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In 2003, the Safety Committee continued growing and developing from its inaugural year in 2002. The Safety Committee is a multidisciplinary, multi-departmental effort to create a safer work and play environment for our staff and our event by developing a safety-conscious culture within all departments of Burning Man. Key members of the committee include representatives from the following departments and work groups: Burning Man Board members and Senior Staff, Emergency Services, Business Services, and the Department of Public Works (DPW), including DPW's safety coordinators.

The Safety Committee and the DPW developed a safety manual in 2002 specifically for its work. This document was rewritten to apply to the entire Burning Man organization, a task that continues through development of a living document and encompassing concept. The project is expected to continue for several years until the complexity and detail of safety guidelines suit the Project's needs. For 2004, the Safety Committee will build on what we have already developed to create a more comprehensive document that will meet essential safety needs and serve as a framework for additional refinement over the next couple of years.

After the 2003 event, the Safety Committee stayed busy with a significant effort to take advantage of lessons learned on the playa and in the months before. Specifically, the administrative process for work-related injuries has been updated to more accurately reflect how paperwork is handled on the playa. The DPW work ranch received a safety review, and corrective measures have been taken as needed.

For 2004, safety updates will continue as regular agenda items at all quarterly staff meetings. Meeting notes from the safety committee will be distributed on the staff-announcement email list throughout the year. In addition, the Safety Committee will review the drug and alcohol policy as well as vehicle accident paperwork for Project vehicles.

One of the most significant planned changes for 2004 will be solidifying the Safety Committee's role so it can directly impact safety throughout the Burning Man organization. To facilitate this change, we are developing a specific vision and mission for the Safety Committee, and clearly establishing roles and authority. Additionally, we will be including representation from additional departments as their role in overseeing safety is expanded.

Equally significant will be reviews of safety procedures for the Airport and of mutant vehicle safety.

Submitted by,
Joseph Pred
Emergency Services Operations Chief End of page

Click here to read the 2002 Safety Committee report.