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Old 28 Mar 2005, 23:38 (Ref:1263863)   #1
stevebrown
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stevebrown should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridstevebrown should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Health and Safety Gone MAAAAD!!!!

How many of you know that cement is to be banned for dressing spillages? It's something I only learnt today at Snet. Apparantely someone involved in health and safety has said that dust blowing into a spectator area can cause someone with asthma to have an attack. So the new directive is to use DETERGENT!!! Apparantely it is supposed to break up the oil. Yeah maybe an hour later. It might work on water but on tarmac with thirty odd cars racing through a corner??? DUH!!!! This was used today and it most likely caused two incidents in two different races. Now I'm no scientist but putting detergent on oil on tarmac, doesn't that make it more slippy? Drivers I spoke to certainely thought so and couldn't believe what was used. TWO races later cars were still having trouble finding grip where the detergent was.
It also brings up another issue. What sought of detergent is being used? Will it irritate or burn my skin on contact? How safe will it be? Cement dust has never given me asthma or irritated my skin. Now it is supposed to be applied by a sprayer, something that wasn't available today but any marshal working in the area of the sprayer is going to get covered in detergent. Does that mean safety of marshals is not being considered?
Just who thought this up this directive? Someone who obviously has never been near a race track. This has to be the most STUPID idea I have ever heard in all my years of marshalling. Unless someone can say there is a good reason for using it and it does work.

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Old 29 Mar 2005, 00:03 (Ref:1263869)   #2
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Hadn't heard of that Steve, but it does sound like a stupid idea. I can see the theory behind using a detergent on bad areas after all racing has finished so that it has a day or two to break down the oil (but wouldn't the surface then require rinsing to get rid of what remains of the detergent).
I thought that all entrance tickets for races stated that motorsport was dangerous and that you watched it at your own risk. I would have thought that covered a lot of things, including a little bit of airbourne dust.
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Old 29 Mar 2005, 06:46 (Ref:1263973)   #3
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So what's next? Are the circuits to cut down all trees and pave over all grass to prevent hayfever sufferers being afflicted?

As an asthmatic myself, I have to say that after 12 years of shoving the damn stuff down onto the track and brushing it in (An action that is FAR, FAR more likely to promote an asthma attack than standing 100-200 feet away watching), I've never suffered from the effects, nor do I ever believe I will.

This is nanny-state gone mad.

Last edited by neilwaynesmith; 29 Mar 2005 at 06:46.
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Old 29 Mar 2005, 06:59 (Ref:1263977)   #4
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Odd that this doesn't appear to have been mentioned on any of the training days. It sounds suspiciously like someone in MSV's legal dept trying to justify their existence. I would also have thought that if it is an H&S issue, they would have done an assessment on this detergent to make sure it wasn't going to cause even more problems. By the sounds of it it's use is actually making the circuit more dangerous, and more likely to cause injury than a bit of cement dust. Oh, but of course us marshals have signed disclaimers haven't we........
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Old 29 Mar 2005, 07:44 (Ref:1264000)   #5
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Oh Dear Oh Dear
This is the first I have heard of this nonsense, but now this is in the public domain you will have every chancer and thier solicitors attending all race venues just waiting for some cement dust and then developing asthma and getting on the "££££ gravy train ££££" (how many asthmatic builders are there)
Using detergent does work but it has to be applied in a mist and then scrubbed and vacuumed, if you just put it to break it down all it does is spread the oil and in no time you have a skating rink.
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Old 29 Mar 2005, 08:04 (Ref:1264014)   #6
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Hepatic should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridHepatic should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
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Originally Posted by Steve Gibson
Using detergent does work but it has to be applied in a mist and then scrubbed and vacuumed, if you just put it to break it down all it does is spread the oil and in no time you have a skating rink.
Hmm, there was no mention of this at Oulton yesterday either. And if it takes that much effort to work, what hope have we of staying on time?
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Old 29 Mar 2005, 08:19 (Ref:1264029)   #7
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Hmm surprised they didn't ban it for being caustic - we've had more than one marshal had to pay a visit to the eyewash station, no matter how careful we are. But it does seem a bit stupid.

We've had requests from the circuit (Mondello) to go very easy on cement when we do use it as it causes the track to start to break up after a while, so that might be something to do with it as well.

As for detergent, it's very effective on large oilspills IF you have access to a power washer and a lot of marshals with brushes. We've used it quite a bit for large oil spills at bikes, particularly when the track is wet and cement isn't an option. But you need a lot of pressurised water to rinse it off and a lot of marshals with brooms to brush the circuit! It also takes a good 15-20 minutes to get a decent result.

One wonders if they've considered the oil "nappies" that have been doing the rounds recently - they're quite good for small spills and/or isolated puddles.
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Old 29 Mar 2005, 08:23 (Ref:1264036)   #8
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There are a number of scientific research papers published now that reportedly link inhaling cement dust to an increased risk of laryngeal cancer.
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Old 29 Mar 2005, 08:30 (Ref:1264040)   #9
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That explains why we did not see any cement dust and why the track was like a skating rink. It will be interesting to see how things develop and how many cars are destroyed until a suitable replacement is arrived at.
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Old 29 Mar 2005, 08:44 (Ref:1264053)   #10
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The track was very slippy sunday, is star dust a viable alternative?
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Old 29 Mar 2005, 09:44 (Ref:1264093)   #11
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Are we SPECIFICALLY talking about CEMENT dust here? Or dusting in general?

If it's cement, then I can understand the Health and Safety issue: [quote] Inhaling high levels of dust may occur when workers empty bags of cement. In the short term, such exposure irritates the nose and throat and causes choking and difficult breathing. Sanding, grinding, or cutting concrete can also release large amounts of dust containing high levels of crystalline silica. Prolonged or repeated exposure can lead to a disabling and often fatal lung disease called silicosis. Some studies also indicate a link between crystalline silica exposure and lung cancer.

NOTE: Prolonged or repeated exposure Not 10 or 15 minutes on the odd weekend...

At Donington, Mallory and Silverstone, we use plaster dust, a far safer alternative which doesn't go as greasy when the elements subsequently dump rain on the track after you've spent ages brushing the damned stuff in!

The risks of plaster are [quote]:
Inhalation: Plaster dust can cause short term irritation of the respiratory system, no known long term effects.
Skin contact: Powder or wet mix may cause dry skin leading to irritation if contact is prolonged or if the skin is sensitive.
Eye contact: Irritation can be experienced due to powder or wet mix splashes, the eyes must be washed out immediately, to reduce the discomfort and possibility of long term damage.
Ingestion: Swallowing small quantities of powder or wet mix will not cause any significant reaction or long term damage.
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Old 29 Mar 2005, 10:03 (Ref:1264108)   #12
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absolutely. Except (based on the initial post) they're not worried about what will happen to the marshals - only to the spectators.........
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Old 29 Mar 2005, 10:17 (Ref:1264122)   #13
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Marshals being on the whole "sensible people" will take all actions to avoid ingesting large ammounts of the said powder, (I have even stopped putting it on my cereal), spectators being spectators some of them will stand wherever and ingest as much as is thrown at them and then claim!.
However they are sure to like the detergent alternative as it makes the track more slippery and will no doubt cause more accidents for them to enjoy, the rain can then come along and dilute the detergent which will then get thrown up in the spray and then they can ingest that and claim!
Am I being a cynic?
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Last edited by Steve Gibson; 29 Mar 2005 at 10:18. Reason: did not make sense
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Old 29 Mar 2005, 10:21 (Ref:1264125)   #14
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If you put said detergent on the track, then it rains, what flag do you put out when the corner vanishes in a cloud of suds?......
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Old 29 Mar 2005, 10:57 (Ref:1264152)   #15
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The flag is green, the track is clean.....

/me suddenly has visions of new sponsorship being brought into motorsport....

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