Back in December 2002 we published an article calling for the formation an industry consortium to address propeller injuries. The article was originally published at www.rbbi.com/invent/guard/propg/updates/2002/supreme.htm#consort

The industry never responded. No Propeller Safety Consortium was ever formed.

Our original posting was copied below to this new page in May 2011.


Boating Industry Consortium to Address Propeller Injuries

Wouldn’t that make a much nicer headline than another propeller guard case in the news? A coalition of several firms could fund and cooperate in a propeller guard information clearinghouse (web site) and other efforts to help each other in their efforts to reduce propeller injuries. The Consortium and Clearinghouse could:

  • Provide a database of injury information (frequency, severity, circumstances)
  • Report on new products and technologies with possible applications in this area
  • Cover recent patents with possible implications in this field
  • Establish a vocabulary could be defined so everyone is talking about the same thing
  • Create standardized forms for recording propeller injuries
  • Create standardized propeller guard tests
  • Provide online accident reporting by people seeing them reported in the media and by those injured
  • A team could be deployed to accident locations to record as much data as possible for use in evaluating designs
  • Encourage cooperation in applying for government research funds in this area
  • Cover the economics of the issue (costs of protection) and provide a forum for economic discussions of both current and existing boats
  • Cover the medical implications and treatments and provide a forum for physicians to learn from one another,/li>
  • Encourage academic research in this area
  • Provide contact information for those working on the problem and their specific areas of interest
  • Provide awards to encourage engineering student design projects in the area
  • Provide an area for the industry, boaters and general public to comment on proposed designs and research
  • Hold meetings in conjunction with major trade shows
  • Provide an opportunity to firms and researchers to publish their efforts (including photos and videos)
  • Provide a list of all issues raised against prop guards in the past so developers can try to address them
  • Create email subgroups
  • Keep everyone from having to re-invent the wheel
  • Promote cooperation and interaction among those working on the problem
  • Many other things to foster true development in this area

The Clearinghouse web site could resemble a toned down version of the U.S. Governments anti-terrorism information center, TSWG. Cooperation and dissemination of information would stimulate projects to reduce propeller injuries, result in higher quality proposed solutions and reduce their “time to market”. Plus, actively supporting and participating in an effort of this nature might be taken into consideration by juries making a punitive damages awards. I venture to guess that less than 10 percent of the money spent on defending the Sprietsma case could fund an effort like this for a few years. If anybody is seriously interested in this or has other suggestions in this area, please contact us.

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