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  #1  
Unread 31st July 2018, 10:23 PM
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Default Introduction Risk Management

@Beachworm has kindly offered to contribute by sharing his skill and experience in the field of Risk Management for which I am grateful. Our outdoor activities certainly do come with a certain amount of risk and we should undertake to do all we can to mitigate any of these risks to ourselves and others.

To this end this new sub-forum has been created.
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  #2  
Unread 31st July 2018, 11:16 PM
Beachworm Beachworm is offline
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Thanks, Kevin, for the introduction.

As you say, off-roading has some inherent risks, some of them common to normal motoring, others in common with other forms of motor sport and some that are unique. Risk in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing. It puts the spice into life and without an element of risk, life wouldn't be so much fun.

So - we aren't interested in eliminating all risk. We just need to manage the risk so we end up going home in one piece having had a great day and looking forward to the next trip. I am planning to write a series of reasonably short posts setting out the ways risk can be managed effectively. This post is simply an introduction to the topic, hopefully whetting your interest and establishing my credentials to give the posts credibility.

I have recently retired from a position where I was responsible (among other things) for managing the risks associated with outdoor recreation for organisations providing services to children. I was required to set up systems that would enable group leaders to meet the risk management requirements of national standards, including those relating to 4 Wheel Driving.

It is impossible to avoid all risk. Some activities are more risky than others and in many cases we either want to keep those risks in play or we can't avoid them. As an example of a high risk activity with the risks managed effectively, have a look at this clip.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...91C9&FORM=VIRE

In the off-road context, an example of where the risks were not managed effectively:

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...1607&FORM=VIRE

Risk management simply requires you to
1. understand the context of your risks,
2. identify hazards,
3. assess how risky those hazards are to decide a priority for management,
4. eliminate the hazards if it's practical to do so,
5. control the risks to an acceptable level if it is not and
6. review those controls after the event to see if they were as effective as they could have been.

Some of this needs to be done before the trip begins but much of it is done on the fly. Some needs to be documented but most does not. Hopefully, by the end of this series of posts you will have the risk management tools to have a great time without damaging your vehicle more than you should expect or injuring yourself or others.

The process of risk management set out here will conform largely to the international standard for risk management, ISO3100


Any feedback or comments you wish to add are most welcome.
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  #3  
Unread 1st August 2018, 03:30 AM
1WD Foz 1WD Foz is offline
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Default Introduction Risk Management

An excellent idea to have off-roading risk assessment tools available to all members as the forum is all about offroad subarus and risk is something not usually spoken about until after someone’s rolled their car.

My work also involves a great deal of risk assessment, not from an off-roading perspective but from a Security perspective.
So I’m defiantly subscribed and would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on offroad risk assessment.

The first video was amazing to watch, what an unbelievable job, not for me that’s for sure!!

And that poor lady that rolled the Jeep in the second video, I wonder if she knew how close she was to making it out without a scratch, if only she had positioned her wheels a little more to her left just before she rolled I think she might have made it

Either way not something I would want to do let alone spot my wife while she does it 🤭.

1WD
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  #4  
Unread 3rd August 2018, 11:49 PM
Beachworm Beachworm is offline
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Contextualisation of risk:
Organisations generally, and 4 wheel drive clubs in particular often look to insurance as a means of dealing with the risks associated with their activities. Clubs take out Public Liability Insurance and members, while involved in a club activity are covered should their actions, or lack of action result in an injury or damage to property.
As individuals, engaging in off road driving without it being an approved club activity, however, we are unlikely to have this protection as the wording of your CTP insurance policy restricts the cover to driving on the road. This means that every time you, as an individual, drive on a track that is not a gazetted road or on private property, you may be exposed to the risk of civil tort (legal action) against you by a party who considers that they have suffered some kind of loss as a result of your negligence.
In order to understand the context of your risks when driving off road, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
1. What is my attitude towards risk? (select one of the following)
a. Risk averse – I avoid all risk
b. Risk neutral – I avoid high risks but am willing to manage low to moderate risk
c. Risk seeking – I am an adrenaline junkie and I deliberately take risks.
My guess is that most off road drivers would fall into the b or c categories because you wouldn’t get far off road if you refused to take any risk at all. You need to be aware of your attitude to risk because at affects the way you assess how risky any given situation is. Those who are risk averse or neutral will rate a risk more highly than someone who seeks risk.
The intrinsically risky nature of much off road driving draws the risk takers who are inclined to underestimate their risks, putting themselves and others in greater danger of harm than is really necessary. We’ve all seen the “cowboys” who end up with damage that could have been avoided with just a little bit of planning, caution or less bravado.
2. You also need to understand your appetite for risk. This is best explained by referring to vehicle damage. How much are you prepared to tolerate?
a. Punctures and other tyre damage
b. Scratches in paintwork
c. Minor bodywork dents
d. Small amount of water entry
e. Damage to underbody
f. Suspension damage
g. Drivetrain damage
h. Serious water damage
Your appetite for risk will be affected by the value of your vehicle. If you have a new, top of the range Outback, you will be less likely to risk damage other than tyre damage than if you are driving a 1998 Forester that you bought for $500 with a dodgy roadworthy certificate. The amount of money that you budget for your car and off road activities will also influence your risk appetite.
So, in summary, the following questions should be answered before you venture off road:
1. If I do something that injures someone or damages someone else’s property and I can’t demonstrate that I have taken all reasonable steps to prevent that accident, am I covered by public liability insurance?
a. Yes – proceed with caution
b. No – proceed with much greater caution if you are prepared to take the risk.
2. Am I a risk seeker?
a. Yes – get an opinion of the level of risk from someone else who is more cautious.
3. If something goes wrong such as in the accident video in Part 1, would I be willing to laugh about it over a beer with my mates the next day? Can I afford to fix any damage I might do?
a. Yes – proceed with caution
b. No – take the easy track instead.
Hopefully this will get you thinking a little more about actions and consequences because one follows the other like night and day. The choices we make can make our day (or someone else’s) or ruin it just as quickly. Make your choices with an honest appraisal of the context of your risks.
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  #5  
Unread 4th August 2018, 05:26 AM
temmah temmah is offline
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@Beachworm, this is really good information. Thanks
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  #6  
Unread 4th August 2018, 09:20 AM
Beachworm Beachworm is offline
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You are most welcome. Thanks for the feedback.
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  #7  
Unread 4th August 2018, 03:50 PM
MiddleAgeSubie MiddleAgeSubie is offline
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Thanks for putting all this in a professional manner. I guess all of us have been through this in a piecemeal fashion.

The only disagreement I have is on the point that off-road driving is always inherently riskier than pavement driving. Sure, if pavement driving means remote areas of Australia or the US, that is hard to dispute. Similarly, driving tight mountain trails when they are closed due to snow or in the midst of a downpour will also make the offroad option riskier. But how about driving offroad in acceptable weather conditions on legally open trails vs driving in many major cities and on many congested highways around the world? I would choose some "dangerous" offroad terrain any day: not just because it is fun, but also because it is all about myself and my vehicle, including the way I have prepared and maintained it vs. being so dependent on a multitude of others, their driving skill and habits, the condition of their brakes and tires, and so on and so forth.
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Unread 4th August 2018, 07:10 PM
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Certainly gets one thinking!

As MAS says there seems to be an ill-thought public opinion, although not expressed by Beachworm, that off-road is riskier that on-road. Like MAS I usually feel safer off-road.
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  #9  
Unread 5th August 2018, 02:09 AM
Beachworm Beachworm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiddleAgeSubie View Post
Thanks for putting all this in a professional manner. I guess all of us have been through this in a piecemeal fashion.

The only disagreement I have is on the point that off-road driving is always inherently riskier than pavement driving. Sure, if pavement driving means remote areas of Australia or the US, that is hard to dispute. Similarly, driving tight mountain trails when they are closed due to snow or in the midst of a downpour will also make the offroad option riskier. But how about driving offroad in acceptable weather conditions on legally open trails vs driving in many major cities and on many congested highways around the world? I would choose some "dangerous" offroad terrain any day: not just because it is fun, but also because it is all about myself and my vehicle, including the way I have prepared and maintained it vs. being so dependent on a multitude of others, their driving skill and habits, the condition of their brakes and tires, and so on and so forth.
Thanks for your input Middle Aged Subie. I understand where you're coming from. I feel safer driving off road than on a two lane highway simply because there are other drivers coming the other way with a closing speed of 200 Km/h and not everything is within my control. I have no idea whether the other drivers have properly maintained vehicles or whether they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

I think you will find that I didn't say driving off road was "always" inherently riskier than driving on the road. The fact is, that when we take into account the number of vehicles and the distance travelled in order to include "exposure" as a factor when calculating risk, there is more "loss" incurred, whether it be physical injury or vehicle damage in off road driving GENERALLY. There may be some aspects of off road driving as you mentioned that are very safe and much more relaxing than even driving down to the supermarket but we nee to take all forms of the sport into account.

In addition to the factor of exposure, we also need to consider that the number and range of risk control measures already in place in off road driving that are not evident in highway/sealed road driving, makes a considerable impact in reducing the number of incidents off road. Because of the influence of clubs, national associations and even forums such as ORS, off road drivers are better educated about the risks of the sport and the skills required to enjoy it safely. This is, very sadly, not the case with driving in general.

Although there are a few cowboys, those of us who drive off road usually do it safely. This does not, however, make it an inherently safe sport. The risks are still there and it only takes a lapse of concentration or neglect of proper training for tragedy to strike in a manner that could not possibly happen on a sealed road. Like the video of power line maintenance, the men go to work and come home each day without incident, not because it is a safe occupation but because the risks are effectively managed.
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Unread 5th August 2018, 03:20 AM
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@Beachworm

Thanks for your quantification of some of these things, even if only in the abstract.

Personally, I am extremely risk averse. Nature has no use whatsoever for males over the age of about 40 y.o., or females over about 50 y.o. We ignore this at our absolute peril!

I always calculate the risk factors. If there is the slightest chance of the Darwin Effect occurring, I avoid it like the plague.

This does not mean that I have never engaged in risk taking behaviour, especially when driving, but I have become progressively more alert to the potential for Mother Nature interfering as I have gotten older. Now, at 71 y.o., with significant health issues, I well and truly realise the danger of ignoring the imprecation "Thou shalt survive", and the only penalty for ignoring this rule being death.

Enough bad things happen when we take all reasonable care, seeking out or ignoring risk/s seems a silly tactic or strategy to me ...

In addition to this, I recommend that anyone venturing off the beaten track carefully read "Aids to Survival" published by the Western Australian Police Academy (available from my web site here as a PDF file if you can no longer get it officially). Also a good idea to have a Spot tracker/EPIRB if travelling in the outback.
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