Since its inception in 2002, the Safety Committee has grown into a stable, multi-disciplinary, multi-departmental effort dedicated to creating safer work and play environments for staff and participants, creating an overall safe event. The Safety Committee is comprised of senior staff members, Burning Man Board of Directors members, Emergency Services, Rangers, and the Department of Public Works (DPW), including DPW Safety Coordinators. Its focus is to develop a safety-conscious culture within all departments of Burning Man. The goals of the Safety Committee are to create a safe workplace, a safety training program for DPW volunteers, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) level compliance.
The year 2007 was remarkable in that there were few issues that needed review and follow-up, the net result being a quiet year for this committee. The main focus was on on-going maintenance tasks, as well as reviewing and implementing recommendations from no less than three different voluntary compliance reviews from our insurance carriers. From each review there was a list of recommendations, such as practical reviews of safety rail guideline compliance as well administrative recommendations for documentation of safety meetings, forklift use, and updating of our MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) binders. Miscellaneous safety enhancements added this year included testing “close call” reporting for the DPW to improve specific hazard safety awareness.
For 2008 the focus will be to restructure the committee to revitalize it for the next stage in its organizational development as well as better meet the more global needs of the project.