What is ‘safety’ all about?

By BEN COLEMAN, Safety Advisor to the Sun ’n Fun President

The subject of insurance was not very popular in my formative years. As a kid, I can recall my Dad complaining about insurance rates, especially when my older brother came of driving age. It was explained to me that insurance would pay you back if you had a wreck or got sick. I liked this “insurance” thing. Every year, you pay the insurance company money and if you have a wreck, they buy you a new car. Cool! If you don’t have a wreck, they get to keep the money. Not so cool! Not sure I like this “insurance” thing.

My innocence in childhood dictated that the solution it was simple. Don’t have a wreck or get sick and don’t pay for something insurance that you don’t need and will never use. Seemed like straight forward economics at the time.

Of course, the boundless clarity and innocence of childhood vanished when somebody clobbered the left rear fender of my first car, a bright red (older) Mustang, in the parking lot! My car policy at that time was the minimum insurance necessary for the loan company and didn’t cover the damage. Dad offered to help me fix the damage, but said, “Son, if you had collision insurance, the shop would have fixed it for you.” My response was, “Dad, if the car next to me didn’t clobber my fender, it wouldn’t have to be fixed!” A valuable lesson was learned that involved “underinsured” and “safety.”

If everyone was safe and made no mistakes, there would be no losses or damage and we’d save money and time. Add the human side of the equation with injury or death and it takes on a whole new meaning. Life is all about learning lessons. Leaving this world is a natural by-product of coming into this world, but should come naturally, not by accident. Most folks don’t fear their mortality at every waking moment, but they certainly shouldn’t accelerate the process!

The answer remains as simple as it was in my childhood way of thinking: Don’t have accidents. If you do have accidents or losses, you’d be wise to have the best insurance money can buy.

The absolute BEST insurance policy is to self insure yourself by being extremely “SAFE.” You will see this philosophy weaved ever so carefully throughout the new Sun ’n Fun Safety Program.

As our losses, injuries, mistakes, errors and defects diminish, so will our insurance rates. It is a direct ratio. This gives us more capital to apply to paint, benches, new pavilions, scholarships, etc.

This, my friends, is the secret to a successful safety program and system. Sun ’n Fun intends to be a leader in this effort to promote and implement safety in our industry. We invite you to join us.

Ben Coleman is an aircraft accident investigation expert, pilot, mechanic, and the new Safety Advisor to the Sun ’n Fun president.



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  1. says

    There’s a difference between safety and security,don’t let us mixed up the two together..though; life is all about learning lessons but safety is a way of life in which some set standards are to be met when this safety is to be applied in an organization, be it a chemical,engineering,catering or marine setup etc.Therefore, in an organization,they refer to this safety as a normative safety since standards are to be achieved e.g in PHCN, their safety public codes used is “SPC” meaning Safety Protection Codes. there is another one i refer to as perceived safety…i call it “perceived” because sometimes it can really cause a nuisance to human needs,for instance, the traffic signals should be a perceived safety because it enables the driver to relax their body while on motion,enables the passerby to cross when the light is red et al…but it becomes a nuisance,when there is an emergency and you still have to follow the traffic signals which might lead to a traffic holdup. and lastly,we also have the substantive safety;this substantive safety is often convinced as security but they are simply different although their interest are a bit similar..IE; substantive safety are the type of safety that is mostly applied in an academic setup be it an higher institution, a college etal,this type of safety is when there are set standards but it is not really necessary for this set standards to be achieved but at least there must be a favorable safety IE though, the standards are not met but still,there is a real world history of safety, this type of safety can also be applied to individuals especially students for instance, if a required passing grade is 90%-100% and a student has 95% score; then this student is categorized to be a victim of substantive safety but when we talk on “security”.
    security is also under safety but this safety addresses the general public because it makes sure that the risk of harm among the people in minimized as low as possible and this security is ensured due to “intentional” criminal acts such as assault,burglary,vandalism etc. therefore, security safety is a safety done, due to intentional criminal acts by people but other 3 types of safety is a safety done due to accidental harm caused by people,machines,equipments or materialistic things.so;to my view,i think this is what safety summary is all about.HOPE I HAVE HELPED YOU TO UNDERSTAND.
    Thank you for taking your time to read.
    SHODIMU,MONSURAT EJIDE 300L(Marine sciences, Unilag.)

  2. Lmaynard6947 says

    What a crock of self-serving BS.  Here we go again with nonsense from Sun n’ Fun.  Went twice many years ago and will never go there again.  They have their hands out everywhere and are a for profit for a few orgainization.  They keep losing support and keep doing the samed stupid and self serving mistakes every year.  Attendance goes down every year and they just keep doing what they do.  This is a faint shadow of OSH.  Do they really think that we as pilots are so stupid that we need a lecture on insurance?  Duh?  It took them so long to figure out how insurance works that we now need to be lectured on it?  How transparent this is for last year’s storm debacle in which they showed their sheer greed and lack of concern for the show attendess and who are actually the paying attractions.  Keep up the bad work Sun ‘n Fun.  One day you will look around and see that only you and your few friends are looking back at you.

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