Originally Posted by dabvu2498
Here's the problem with that... As an employer/supervisor, rule of thumb is "if you see it or know it is happening, you own it."
In other words, even if the ND staff didn't specifically say, "kid, get up in that man-lift or else," surely somebody there saw the kid up in the thing or was aware that those video assistants were still airborn that day.
I agree entirely that as employers, we want people who will be aware of safety hazards and will do anything to avoid them. And further, will point them out to someone who can fix them. But as supervisors, we can not assume this is happening.
I'll give you a for instance of a recent accident at a local steel mill here in town.
Big box where scrap metal is stored. Needs emptied. Crane with a magnet attachment begins emptying. Scrap metal jammed in at the bottom of the box won't come loose with just the mag. Employee on the ground climbs in the scrap box. Jagged edge of metal through the bottom of his boot, ambulance, hospital, etc. etc. etc.
Common sense tells most folks "hey, jumping in that scrap box is a foolish idea." But guess what? There was no written safety procedure saying not to hop in the scrap box. Common sense loses. So did several supervisors.
Of course, the ND incident is even more galling because there were written procedures (manufacuters specs) saying not to use the lift with winds above whatever MPH. And people of authority knew those kids were up there and it happened.
The part that will get really ugly, methinks, is that I'd bet Sullivan and the other kids that were using those lifts have minimal safety training in using them. They are pretty simple to operate and I'm betting they were shown how to raise and lower themselves and that's about it. If that's the case, ND is in a world of hurt.
Well, these are very good points, but here's something where I think people are being too hard on Brian Kelly: he's a football coach, not a hydraulic tower operator and not a safety expert. Someone at Notre Dame ultimately has to be knowledgeable on the safety and operations of this device. That's a point you have made and I agree with it completely. Notre Dame as an institution had an obligation to make sure this device was operated properly and in the right situation. I can't and won't dispute that.
But everyone is pointing fingers at Brian Kelly for this. He's got to be a part of it, but only a small part. He's not a tower expert. His job isn't to operate that thing and it wouldn't be negligent if he really didn't know the first thing about the kind of winds those things could withstand. Heck, I know a lot of football coaches at schools that use those things and they don't know the first thing about them.
That's not to say Notre Dame shouldn't have someone around that did. Certainly. But everyone here is acting (after the fact mind you) that it's a no-brainer they should have known ahead of time. Why? Why should Brian Kelly have known that?
I agree Notre Dame will be liable. And I'm not even saying they shouldn't be. But specific blame on any individuals is hard to come by. This seems like a safety hazard that fell through the cracks. My point all along is that the person most capable of knowing the risks, the one that was using that thing every day (Declan) didn't speak up. If he had, Kelly may have been more aware of something he didn't know much about.
It's Notre Dame's job to have someone be aware of those risks. So please no one get the wrong idea. But everyone is dishing this out on Brian Kelly... when truth be told, I bet you if someone had raised this issue before the incident, no one here would have thought twice about expecting the head coach to be responsible for the operation of this device. It's easy to point fingers at Kelly specifically after the fact, but I feel there's some revisionist blame here.
Unfortunately we can't go back and avoid this. But I'd rather we learn from it than point fingers. And that's why I think there's a responsibility of individuals to raise awareness when their own safety is at risk.
It's a fact of life that not all dangers are going to be apparent to even the most vigilant employers. I just honestly feel that this is an accident that could have been prevented, but it's not fair to blame any one person for why it wasn't. And that's why I've reiterated that the person that knew the most about the risks should have at least spoken about them.