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Vail employees - now required to wear helmets while on duty starting 09/10 season - Page 10

post #271 of 282

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vail snopro View Post

 


Hey Tele- lets keep the facts straight... I did NOT break both legs, just the one in more places than I care to remember. And for the record, I DID HAVE A HELMET ON, as I felt it was my first day on snow that season, would be skiing with a group loaded with testosterone (all EpicSki Bears), and about 5000 other lunatics on the Copper Mtn WRoD, I felt the risk was of such a nature that it would be prudent.
 

 

But rarely do I allow myself to get into such hi-risk situations.


Glad you're feeling better. Do you think the riskiness of the situation contributed to your accident? I thought it happened on a beginner run and no other people were involved.

 

My point is that accidents can happen to anyone anywhere. Good to hear you are now avoiding situations as risky as skiing green groomers. Stay safe.

post #272 of 282

Requiring all kids in programs to wear helmets seems to me not a bad idea on the surface, but it can be a can of worms legally and logistically.  After teaching for many years, i pay attention to how kids are dressed and outfitted when they are brought to the private lesson meeting place or group meeting place.  Many have their own helmets, some have rentals.  Almost without exception, the helmet doesn't fit correctly (and they are child specific helmets).  Most of the time, the chin strap doesn't fit under the chin, but is in front of the chin and does nothing (what good is a helmet if it falls off when needed?).  Many are banged-up and missing pieces such as the goggle strap retainer b/c the helmet has been used as a play toy and now doesn't meet specifications as head safety gear anymore.  Most don't fit correctly, too loose, or in some cases so tight they hurt the child.  I even have has some children come with the helmet on backwards by the very parents that are trying to protect the child.

 

On warm days, many children have helmet liners (heavy ones) under the helmets and are so uncomfortable they only want to stop skiing and get the thing off.  Adding a face mask makes it impossible to even see what the child looks like, not to mention what their facial expressions are.  Does a 4 year old learning to first balance in ski boots on a flat snow covered area need every accessory possible to be worn at once when it is 50 deg? 

 

There is a time and place for everything and helmets for children is a good thing, but do it right!

 

RW

post #273 of 282

Deja vu.   Sunday I skied with a few patrol buddies and heard an earful.  When I started bike racing helmets weren't mandatory.  Then the USCF decided to require them for races or other sponsored events, because they could no longer get insurance without doing so.  The wailing was intense: "they're too hot; they're unsafe, they restrict vision, they make it hard to hear..." - pretty much all true, my old Bell was a heavy sweat bucket; yet today seeing someone not wearing a helmet on the bike is rare, and I don't hear any complaints from the core crowd that was so vocal then.  

 

My personal experiences with wearing a helmet?  Never crashed in a race or similar event where my helmet was touched; ripped up a few other body parts though.  "Safe" terrain?  Hit from behind by a way-too-fast cyclist on a bike path, cracked my helmet in half - I don't even want to think what would have happened to my head.  Another time hit by a drunk driver who came into the bike lane to get me, glad I had the bucket on as I cart-wheeled over the top of his hood.  I started wearing a ski helmet because I wanted my son to wear one - and was glad I did when he was run over by an out of control boarder while standing still in the middle of a run, nice marks on the back of his bucket.  Why do I wear a helmet?  By now its just habit, ski or bike. 

 

And for the folks who choose not to?  Cool.  But like in my construction days (no hard hat, no job) and my bike racing days (no helmet, no number), there are always going to be places where others get to control our choices, especially when they provide the infrastructure.  If the worst thing I have to complain about is being told to wear a helmet if I'm being paid or (OMG) as a requirement to play in bounds, life is pretty good.  If I get really annoyed, I'll skin OB or move to France...  in the meantime, ABasin is still open, and unless its too hot, I'll probably be wearing my helmet.

post #274 of 282

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skidt View Post

 

And for the folks who choose not to?  Cool.  But like in my construction days (no hard hat, no job) and my bike racing days (no helmet, no number), there are always going to be places where others get to control our choices, especially when they provide the infrastructure.  If the worst thing I have to complain about is being told to wear a helmet if I'm being paid or (OMG) as a requirement to play in bounds, life is pretty good.  If I get really annoyed, I'll skin OB or move to France...  in the meantime, ABasin is still open, and unless its too hot, I'll probably be wearing my helmet.

Abasin.....60 inches of base
Loveland too.... 85 inchs base....

post #275 of 282

 

I didn't have ADD prior to reading this thread.  Can't really say if that's still accurate now, but I thought I would weigh in as a new voice here. 

 

Trying to figure out who VailPro is, but I have been teaching in Vail since 1984.  I started wearing a helmet this season because I coach freestyle and I don't want to crack my head open on a metal rail.  Surprisingly I have grown to actually enjoy wearing it, but I don't feel that VR should require the employees to wear them.  Vail Resorts has a history of over-reacting and then retracting.

 

I am a little fuzzy on dates,  but every year we had to take and pass a knee test at the beginning of the season to be eligible to teach.  For the most part it was a crock.  I have never had a knee injury, but I had a tough time passing the knee test.  It had to do with a strength ratio between quads and hammys and I was always outside of the margins.   Played soccer in high school; strong quads, hammys not so strong.  Anyway I just learned how to read the numbers on the machine and only use enough quad strength to show them what they wanted.   The point is that we all had to do this until an Aussie instructor came out, failed the knee test and got sent home.  There may have been others too, but someone sued Vail Associates at that time, and the knee test went the way of the Dodo.  I am sure that something similar is going to happen with the helmets.  Who knows, maybe it will be VailPro that sues.  We also used to have to renew our Medic First Aid every other year.  No mas!  Their will be a backlash on this too.

 

When I raced, I hated helmets and I sucked at downhill because I couldn't find a helmet that didn't bounce all over.   It screwed with my equilibrium and scared the crap out of me.  Helmets have improved dramatically, but I can completely relate to the folks who still don't want to wear them.  It's really surprising to me that there are so many people who are preaching the virtues of the helmet.

 

Anyway, there was a time when Patrol referred to Instructors as Sleazies for good reason.  Could you imagine if Vail had passed out condoms to instructors and tried to make it mandatory to wear one when sleeping with their clients? 

 

There has been a lot of back and forth on this thread and I am just trying to look at it from a different angle.  Whichever way it goes, I don't think it's a sign of the Apocalypse.

post #276 of 282

We closed the season there and the only chatter we heard from employees was whether Vail would spring for a $50 brain bucket or a $150 bucket.

Personally it's a no-brainer!

My first helmet, 2002, was a Leedom full head with a sliding vent. I wore it only during the winter months, but it was too hot in the spring, so it stayed in the closet.

Now I have a Dessert Storm type bucket with removable earmuffs and forehead flashing, I wear it all the time, and it is cool during spring skiing. I also use it for ATB riding. Screw fashion, I wear seatbelts too, and I have had two head-ons and walked away from both......you should have seen the other guys!!!

Anyone wearing body armor for tree skiing? LOL Tapped one shoulder again in Divide Woods. 

*One BIG plus with helmets is this, they keep your googles on during a wipeout! Have you noticed that your goggles never get yanked off during a powda flailing?

 


Edited by snokat - 4/30/2009 at 08:31 pm GMT
post #277 of 282

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post

Requiring all kids in programs to wear helmets seems to me not a bad idea on the surface, but it can be a can of worms legally and logistically.  After teaching for many years, i pay attention to how kids are dressed and outfitted when they are brought to the private lesson meeting place or group meeting place.  Many have their own helmets, some have rentals.  Almost without exception, the helmet doesn't fit correctly (and they are child specific helmets).  Most of the time, the chin strap doesn't fit under the chin, but is in front of the chin and does nothing (what good is a helmet if it falls off when needed?).  Many are banged-up and missing pieces such as the goggle strap retainer b/c the helmet has been used as a play toy and now doesn't meet specifications as head safety gear anymore.  Most don't fit correctly, too loose, or in some cases so tight they hurt the child.  I even have has some children come with the helmet on backwards by the very parents that are trying to protect the child.

 

On warm days, many children have helmet liners (heavy ones) under the helmets and are so uncomfortable they only want to stop skiing and get the thing off.  Adding a face mask makes it impossible to even see what the child looks like, not to mention what their facial expressions are.  Does a 4 year old learning to first balance in ski boots on a flat snow covered area need every accessory possible to be worn at once when it is 50 deg? 

 

There is a time and place for everything and helmets for children is a good thing, but do it right!

 

RW



 

Not only do the helmets not fit 90% of the time, but test the foam vs weight of kid's head and typical kid total weights and speeds and the helmet is in practical terms for them virtually worthless.  Given the greater proportionate weight of helmet vs strength of kids' necks there's certainly greater potential for whiplash-type injuries.  This may not add too much to actual risk, because again skiing and riding are pretty safe, but anecdotally kids complain about whiplash and balance issues from helmets much more than older people until they hit roughly 9-ish in age. 

 

What is interesting to me about the above facts is that they're pretty widely known, but no one really seems to care.  By contrast the local police both in my "old" hometown and where I am now both seem to have occasional "car seat" checks similar to a DUI checkpoint, where they don't ticket but do make certain kids' car seats are used correctly (and they have a lot of education to do, but actually find that over time people are getting better).  But, if helmets are really just a fashion point and a way for yuppies to distinguish themselves from "non-helmet" types, it makes sense that you don't really care if they work or not.  My tie doesn't keep me warm, I don't use it to wipe my mouth, but it looks good with a suit.

 

Maybe my assessment of the risk of skiing and riding for kids is wrong, and the risk of head injuries is high enough for them that the cost of helmets and the decreased participation of kids in the sports from making helmets compulsory will be more than offset by real safety benefits -- if the helmets work.  Cool.  Then make sure the helmets actually work. 

 

Maybe take a fraction of that helmet cost and speed-gun skiers on blue groomers and have patrol assertively lecture anyone going over, say, 30 mph while you're at it.  Put some baffles in openspaces in trees and in open entrances to tree runs, and start leaving more deadfall rather than clearing it.  It will piss a lot of people off and change the resort experience, but I guarantee serious head injuries will go down.  But it will not be FABULOUS. 

post #278 of 282

ctkook,

 

I agree with you, not that I'm against helmets.  Another question is how long does a helmet last and keep its manufactured safety rating?  With exposure to extreme cold, sunlight, and heat while being stored during the summer, how long does it take for the plastic and foam to deteriorate?

 

I know with equestrian sport helmets, 5 years is about the life of the helmet and if there is any impact, the manufacturer requires it get sent back for inspection and replacement if necessary.

 

RW

post #279 of 282

Don't forget that Ski Town docs, EMT's and Patrolman recommend that you toss a helmet if you fall wearing it and get even a slight concussion.  They feel that the impact can weaken the helmet limiting its effectiveness in a later crash.  If one of my freestylers gets even a minor concussion, I recommend to their folks that they toss it and buy a new one.   So you, in theory, you could drop your helmet down the stairs, slam it in your locker door, or someone could step on it when you were having lunch and that could compromise the integrity of the helmet. 

 

Most of the people on this site, I hope, would agree that litigation is like cancer to the ski industry.  I am concerned that this is something that the ambulance chasers dream about.  Instructor suffers severe head injury while wearing a helmet that the ski area provided for him/her. Yeek!!!

 

My biggest regret is that this would have been better argued at the Golden Peak bar.  We all could have hashed this out in an hour over a couple of pitchers and it would have been a done deal.   God I miss that place.

 

Shred

post #280 of 282

I certainly hope that no one here on Epic or anywhere has ever construed my comments as being "anti-helmet". That would not be further from the truth.

 

My whole point of contention is that the company is is making it mandatory, taking away the right to choose whether to wear one or not.

 

I have heard no comment on several of my previous posts regarding prior education of the rights and responsibilities of those using the ski slopes. Only that my comments regarding choice fly in the face of the current swell of "use one, damn it, and be happy you have a job".

 

Despite any of my protests to Vail Resorts decision, there is little doubt that I will be back here next year, and teaching...(unless I win the Powerball)... I am still hoping that I will once again find a seat flying someplace, rather than teaching full time, but for now, this is the way it is....

 

And, for whomever it was that asked... No- corporate/charter pilots DO NOT have those stupid little hats the airlines guys wear....  Thank goodness!  And we have much cooler leather jackets than them, too!  lol

post #281 of 282

 

Quote:

I started wearing a helmet this season because I coach freestyle and I don't want to crack my head open on a metal rail.

 

 

Vail has metal rails on the hill? Hopefully they're the safe kind.

 

post #282 of 282

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Lyon View Post

 

 

 

Vail has metal rails on the hill? Hopefully they're the safe kind.

 


Na, just run of the mill cranium crushers.
 

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