Reporting of accidents/NID
Another inconsistency across mountain biking in NZ is the recording and reporting of accidents and Notifiable injuries. Ski fields for example use the National Incident database (NID) which is a programme owned by the mountain safety council. They also typically have medical centres on the hill that can treat, discharge and issue ACC numbers. Whereas the non-ski field operators typically use their own accident forms and report Notifiable Injury when it applies and sometimes operators have made arrangements with local Worksafe to not report the lower end Notifiable Injuries. So we have the NID, ACC, in house forms and Worksafe forms. It’s no wonder the mountain bike injury stats cannot be considered accurate.
Once again the industry is in flux at the moment while everything catches up. When Notifiable Injury is examined, it was intended for industry such as forestry, meat works, and people at work in general. As people going to work expect their employer to keep them safe. The Notifiable Injury process is not as well customised to an industry where the ‘customer’ is getting injured and instead of an expectation of being kept safe, they have recreationally pursued danger to seek out adventure that does not guarantee safety.
In the transition from Serious Harm to Notifiable Injury, it was thought that Non-workers such as customers riding may have been exempt. However it is the phrase accident or injury “arising from work” that encapsulates our customers. The threshold for Notifiable Injury has been raised also. During the era of ‘Serious Harm’ a foosh or collar bone would have required to have been reported as it is a fracture. When this was revised to Notifiable Injury, this injury is only required to be reported if the patient was admitted to hospital and not just treated through A &E. Although this does mean less reporting, it does also mean that some things are still a little out of line; Loss of Consciousness for example. If your worker fell over ko’d that would be one thing. But a rider having a crash, a small amount of sleepy time and then coming to, sitting at A & E for a couple hours and then going home. This seems less substantial than someone who has broken an arm or leg and may require corrective surgery but is an ‘out patient’, and goes through A & E initially. This is not required to be reported.
As previously stated things are in a state of flux and we should see a change in the next 18 months or so. One of these changes may be that we all go to the NID to report injuries. This is a project being worked on currently between SAANZ, NZSKI and NZPMBA to get the rights to the NID and update it to better serve ski fields and allow for mountain bike reporting. We will keep you posted as to how this develops.