Responsibility for safety?

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sparr
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Responsibility for safety?

Post by sparr » Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:57 am

In another thread I suggested that I might bring a zorb (inflatable hamster ball for humans) to the playa this year. Multiple people in that thread have tried to convince me that if other people use my zorb, and they do so in a way that is dangerous to themselves or others, then that is my responsibility. That's far enough outside my expectations of the culture at BM (having only been to regional burns myself) that I thought this was worth its own post so I could figure out if I've misjudged. I will repeat here my last response there:
sparr wrote:
maladroit wrote:Aside from that, let's take the meaning of your comment at face value now. You're upset at being assigned responsibility for safety? Just because someone else might be in the zorb, you think that it's not your problem anymore? You're upset that we expect you to be in control of the thing you brought to the playa, and to assume responsibility for the safety of the people you allow to use it? You feel it's unfair for us to single YOU out, even though you're the one bringing the zorb?
To be very explicit: yes.

If I bring something to BM that isn't illegal and isn't against the event rules, and it works in the way it should (that is, I'm not tricking people into using a broken tool/toy), I am in no way responsible for what other people decide to do with it.

That thing could be a nailgun (if those don't violate the weapons policy), a ladder, a parachute, a tent, a desert windsurfing rig, a water gun, or any of a thousand other things that a person COULD use in a dangerous way. When I use it, I'm going to use it safely. When someone else uses it, if they use it unsafely, that's on them. I am not their nanny. I am not offering, nor am I qualified to offer, safety training or oversight for any of those things I just listed, and yet I would have no problem bringing those things and lending them to others to be productive and/or have fun with. The same goes for a zorb.
If you want to make a reply about my personality instead of about what this thread is about, don't clutter this thread, post over here instead.

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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by tamarakay » Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:58 am

It is becoming clearer why your name is sparr.
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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by digital » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:07 pm

If it's your contraption it's your responsibility (aka liability).
Last edited by digital on Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by TT120 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:13 pm

You obviously don't live in America. This is the land of no self responsibility. If something bad happens to you here, it HAS to be somebody elses fault. Nobody takes responsibility for their own actions and it's a damned shame. If someone gets hurt in your Zorb, you can bet their family, friends, and anyone else that even saw the accident will try to sue you for everything you got. Even if it's totally their fault, you'll still get sued and you will lose. I would leave the Zorb at home and not risk it.
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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by misfit » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:15 pm

you have some good points sparr, but safety on the playa is everyones responsibility. if I do loan out a nail gun on playa or anywhere I do make sure the loanee is familiar with it. it sucks to get injured on playa.
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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by some seeing eye » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:18 pm

Burning Man is a risk festival.

The culture of Burning Man is one of individual responsibility. One could argue that the BMORG has been fairly successful in getting burners to believe that and the other principles and preach them endlessly.

But Burning Man exists under state, case and common (tort) law. Under strict liability, anyone can sue anyone even remotely connected. They do all the time. The contract of adhesion on the back of the ticket does not really even protect the BMORG from being sued if a participant is injured.

(This is not legal advice in any way whatsoever)
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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by vargaso » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:25 pm

People are worried about possible misuse of a giant inflatable hamster ball? "Cool flamethrower, dude....HOLY SHIT KEEP THAT GIANT BALLOON AWAY FROM ME!!!"

I'm pretty sure I've seen zorbs in previous years. I wouldn't worry about it.

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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by Meat Hunter » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:25 pm

You have been warned.

Therefore you have prior knowledge of the potential for damage to personal property and serious injury to individuals.

Therefore you are culpable.
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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by maladroit » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:34 pm

Every irresponsible use of something generates more rules around it, and potentially takes away a lot of people's fun. See: laser pointers. There are a lot of possible fun and artistic uses for them, but because of a few assholes nobody can have them anymore.

By applying some common sense, and asking that people are responsible for their own equipment, we're trying to KEEP Burning Man from getting pussified. When they decide that they can no longer trust the responsibility and expertise of participants, usually because of one asshole's poor decision, they have to slap a rule in place.

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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by lucky420 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:45 pm

vargaso wrote:People are worried about possible misuse of a giant inflatable hamster ball? "Cool flamethrower, dude....HOLY SHIT KEEP THAT GIANT BALLOON AWAY FROM ME!!!"

I'm pretty sure I've seen zorbs in previous years. I wouldn't worry about it.

:lol: best answer yet
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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by Jovankat » Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:04 pm

How about rather than worrying about who is liable to be sued when all is said and done you don't knowingly bring something you've been warned could cause all kinds of hurt and damage? Regardless of whether you're financially liable are you really going to be able to walk away feeling good about yourself when something you brought to the burn has just gotten loose and hurt someone or damaged something?

Seriously, you're shrugging off the idea of someone's burn potentially being ruined by arguing who would technically be at most fault? The person who has been injured or had their art or camp damaged is going to care a whole lots less in the moment about who is technically at fault than they're going to care about the very real harm that has been done to their experience of the burn through no fault of their own. Do you really not feel any empathy for these hypothetical victims of your zorb?

And as for the comparison of a flame thrower to a zorb, I've never seen someone with a flame effect who doesn't respect the damage their toy can do. It's not about how dangerous the item is, it's about how dangerous Sparr's attitude is.

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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by maladroit » Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:10 pm

Jovankat wrote:Regardless of whether you're financially liable are you really going to be able to walk away feeling good about yourself when something you brought to the burn has just gotten loose and hurt someone or damaged something?
Exactly this...the issue of conscience and complete lack of empathy here is what's most disturbing. It does dovetail nicely with the other evidence we have that sparr is only capable of receiving encouragement for their own ideas, and can't accept criticism or ideas that didn't originate in their own mind.

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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by Savannah » Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:14 pm

maladroit wrote:
Jovankat wrote:Regardless of whether you're financially liable are you really going to be able to walk away feeling good about yourself when something you brought to the burn has just gotten loose and hurt someone or damaged something?
Exactly this...the issue of conscience and complete lack of empathy here is what's most disturbing. It does dovetail nicely with the other evidence we have that sparr is only capable of receiving encouragement for their own ideas, and can't accept criticism or ideas that didn't originate in their own mind.
Oh, he had empathy! . . . for his zorb. He was worried it was going to get scratched. :lol:

I'm pondering now how many threads (now 3) we need about this toy and allusions to it (the jeep vinyl thread).

He has the opinions he asked for. This is probably a troll, so let's not feed it anymore.
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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by AntiM » Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:17 pm

I've seen zorbs out there. Don't overthink it.

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Token
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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by Token » Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:25 pm

Just inflate it with oxy acetylene and remove all the mystery.

Simple, easy and potentially fatal, the way Burning Man should be.

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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by mrchiff » Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:33 pm

Wow, I guess none of you slid down the wedge.

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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by Meat Hunter » Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:40 pm

Time To Lock Or Delete This Thread.
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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by vargaso » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:00 pm

vargaso wrote:
mrchiff wrote:Wow, I guess none of you slid down the wedge.
Ha. Seriously, that thing had to have caused more injuries than any installation in BM history. I got a nasty little rug burn on it. Guess what? I didn't try to sue the builders, that thing looked pretty sketchy to begin with but I went ahead and slid down it anyway, assuming all risk.
Jovankat wrote:Regardless of whether you're financially liable are you really going to be able to walk away feeling good about yourself when something you brought to the burn has just gotten loose and hurt someone or damaged something?
Maybe I'm confused, but isn't the picture below a Zorb? How is this thing dangerous on a totally flat surface like the playa? Maybe someone would get motion sickness in it? Doing an image search for it, it seems there are Zorb courses with downhill sections and berms. Maybe that is a bit dangerous, but on the playa? Come on.

Edited to add: OK, just thought about it getting loose in a wind storm. Well, I suppose that is a risk.

Image

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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by asr9754 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:05 pm

Not too worried about a zorb with all the other pointy, flaming, upside down objects out there.
Bring it, use it responsibly, train a few campmates as spotters, don't use it when crazy windy, don't let super drunk people use it, have an escape plan, buckle it down tight for storage. Extra baby wipes to clean vomit out of it. You do have a role if your gear causes an injury so just be reasonable about it.
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sparr
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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by sparr » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:10 pm

Jovankat wrote:Regardless of whether you're financially liable
I'm actually not asking about financial liability. If I want legal advice, I'll talk to a lawyer. What I'm asking here is where the BM community puts the responsibility. This thread (and the one that spawned it) are the first places I've ever heard it suggested that someone not let other people play with something at BM just because those people might play with it unsafely.

As a follow-up question, I wonder if you folks would still hold me responsible if tomorrow I sell my zorb to someone else who plans to bring it to BM. (since such a person has already asked to purchase it)
If you want to make a reply about my personality instead of about what this thread is about, don't clutter this thread, post over here instead.

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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by digital » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:14 pm

sparr wrote:As a follow-up question, I wonder if you folks would still hold me responsible if tomorrow I sell my zorb to someone else who plans to bring it to BM. (since such a person has already asked to purchase it)
You're a troll, huh?

No, you wouldn't be responsible, because it's not yours after you sell it. You say you don't want legal advice yet you keep asking for it. :roll:

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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by Jackass » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:17 pm

mrchiff wrote:Wow, I guess none of you slid down the wedge.

I did...twice.

It felt like the space shuttle encountering Earth's atmosphere.

There was a great deal of heat generated.

Some fun at burning man comes at a price.
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by Jovankat » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:26 pm

sparr wrote:What I'm asking here is where the BM community puts the responsibility.

Does this answer your question?
FIGJAM wrote:On safety third............

1st....conceive the project.

2nd....build the project.

3rd....SAFETY of the project!!!!!!!!!
MrBeardy wrote:Safety is obviously the biggest concern(can they be deflated reletively quickly if needed?)...

...Have a safety plan and be smart about it(an attached teather might be worthwhile), and let the good times "roll"!
Mojojita wrote:Hi Sparr - I'm far less concerned about someone being hurt while using the Zorb, but my concern would be for the person who gets knocked down by it once the user has to bail out in a high wind. The speed and bounce it could pick up once empty could certainly knock someone down or off a bike. It is an environment where things do become airborne that send people to the hospital - even things that have been tied down. It can be a lot more like the flying house scene in Wizard of Oz than one would wish.
maladroit wrote:You're upset at being assigned responsibility for safety? Just because someone else might be in the zorb, you think that it's not your problem anymore? You're upset that we expect you to be in control of the thing you brought to the playa, and to assume responsibility for the safety of the people you allow to use it? You feel it's unfair for us to single YOU out, even though you're the one bringing the zorb? You can't handle some worry and criticism and want to pass all the potential blame off onto some unknown person who isn't here and can't defend themselves?

I wanted to say this using a couple of much shorter, more satisfying words, but we're all trying to be nice on ePlaya these days. So here's the soft, fluffy version: I'm not sure that Burning Man is right for you.
maladroit wrote: If you're not qualified to offer training and oversight for something dangerous, then you don't allow people to use it. Both the parachute and windsurfing rig are great examples of things you don't just hand to someone and say "go have fun!" and then expect to be blameless when someone dies.
Jovankat wrote: Your COMPLETE lack on concern for what damage YOUR zorb WILL cause after YOU are safely out is Infuriatingly reckless.

If you don't have a good answer for how you will PREVENT damage being done by YOUR out of control toy DON'T FUCKING BRING IT.
digital wrote:If it's your contraption it's your responsibility (aka liability).
misfit wrote:you have some good points sparr, but safety on the playa is everyones responsibility. if I do loan out a nail gun on playa or anywhere I do make sure the loanee is familiar with it. it sucks to get injured on playa.
Meat Hunter wrote:You have been warned.

Therefore you have prior knowledge of the potential for damage to personal property and serious injury to individuals.

Therefore you are culpable.
maladroit wrote:By applying some common sense, and asking that people are responsible for their own equipment, we're trying to KEEP Burning Man from getting pussified. When they decide that they can no longer trust the responsibility and expertise of participants, usually because of one asshole's poor decision, they have to slap a rule in place.
Jovankat wrote:Regardless of whether you're financially liable are you really going to be able to walk away feeling good about yourself when something you brought to the burn has just gotten loose and hurt someone or damaged something?
maladroit wrote:Exactly this...the issue of conscience and complete lack of empathy here is what's most disturbing. It does dovetail nicely with the other evidence we have that sparr is only capable of receiving encouragement for their own ideas, and can't accept criticism or ideas that didn't originate in their own mind.
asr9754 wrote:You do have a role if your gear causes an injury so just be reasonable about it.

Now not everyone is in agreement with the above but surely this at least gives you pause to think that maybe just because you haven't heard of this sort of civic responsibility in your zero years attending the event it doesn't mean it's not indeed a *thing*?

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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by A-RockLeFrench » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:30 pm

sparr wrote:I'm actually not asking about financial liability. If I want legal advice, I'll talk to a lawyer. What I'm asking here is where the BM community puts the responsibility.


Coming to eplaya and asking about community values is right up there with coming here asking for legal advice. The results will likely be the same and not in your favor.

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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:32 pm

NEWS FLASH.....................BLM denies permit to Burning Man due to Zorb!!!!!!!!!!!! :lol:
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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by trilobyte » Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:17 pm

I don't really care about the legal aspects of it (though I'm fairly certain you'd be liable as it's your stuff)...

As an artist or builder/bringer of things that create experiences, either in Defaultia or in the desert, I would fell absolutely horrible and terrible and responsible if someone should get hurt on something that I built or brought to the event. The mantra 'you assume all risk of death' works as a reminder to participants to be careful not to do something stupid because you could get killed, but it works as a reminder to builders and bringers of things to be careful of the kind of experiences you create.

Use your head and exercise a reasonable amount of caution. If somebody seems impaired or otherwise makes you think they wouldn't be able to use it safely and they'd be a danger to themselves or others... don't let them use your thing to do it. Let people know if there are any important safety or operator tips.

That said, good luck with your project!

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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by mudpuppy000 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:35 pm

mrchiff wrote:Wow, I guess none of you slid down the wedge.
First naked guy I saw fall off whatever they were trying to slide down I was like ummm, nope. Rug burned ass + playa dust sounds like a great way to spend a week in the desert.

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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by sparr » Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:45 pm

trilobyte wrote:Use your head and exercise a reasonable amount of caution. If somebody seems impaired or otherwise makes you think they wouldn't be able to use it safely and they'd be a danger to themselves or others... don't let them use your thing to do it. Let people know if there are any important safety or operator tips.
I wasn't planning to babysit it. The last regional I had it at, I just left it sitting in a field for passers-by to play with unsupervised, then later I towed it out and anchored it in the middle of a lake for boaters-by to play with, again unsupervised. A lot of the scariest things I hear of people doing at BM (mostly climbing stuff, to be honest) are done without the "approval" or supervision of whoever made/brought/installed the thing in question.
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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by gaminwench » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:00 pm

Yeah, but now, you see, when the wind kicks up suddenly (and it will) 8) your unsupervised toy, if it isn't tethered, will go flying across the desert.

That is what all of these folks keep trying to get you to understand.
(the Zorb at ATTOL was tethered in their camp, BTW)

Anything that isn't tethered/staked down has the potential to become a flying projectile at any moment.
You are responsible for your toy.

An unsupervised climbable tower structure is staked down.
The slide of stupidity, the teeter totter, the zip line were/are all supervised (and staked down).

You really cannot responsibly set a wind-driven thing free on the playa, does it really take two threads and over 50 replies to make you see that?
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Re: Responsibility for safety?

Post by asr9754 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:04 pm

I'd be excited to try a zorb. Looks like a cool thing to try at Bman and an ideal flat surface.
I don't know really anything about them so I'd wonder about how to drive it, how to stop, what to do if I got caught in a wind storm. The main thing to consider is the wind. Bman is a big place and it might roll away or worse, get stolen, if unsupervised for long periods. You could make it an interactive part of your camp, give ZORB lessons or go on a ZORB pub crawl. Despite all the back-and-forth chatter, It seems like this would fit right in as long as it's done with a bit of reasonable safety in mind. Just like the sculptures that people climb on, Yeah it's potentially scary and dangerous, but the artists make reasonable precautions like securing the structures down tight and not putting sharp pointy objects at throat-level. It's about common sense and calculated risk.

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