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Review of MSA safety regs?

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Some news shared via another club I'm a member of. Might be of interest if true?

Just in from the MSA

MSA to optimise cost of safety equipment for competitors

The Motor Sports Association (MSA) has committed to an in-depth review of competitor safety equipment over the next two years. This will explore a raft of initiatives, including strategies to reduce the burden on competitors of the unnecessary replacement of seats and harnesses, while ensuring suitably high standards of safety are maintained in the sport.

A cornerstone of this new initiative will be to provide greater education for competitors in respect of their own safety and to place more responsibility on the competitor to maintain a level of safety equipment, above a defined MSA minimum standard.

As a first step, the MSA will recognise an extended life for certain FIA-homologated seats and harnesses in the UK. The MSA Board has approved the following Motor Sports Council recommendations with immediate effect:

In stage rallying, seats homologated to the FIA 8855-1999 standard are granted a two-year extension at the end of their initial five-year life
Across disciplines requiring a homologated harness, the MSA will recognise a ten-year life for harnesses homologated to the latest FIA 8853-2016 standard. This homologation is for six-point harnesses as a minimum, and is tested with higher loadings than the previous standard.
These regulation changes are detailed in a document on the MSA website here.

The MSA will be publishing new guidance on installing seats and harnesses, while giving scrutineers further training in this area. The governing body will also be reiterating scrutineers’ powers to retain or invalidate homologated equipment if they have serious concerns regarding its condition or know it has been involved in a major accident.

Looking ahead, the MSA is investigating new ways of tracking homologated components as well as evaluating more cost-effective accident data recorders (ADRs) for wider use.

David Richards CBE, MSA Chairman, said: “As the governing body, one of our principal roles is to grow motorsport at grassroots level while promoting safety within the sport at a realistic cost for competitors. I firmly believe the time has come for a wholesale review of our approach to safety across the entire motorsport landscape and this review will be delivered by 2020. It’s therefore appropriate to allow our competitors to continue using their recently purchased seats at least until then, when the outcome of this review will be published

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We complain about the MSA, and its tendency to slavishly and expensively follow FIA regs (eg, FIA homologated rain lights, recent fire extinguisher rules) but in fact they are liberal in comparison with European ASNs.       To get to Spa this year, I had to buy a new seat - my old one was fully compliant with MSA regs, but not FIA,  fill my fuel tank with foam, and even when there, the CSCC's regular scrutineers were forced to be officious rather than their usual, friendly and effective manner.    

Even when safety kit has a five year life, the set-up cost for new racers is forbidding, and extending its life is a welcome project.    The reference to data-recorders much less so as those won't be cheap!    Better to rely on the experience and skill of the scrutineers, who should be able (I think they are already) to impound seats, harnesses and helmets after an incident.  That would expose them to personal rancor (see above!) so perhaps we do need some sort of impact recorder but they are at least another £200!

JOhn

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Its what put me off racing, the costs of replacing harnesses, helmet and overalls, on top of the usual running costs is just excessive for the occasional racer.

Why can't harnesses have stress markers in key areas, surely simple stitching with pre-designated markers that could be checked, if an impact or they were worn the markers wouldn't meet the desired measurements.

Likewise with helmets, we have impact stickers at work, if something takes an impact it shows.

People who only want to do one or two events a year aren't well catered for, which makes it a bit elitist. 

Be interested how this pans out.

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Wow! Mattius, I never knew that there was such a thing as an "impact sticker"!   £3 each (!) and available from this manufacturer in 5G to 75G settings!  No doubt the MSA could choose another setting if they wished!

At present, It is the scrutineers who may impound any safety equipment after an incident, but only on their own say-so, which as I said above could lead to personal disputes with competitors.    Some measured indication of the severity of an impact, that doesn't cost a packet, would be most useful!

If the vehicle was so marked, then harness stress might be assumed when the sticker was triggered.    My reading finds that safety harnesses used profesionally shopuld be inspected, but all they look for is evidence of wear, abrasion or cuts (See: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg367.pdf)     Do you know of some stress marker that would do the same as the shock sticker?

JOhn

 

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54 minutes ago, JohnD said:

Wow! Mattius, I never knew that there was such a thing as an "impact sticker"!   

You need to watch more episodes of "Mythbusters" John! They went through a phase of using the impact stickers a lot.

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Don't really know of any, 

At work the safety harnesses are assessed on a monthly basis and tagged, but there is no age limit on them. If a fall or accident happens they are withdrawn straight away.

Which is what surprised me about the racing harnesses, why a mandatory age limit? A yearly inspection would surely suffice, unless of course an accident occurs in which case the chief marshal puts a knife through it, simple.

 

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While safety equipment obviously needs to be fit for purpose, apparently arbitrary lifetime limits on clothing, helmets, harnesses etc are particularly unfair where use may be only occasional and short (eg speed hillclimbing).  Years ago I gave a away a helmet that was out of date but had spent only minutes on my head and the rest of it's life in original packing.  Back then we didn't have to have fireproof everything luckily or none of my circle would have been able to afford to compete at all.

Leads one to wonder about vested interest and who is getting kickbacks for generate additional sales.

Nick

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