1. #1
    billy
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Red face Liability: Yes or NO?????

    We're aware that undeployed SRS can pose hazards to rescuers and patients. We're also aware that devices are made to "secure" column mounted SRS units. Simply are we, as rescuers liable IF we use such a device; or are we liable IF we don't, knowing that a hazard exists without any attempt to mitigate it? Your thoughts and opinions please.

  2. #2
    Ron Shaw
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    I know that we all are just trying to protect ourselves, patient and our co-workers. However, the federal government, the airbag manufacturers and the auto industry have made it very clear; do not restrain an airbag system.

    My last correspondense from Autoliv also confirms my thoughts with regards to cutting an airbag; do not cut any airbag, including the SIPS and impact curtain (IC) if undeployed.

    If you use a device between the airbags and your patient or the rescuers and someone gets hurt from an accidental deployment (being a TV lawyer) I would have to say the liability rests on the department/agency that owns the product.

    Using the I didn't know story may not work with a jury. This is just one more reseaon why departments have to adjust their training to keep pace with the industry.

    One thing I would do if I was a chief officer of a department owning such a device is request written documentation from the manufacturer of such a device that you can not be held liable for using their product if there was an injury from an accidental deployment.

    I would also request the manufacturer's representative train each member that will be using the device and have it documented.

    By reading this forum thread, departments should be cautious and question the validity of using such a device; contact the air bag & auto manufacturers, and NHTSA-DOT.

    It is my opinion that using such a device could cause serious injury should there be a failure to the restraint, steering wheel or improper installation.

    It should be noted that the restraint devices are only for the drivers frontal airbag! The largest is the passenger frontal and there is no device for this or any of the other airbags.

    While this thread may cause heated discussions, it is written to save injuries. If such a device were to fail the injury it causes may be worse than that of the airbag.

    ------------------
    Ron Shaw
    http://www.extrication.com

  3. #3
    JimT
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question

    Ron,
    In the past we have used a column wrap to secure an undeployed airbag. With the chains wrapped around the column and then "X"ed across the front of the bag, we have little concern that an accidental deployment will cause any problem. Yours and others thoughts, please! GOD BLESS!!!STAY SAFE!!!

    ------------------

  4. #4
    Jim Greene
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I have to agree, with all I have heard & read & all the info Ron Shaw has written above , we should not use anything to stop or break or pop or etc.. a air bag. I have talked to a friend of mine that is a tool rep, he will show you what he has in the line of air bag restraints but do not try to buy it from him. It can't be done.
    That thing Murphy's Law, well that is what would happen to me the 1st time I tried it.
    Just my thoughts.

    Jim

  5. #5
    Ron Shaw
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    Sorry Jim,

    I have to disagree with your procedure, when you cut the bag open what are you using to cut the bag? A utility blade or knife...what would happen if the SRS deploys while you are cutting the bag? Where will the cutting tool go...could go directly into you or the patient. Not to mention that you are now too close to the airbag!

    What about the hot gases that are now going to be coming out, normally they are contained in the airbag and release at a controled rate. If you cut the bag they will go directly at the patient/rescuers. If I was a lawyer for your patient, the first thing I would want to know is why was the bag cut and who trained or told you to do it.

    By now you know that the airbag manufacturers, auto makers and NHTSA-DOT are all against this practice, I don't think the person responsible giving the order for cutting the airbag would have a chance in court.

    Please don't take my word for it, call NHTSA, any auto and airbag manufacturer. All to often people see a post an assume it to be fact because it was in a well known magazine or forum. Your best knowledge will come from the reseach you acquire yourself.

    Your best defence will be proper distancing from all undeployed airbags. This will greatly reduce the risk and severity of injury.

    I also don't condon the use of steering wheel pulls on the modern vehicle. Some hub assemblies are only held on by two bolts. There are safer methods to displace a steering wheel such as the rolls and jacking. You may get a way with it for a while but that damn "Murphy's Law" is lurking around every fire house just waiting for the right opertunity.

    I hate to scare everyone into thinking that an airbag is going off everytime you go to an accident. They aren't, but I don't want what happened to the two brothers in Dayton Ohio to happen to me/you either.



    ------------------
    Ron Shaw
    http://www.extrication.com

  6. #6
    FIGJAM
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    So it's a couple of years on since this was originally posted- has the thought process changed?
    Luke

  7. #7
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    Thumbs up

    Well here we go, I am familiar with what the manufactures say and if I built something to save the driver I too would say that, however I am a Firefighter and personnaly there is only one on the market that is built by a "Well Known" Company that I can assure you was tested and is well built. Even if total failure occures the patient or FF will only be hit with the bag and the cover. I've used the Secunet at work and still with all these good pionts I will err on the safety side and think we should gaurentee the proper testing and use this device as the manufacturer advises and still stay out of the 5-10-20 zone of deployment. I do not agree to the use of chains, cutting, metal plates or the like. I did take a dummy and place it in the drivers seat, then take another and lean it in the window and deplot a Ford bag and the thought of a 4-5 inch deployment looked better than what happened to the Rescuer Dummy....Thanks for your time , Be Safe
    "Trust in Traing, Faith in God"
    "09-11-01 I Serve today for the living,I serve tomorrow for those who Died..."

  8. #8
    FIGJAM
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    Here, here to wecutuout!

    My thoughts exactly!
    Luke

  9. #9
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    I'm going to go with Ron on this one.Would you wrap a piece of TNT and call it "safe"?Same difference.The Feds say no,the air bag mfg say no,The car mfgs say no!That's good enough for me.I've seen the securnet and I'll take my chances with a properly disarmed bag.T.C.

  10. #10
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    Post Look Whos Talking.....

    With all respect to TC lets look whos talking,,,,, if you gave a car manufacturer a hose line and told him to fight fire? they do not want to stop the deplyment of the bag, if the device manufacturer say this item is designed to retain the deployment, and has tested it HE is qualified to say use it. The auto manufacturers would rather people not hit trees too but , just an oppinion, Be Safe...
    "Trust in Traing, Faith in God"
    "09-11-01 I Serve today for the living,I serve tomorrow for those who Died..."

  11. #11
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    Wecut,if you want to restrain the bag,have at it!I'm not going to,for the reasons listed above plus my 40+ years of working on and around vehicles.I know more than I really sometimes care to about airbags and I equate them damagewise to a small piece of blasting jelly which I'm also very familiar with.I see by your profile you appear to be well qualified to adress the issue,so we remain on opposite sides of the fence.I don't think the FEDS have a stake in this and they also RECCOMEND AGAINST restraining the bag.Three out of three doesn't make a winner unless we're talking cherries here.Isn't America great?T.C.

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