of
    loss. The helmet itself is dark blue with black stripes.
    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
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  2. >head impact are of the low impact variety is there a need for 'significant protection'? I assume
    >that most injuries caused in low impact collisions are insignificant.

    Well - personal anecdote here - both t'other half & I have had "impacts" where we both feel that the
    helmet stopped the impact transferring to our bonces, which damaged the helmets and didn't damage
    our bonces. One of the reasons we both wear helmets when cycling. Before we get accused of being
    rabid pro-helmet types ;-) if you want to wear one, wear one and if you don't that's your choice.
    Also - anecdotal and not purely statistical, which of course, could trnaslate to lies, damn lies,
    and statistics ;-)

    >Saying that a helmet can provide 'significant protection' implies that it protects in situations
    >for which it isn't designed, doesn't it?

    Not to me it doesn't :)

    I do not know of anyone who wears a helmet who thinks of it as some sort of total defense device
    where the wearer immediately becomes immune to any cycling "accident" or will be saved by the helmet
    if they happen to go under the wheels of an HGV. What a helmet does, IMO, if offer some protection
    against some potential injuries to the head. It will not protect my arms, my knees, my feet etc.,
    etc.. Wearing of a helmet is just part of the toolkit a cyclist has to aid personal safety, along
    with high viz/reflective clothing, lights, defensive/assertive cycling etc.

    >Also, if you're really interested in safety, why have a dark blue helmet with black stripes? Hardly
    >makes it more visible, does it?

    I completely agree here. The dark colour does nothing to increase visibility.

    I have seen cycling posties in my neck of the woods wearing bright red PO helmets and also
    non-uniform yellow helmets, as well as those who wear no helmet.

    Cheers, helen s

    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Flush out that intestinal parasite and/or the waste product before sending a reply!

    Any speeliong mistake$ aR the resiult of my cats sitting on the keyboaRRRDdd
    ~~~~~~~~~~
     
  3. In message <[email protected]>, wafflycathcsdirtycatlitter
    <[email protected]> writes

    >>Saying that a helmet can provide 'significant protection' implies that it protects in situations
    >>for which it isn't designed, doesn't it?
    >
    >Not to me it doesn't :)

    Not to me either, but then I've been following endless helmet threads for some time so I, like you,
    probably know much more about this topic than the average reader of the Buchan newspaper. My concern
    is about the impression being created in the minds of non- or occasional cyclists that cycling is
    such a dangerous activity that 'significant protection' is necessary and that helmets provide it.

    I have to admit that my view about this has changed significantly since joining this NG, thanks to
    the expert guidance of David Damerell and others. I still wear my helmet but it's more to do with
    keeping my head warm and avoiding any minor discomfort caused by low impact collisions than a belief
    that it would save my life!
    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  4. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    wafflycathcsdirtycatlitter wrote:

    > Well - personal anecdote here - both t'other half & I have had "impacts" where we both feel that
    > the helmet stopped the impact transferring to our bonces, which damaged the helmets and didn't
    > damage our bonces. One of the reasons we both wear helmets when cycling.

    Same here, but OTOH I've had "impacts" in pedestrian mode and XC skiing where I got a rather
    unpleasant rap on the head which would've been eaten by a helmet quite happily, but that isn't of
    itself enough to make me want to wear one as a ped or XC skier (or indeed as a touring cyclist on
    a nice day). Comfortable though modern helmets are compared to the original canonballs, they're
    not as comfortable as not wearing them. For comfort consideration you have to weigh "might help a
    fair bit in an accident" against "will definitely hinder a little if I'm not in an accident".
    Tough call IME...

    >>Saying that a helmet can provide 'significant protection' implies that it protects in situations
    >>for which it isn't designed, doesn't it?
    >
    > Not to me it doesn't :)

    Ah, but you're rather better informed on the matter than Mr. and Mrs. J Public who may be reading
    the article and concluding that they'd be mad to go cycling without a helmet (and from that they may
    infer mad to go cycling, period, as it's "obviously" dangerous). That *is* a common public
    perception now, and it's not really backed up by the numbers.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  5. Toby Barrett

    Toby Barrett Guest

    [email protected] (wafflycathcsdirtycatlitter) wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    > Before we get accused of being rabid pro-helmet types ;-) if you want to wear one, wear one and
    > if you don't that's your choice.

    Fair enough, but the article says "CYCLING Peterhead posties were some of the first in country to
    try out new _mandatory_ safety helmets."

    So posties won't get the choice the rest of us cyclists have.

    Toby

    --
    Remove spamtrap to reply by mail
     
  6. Tony W

    Tony W Guest

    "Peter Clinch" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > Ah, but you're rather better informed on the matter than Mr. and Mrs. J Public who may be reading
    > the article and concluding that they'd be mad to go cycling without a helmet (and from that they
    > may infer mad to go cycling, period, as it's "obviously" dangerous). That *is* a common public
    > perception now, and it's not really backed up by the numbers.

    Plus, how long will it be before some poor Postie is dismissed for not wearing the 'appropriate'
    safety equipment or finds him/herself (or their family) denied proper compensation because they were
    not wearing the safety equipment provided even though the injury may be nowhere near their head or
    of a severity that the helmet would have had little or no effect?

    Mi'lud, Pat was just gently tapped by my client's juggernaut and lightly squeezed under its wheels.
    No fault attaches in anyway to my client who was proceeding at a safe speed along the highway with
    his brain fully engaged by his Yorkie bar, Mi'lud. But, Mi'lud, the family of the late Pat must
    accept the accident was entirely his own fault as he was cycling in a road without the proper safety
    equipment (viz one GPO standard safety 'elmet) while wearing a regulation Romulan Cloaking Device.
    The fact that the only part of his body not squashed flat during this regrettable incident was is
    head is, of course, entirely irrelevant. :(

    This seems a further victory of the woolly minded in their unholy alliance with the H&S Nazis.

    T
     
  7. Marc

    Marc Guest

    wafflycathcsdirtycatlitter <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I do not know of anyone who wears a helmet who thinks of it as some sort of total defense device
    > where the wearer immediately becomes immune to any cycling "accident" or will be saved by the
    > helmet if they happen to go under the wheels of an HGV.

    True, but I know lots of people that don't wear them, but want others to wear them, that think much
    of the above.

    -- Marc Tabards, banners and signs for fundraising events and charities
    http://www.jaceeprint.demon.co.uk/
     
  8. Marc

    Marc Guest

    Toby Barrett <[email protected]> wrote:

    > > Before we get accused of being rabid pro-helmet types ;-) if you want to wear one, wear one and
    > > if you don't that's your choice.
    >
    > Fair enough, but the article says "CYCLING Peterhead posties were some of the first in country to
    > try out new _mandatory_ safety helmets."
    >
    > So posties won't get the choice the rest of us cyclists have.

    And this will be the thin edge of a very thick wedge.

    At the moment it is not illegal to ride without a helmet, unless you are riding as part of your
    employment and your employer has decided that a cycle helmet is part of your "personal safety
    equipment". When that happens if you don't wear your helmet it is a breach of the law and your
    employer can be fined or you could be dismissed. Once one large comapny has decided that helmets are
    "personal safety equipment" then the quais legal powers that the H&SE inspectors have and their huge
    lattitude for personal interpretation may well force other employers to decide that a cycle helmet
    is part of your "personal safety equipment". Then when it becomes the norm in work for people to be
    compelled to wear helmets it doesn't take long for urban myths to start "It's illegal not to wear a
    helmet" , followed by large scale wearing and subsequent reduced insurance payouts because a non
    helmet wearer wasn't conforming to the norsm of society. One this stage has happened then the
    goverment will brign in legislation to " Meet current practice" :-(

    --
    Marc Tabards, banners and signs for fundraising events and charities
    http://www.jaceeprint.demon.co.uk/
     
  9. J-P.S

    J-P.S Guest

    On Thu, 10 Apr 2003 08:52:10 +0100, Michael MacClancy scrawled: ) Royal Mail has issued all
    37,000 Royal Mail staff who do their rounds on ) their bike with the new helmets and
    high-visibility clothing.

    Are they likely to stop them from: cycling on pavements, cycling on the wrong side of the road,
    running red lights, or cycling across pedestrian crossings? Might they also stop the Royal Mail vans
    from: straddling pavements, obstructing traffic, blocking cycle lanes, or parking on double-yellow
    lines for long periods with their magical illegal-parking lights flashing?

    Given their already high visibility, Royal Mail employees are one of the worst advocate for road
    safety. Are helmets going to make them behave like responsible human beings all of a sudden?

    J-P
    --
    Where did they get my name? It's always just the same junk mail, junk mail I think I'll
    change address
     
  10. J-P.S

    J-P.S Guest

    On Thu, 10 Apr 2003 10:56:42 +0100, marc scrawled: )> Fair enough, but the article says "CYCLING
    Peterhead posties were some of )> the first in country to try out new _mandatory_ safety helmets."
    )> )> So posties won't get the choice the rest of us cyclists have. ) ) And this will be the thin
    edge of a very thick wedge.

    Yes. Next they will have mandatory postman's trousers, and then where will we be? Stalin's theme
    park, that's where.

    Will we all have to wear mandatory postman's trousers?

    J-P
    --
    "From the point of view of a villager in Afghanistan whose family has died in a bombing raid, a
    villager who has probably never heard of the World Trade Centre, the distinctions between what the
    US forces are doing and what was done on 11 September will be academic. "
     
  11. Michael MacClancy <[email protected]> wrote: [Mandatory helmets for postmen]
    >Also, if you're really interested in safety, why have a dark blue helmet with black stripes? Hardly
    >makes it more visible, does it?

    If they were really interested in safety they would make more regular checks of brakes on postmen's
    bikes (I often see postmen with inadequately functioning brakes); equip them with breakaway front
    mudguard stays to reduce the likelihood of a free flying lesson if something fouls the front
    mudguard; issue second taillights to postmen who ride in the dark (since the failure of one
    taillight, unlike a headlight, is not obvious to the rider); and suchlike measures. But it's easier
    to spend money on a popular panacea - and better PR, being more obvious to the man in the street
    than well-adjusted brakes, etc.
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> flcl?
     
  12. > Royal Mail spokeswoman Carol Thain said: "Research undertaken by the Transport Research Laboratory
    > concluded that the routine wearing of cycle helmets would reduce injuries in low impact
    > collisions.

    One of the most interesting things about this research is that the Royal Mail wouldn't allow it to
    be published! Anyone else smell a very large rat?

    > "In most cases of head impact it would provide significant protection to the wearer."

    Not supported by any robust research, which at best shows no effect, and at worst shows reduction in
    protection. Could this be the first case of an employer insisting that employees behave more
    dangerously? and will they withdraw the helmets when it's shown that they didn't work? Of course
    they wouldn't possibly claim that any reduction in actual collisions, caused by the hi-vis clothing,
    and subsequent reduction in injuries/deaths was due to the helmets would they?

    Cheers

    Rich
     
  13. Trog Woolley

    Trog Woolley Guest

    While stranded on the hard shoulder of the information super highway
    [email protected] typed:
    > [email protected] (wafflycathcsdirtycatlitter) wrote in
    > news:20030[email protected]:
    >
    >> Before we get accused of being rabid pro-helmet types ;-) if you want to wear one, wear one and
    >> if you don't that's your choice.
    >
    > Fair enough, but the article says "CYCLING Peterhead posties were some of the first in country to
    > try out new _mandatory_ safety helmets."
    >
    > So posties won't get the choice the rest of us cyclists have.

    Think yourself lucky that you don't live in Australia, where cyclists have to wear helmets, but
    posties don't. They managaed to get a special dispensation, because they are in the sun for hours on
    end, and thus they can wear their Akubra (cowboy style hat). I would not be at all surprized if
    someday legislation is introduced in the UK to oblige cyclists to wear helmets. I sincerely hope
    that it is not introduced.

    --
    Trog Woolley | trog at trog hyphen oz dot demon dot co dot uk (A Croweater back residing in Pommie
    Land with Linux) Isis Astarte Diana Hecate Demeter Kali Inanna
     
  14. Ian Smith

    Ian Smith Guest

    On Thu, 10 Apr 2003 10:20:45 +0100, Tony W <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > Mi'lud, Pat was just gently tapped by my client's juggernaut and lightly squeezed under its
    > wheels. No fault attaches in anyway to my client who was proceeding at a safe speed along the
    > highway with his brain fully engaged by his Yorkie bar, Mi'lud. But, Mi'lud, the family of the
    > late Pat must accept the accident was entirely his own fault as he was cycling in a road without
    > the proper safety equipment (viz one GPO standard safety 'elmet) while wearing a regulation
    > Romulan Cloaking Device. The fact that the only part of his body not squashed flat during this
    > regrettable incident was is head is, of course, entirely irrelevant. :(

    We had a case locally several years ago where a woman was standing holding her bike on the pavement.
    A motorist changing the tape in his player dropped tape, so reached down (with his head in the
    footwell) to pick it up. He mounted the kerb, ploughed straight into the woman who was dead at the
    scene from massive internal injuries. The motorist expressed remorse, and got away with barely any
    penalty. Some official in the process (I don't recall who - coroner, magistrate, someone) stated
    that this incident just went to show how important it was for cyclists to wear helmets.

    So it's already happened.

    regards, Ian SMith
    --
    |\ /| no .sig
    |o o|
    |/ \|
     
  15. Thus spake Ian Smith <[email protected]>

    > On Thu, 10 Apr 2003 10:20:45 +0100, Tony W <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > > Mi'lud, Pat was just gently tapped by my client's juggernaut and lightly squeezed under its
    > > wheels. No fault attaches in anyway to my client who was proceeding at a safe speed along the
    > > highway with his brain fully engaged by his Yorkie bar, Mi'lud. But, Mi'lud, the family of the
    > > late Pat must accept the accident was entirely his own fault as he was cycling in a road
    > > without the proper safety equipment (viz one GPO standard safety 'elmet) while wearing a
    > > regulation Romulan Cloaking Device. The fact that the only part of his body not squashed flat
    > > during this regrettable incident was is head is, of course, entirely irrelevant. :(

    > We had a case locally several years ago where a woman was standing holding her bike on the
    > pavement. A motorist changing the tape in his player dropped tape, so reached down (with his head
    > in the footwell) to pick it up. He mounted the kerb, ploughed straight into the woman who was dead
    > at the scene from massive internal injuries. The motorist expressed remorse, and got away with
    > barely any penalty. Some official in the process (I don't recall who - coroner, magistrate,
    > someone) stated that this incident just went to show how important it was for cyclists to wear
    > helmets.

    Then there was the postie in Poole a few years ago who died of an isolated head injury after
    colliding with a car door that was opened into his path.

    I think comments were made at the time about wearing helmets.

    None were made about the need to check before opening doors :-(

    --
    Helen D. Vecht: [email protected] Edgware.
     
  16. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

    On Sat, 12 Apr 2003 10:13:52 +0100, Helen Deborah Vecht <[email protected]> wrote:

    >None were made about the need to check before opening doors :-(
    >

    A couple of days ago I had a car door opened on me. There was no danger as no traffic was coming
    towards me, and as I'd just looked over my shoulder knew I was safe in veering to my right slightly.

    Anyway, I said a sarcastic but reasonably cheery "Thank You!" and was met with a "F****** c*** of a
    cyclist." I stopped. The obese, middle-aged driver got back in his car. I heard the clunk of central
    locking. I never knew I looked so frightening. Grrr...

    Oh well.

    James

    --
    A credit limit is NOT a target.
     
  17. On 10 Apr 2003 08:22:27 GMT, contributor Wafflycathcsdirtycatlitter had scribed:
    > Well - personal anecdote here - both t'other half & I have had "impacts" where we both feel that
    > the helmet stopped the impact transferring to our bonces, which damaged the helmets and didn't
    > damage our bonces. One of the reasons we both wear helmets when cycling. Before we get accused of
    > being rabid pro-helmet types ;-) if you want to wear one, wear one and if you don't that's your
    > choice. Also - anecdotal and not purely statistical, which of course, could trnaslate to lies,
    > damn lies, and statistics ;-)
    >

    Sorry Cath, the counter personal anecdote - I've had two bonce bangs and a further incident as a
    result of involuntary separation of myself from a moving bicycle, the first required two stitches
    while the second resulted in a huge sympathy attracting egg-shaped bruise on my forehead together
    with rearranged skin on my knees. The other incident resulted a sore wrist. The latter two incidents
    also involved a moving motor vehicle, the egg-head occasion was a hit'n'run while the wrist was a
    'side on' from a side road. Do I wear a lid? - Ask my friends!

    Gary

    --

    The email address is for newsgroups purposes only and therefore unlikely to be read.

    For contact via email use my real name with an underscore separator at the domain of CompuServe.
     
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