Tag Archives: safety

Rainwater collection at Andrew Connelly School of Preaching

The main purpose of our 2015 trip was building relationships with the other workers in the area. So we were delighted to work with the folks at the Andrew Connelly School of Preaching in Kisongo, near Arusha. We started building a rainwater collection system for the school. Because the school is buying water in tanker trucks during part of the year, this would save them a lot of money. It could also provide higher quality water than they currently have. It would also support the drip irrigation system that they use in their garden.

Andrew Connally School of PreachingAs you can see, this is a large complex, with a lot of roof. After discussion with Cy Stafford, we decided to build a small system to test our construction design.

We chose to work with the two small roofs on top of the dormitory complex. All the roofs have eavestroughs installed; we just converted them to a rainwater collection system.

I worked quite closely with Lairumbe while I was working on this system. I showed him how to build a “first flush” system, and then asked him to build the next one. When another of the students came to see what we were doing, I asked Lairumbe to explain to them what we were building, and why. At the end of one day, he asked me to come to meet his fiance. They hope to be married in December. Lairumbe is from Monduli Juu, where we will be living next year. His father is one of the elders in the community, and his half-brother Koimere preaches in Monduli Juu.

Building a first flush system

Building a first flush system

The happy couple

The happy couple

We connected the gutter systems on both dormitory roofs to the 5000 liter storage tanks already in place. We built a sand filter to capture any large particles that escaped the first flush system. And then we went to work on a large steel tank on the ground, to capture overflow from these rooftop tanks.

SAMSUNG CSC

One of the students helping me build trusses

SAMSUNG CSC

Welding a roof truss

SAMSUNG CSC

A basic sand filter for the collection system

Partially completed tank

Partially completed tank with trusses ready to lift

A local contractor was hired to construct a PVC liner for this tank, which will be 12 feet deep when completed. Unfortunately, I was injured, and was unable to complete the tank. I spoke with Ely Martin, a christian and local contractor (I had been using his welder), and I believe he can complete this project. If not, I expect to work on it again on our return to Tanzania in 2016.

Full disclosure: I was injured largely because I was working by myself at the time. I have been ordered not to repeat this error. I received treatment at the Tanzania Christian Clinic, and am fully recovered. 

The advantages of this system for the school are quite obvious: better water, more water, less expensive water. However, the huge advantage for me was the opportunity to work closely with both the faculty and students of this school, building relationships that we hope will last for many years.

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Filed under Mission Work

Check out this nifty helmet!

Skully

Skully helmets (@SkullyHelmets #iwantskully) have Bluetooth and 180-degree rear view, as well as GPS, on a head-up display.

 

Key Features:

  • Lightweight, Aerodynamic Shell
  • 3D laser-cut foam for a perfect fit
  • Fully adjustable flow-through ventilation
  • Anti-fog, anti-scratch, anti-glare face shield
  • Quick release chin strap and visor
  • SKULLY SYNAPSE (TM) Heads Up Display system with voice control
  • Visual GPS navigation
  • 180 degree wide angle rearview camera
  • Bluetooth connectivity to smartphone
  • Internet connectivity via smartphone

Check it out:

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Filed under Equipment safety, Motorcycle Safety, Uncategorized

Good Info on Distracted Driving from NEJM

CaptureThis link takes you to a study about Distracted Driving, and includes a good video explaining the study in layman’s terms:
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1204142?query=TOC#t=articleTop

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Expectation Bias

Expectation Bias.

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Filed under Human Factors, Motorcycle Safety, Threat and Error Management

Expectation Bias

One of the deadliest errors drivers make is called “Expectation Bias.” We see what we expect; and we fail to see the unexpected.
I witnessed an accident last week, which perfectly illustrates the problem of Expectation Bias. In fact, I was very nearly involved in it myself.
The driver who caused the accident was Westbound, but turning Left, to the South. The other driver, directly in front of me, was going straight through the intersection. An Eastbound tractor-trailer was in the left-turn lane, waiting to turn North.
Because of the position of the left-turn lane, the tractor-trailer blocked the view of each of the drivers involved in the accident. The lady who was turning left looked at the intersection and it appeared to be clear, except for the truck which was waiting to turn left, opposite to her. The other lady, passing the tractor-trailer, could see that the intersection was clear in front of her, but because of the tractor-trailer, she couldn’t see the SUV that was preparing to turn left, in front of her. My illustration shows the 3 vehicles, and the field of vision of each driver.
Either driver could have avoided this accident, if they had recognized the hazard presented by the tractor-trailer. Each of them should have had mental alarms going off: “Danger, Will Robinson!” Rather than looking for the hazard, they were looking for a clear intersection, and that’s what they saw. They were victims of their own expectations.
Expectation Bias is a real threat to motorcyclists: Other drivers, expecting to see cars or trucks, fail to see motorcycles, even when they are in plain view. A friend of mine was struck by his neighbor (a biker himself), who said that he actually saw the motorcycle, but it failed to register.
How many of us get further into debt than we can afford, because we have such a rosy view of the future? We expect everything to work out fine, so we whip out the plastic. Expectation Bias strikes again!
As a rider, one of the most important safety lessons is learning to see hazards everywhere. Expectation Bias is a threat to our ability to recognize hazards; we also need to recognize our expectations (and the expectations of other drivers) as a potential hazard.
One of the fellows who taught me to ride told me that I should always pretend I was driving a Semi. “Learn to occupy as much space on the road as a tractor-trailer rig; Don’t let anyone get inside your space.” We overcome other drivers’ expectation bias by making ourselves more visible and audible, and by forcing them to treat us like a larger vehicle.

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