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Helmet Usage Increasing In Snowsports

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Mt Baw Baw News / 2015/07/29

Mt Baw Baw Bowl

Helmet usage continues to increase in snowsports

The Australian Ski Areas Association (ASAA), the peak body representing Australia’s ski lifting

and resort companies, is pleased to announce that helmet usage continues to increase in

snowsports in Australia.

In a comprehensive survey conducted in July 2015 across every Australian ski resort, with a

sample size in excess of 47,000 snowsports participants, a helmet usage rate of 75.1% was

recorded. This is a marked increase over the same survey period in 2014, when helmet

usage of 67.0% was recorded and reflects a continuing trend since surveying was

commenced in 2013, with 57.4% recorded in that year.

The ASAA Chief Executive Officer, Colin Hackworth said, “The increase in helmet usage

follows a concerted public education campaign by all Australian ski resorts, where helmet

usage is encouraged and recommended. In 2015, the Alpine Responsibility Code was

changed to specifically recommend the use of helmets in saying:

“Use appropriate protective equipment, especially helmets, to minimise the risk of injury”.

There is no doubt that, in certain circumstances, wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of

injury. Clearly there is now a widespread understanding of the benefits of wearing a helmet,

with the vast majority of snowsports participants choosing to wear one”.

The ASAA cautions that overseas studies indicate that there is no causal link between the

uptake in wearing of helmets and a reduction in head injuries in snowsports. Recent credible

studies have found that, despite helmet-wearing being adopted by millions of recreational

skiers and snowboarders (ski helmet use in the US has tripled in the past 10 years), the

incidence of catastrophic head and upper spinal injuries in skiing has not declined.

The Chairman of ASAA, Peter Brulisauer reiterated, “While all Australian ski resorts

encourage the wearing of helmets, the most important safety consideration one can make is

to stay in control and avoid other people and hazards. If everyone abided by the ASAA’s

Alpine Responsibility Code, there would be far less safety incidents. The wearing of helmets

will not, in many cases, mitigate against the consequences of extreme or excessive risk-

taking behaviour”.

The ASAA is a non-profit industry body representing Australia’s ski lift operators. Amongst

other things, the ASAA works to promote snowsports in Australia as a safe and enjoyable

recreation.

Enquiries: Colin Hackworth, Chief Executive Officer

Mobile: 0418 133 885

 

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