Consent & Safety
Decompression is intense. We make it safe by helping everyone understand how to look after themselves – and each other.
Consent – “Hell Yeah”
Consent isn’t really taught in schools. No, we’re not sure why either. Consent is an agreement between people to do something specific together. It is not just about sex, it’s needed before doing anything.
Burner communities practice proactive consent. Put simply, if it’s not a “Hell Yeah”, it’s a “No”.
An easy way to remember it, is proper consent lights FIRES.
FREELY GIVEN – this means not coerced, pressured or reliant on specific conditions.
INFORMED – all those involved must know what is going to happen in as much detail as necessary. Think Cluedo – Who? Where? With What?
REVERSIBLE – consent can be withdrawn (or downgraded) at any time, without needing justification. Do not keep going along with something that you are not enjoying.
ENTHUSIASTIC – you’re looking for a massive YES to continue. Anything less should be considered a No until you get clarification.
SPECIFIC – just because someone consents to one activity does not mean they consent to anything else.
Saying no can be hard. You can feel like you’re letting someone down, or not ‘being cool’. It can take people a while to realise that in these spaces, defining your boundaries is about the coolest thing you can do. Here’s a few ways to say no that might help!
Hearing a no can be hard. It can feel like a rejection of who you are, it can be embarrassing. It takes a while to realise the power of a proactive no. Here are a few ways to accept a no graciously, that empowers people to say it more often! We have to remember that proactive consent is an amazingly positive thing that helps people feel empowered to try new things. When someone says no, thank them for their bravery, for looking after themselves, and for letting you know where their boundaries are.
Keep checking in.
Consent is always reversible. Keep checking in. Their mood might have changed, any new action might be something they didn’t consent to. Be aware of anyone who’s gone silent. Check in and make sure they’re still there with you.
Stand up for consent.
We need to be aware of those around us. We are often confronted with situations that seem questionable. You can and should check in on others, even strangers. Do you feel safe? Are you okay? Do you need to find a safe place or a friend? Is everyone here fully consenting? These are all good questions to ask in uncomfortable situations. Be willing to help a person in a non-consensual situation get to safety, whether it’s to the Rangers, ESD, or their camp.
Practice these principles, and soon consent will become second-nature to you. This stuff isn’t taught early enough. Educate those around you in a loving, understanding way, and we can all live in a happier, more beautiful world.
5 Easy Tips for Helping Prevent Sexual Harassment:
1. Do not make unsolicited sexual remarks or comments about someone else’s body.
However it’s intended, unsolicited sexual comments about somebody else’s body may not feel like a compliment to the person you’re saying them to.
2. Don’t touch anyone without their enthusiastic consent.
Respecting personal boundaries is key. This also goes for touches that aren’t intended to be sexual.
3. Don’t take photos of someone without their enthusiastic consent.
You might be surprised how often fellow BRC citizens seem to think this doesn’t apply to women they find attractive. No amount of clothing (or lack thereof) makes it okay to snap a photo without asking, period.
4. Don’t treat someone else’s body like a commodity without their enthusiastic consent.
Ever been to a bar camp where men drink for “free” but women have to flash the servers? Using other people’s bodies like currency is a form of objectification, and (unless they’re into that) it’s not cool.
5. Always take “no” for an answer.
Sometimes, the friendliest, sexiest thing you can do is respect someone else’s boundaries. If they say “no thanks” to any of the above, don’t push the issue and don’t get mad. Rather, say “thank you” for their clear communication of what they do and don’t want.
Health & Safety
Preventing Slips and Trips
Ensure good housekeeping in your work area, ensure that the area is clear, dry and well lit • Look out for trip hazards, such as uneven floors or trailing cables. Hazards that cannot be removed should be marked using signage and / or hazard tape • For additional information, see http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubs/indg225.pdf
. Before lifting/moving loads, plan the lift. Remove any obstructions and decide where the load is going to be placed. If the load is heavy or awkward, ask for help! • When lifting / moving a load, adopt a stable position, get a good hold, start in a good posture, avoid twisting your back or leaning sideways, keep the load close to
the waist, keep your head up, move smoothly, and don’t lift more than you can easily manage!
Watch this video on the Correct Lifting Technique (2 min): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhGUKWAA9WM&feature=youtu.be&t=50
For additional information, see http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubs/indg143.pdf
Using Ladders Safely
Unless the ladder is firmly secured, ensure that someone is always holding the ladder while you are on it • Do not overload or overreach when working at height • When working from a ladder or steps, maintain 3 points of contact at all times.
For additional information, see http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubs/indg455.pdf
Before starting work, check that any electrical equipment, cabling, plugs or sockets being used are in good condition • Any faulty equipment must be taken out of use, clearly labelled and removed from the work area
For additional information, see http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubs/indg231.pdf
Hand and Power Tools
Ensure that you are using the correct tool for the job and that the tool is in good condition • Any faulty tools must be taken out of use, clearly labelled and removed from the work area • Dress appropriately for the job and use task-appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which may include items like safety boots, safety glasses, gloves, ear
defenders, hard hat and dust masks • Be aware of people around you and make sure they stay clear of the tools you are using • When appropriate, secure work with a clamp or vise to keep it from slipping. Never carry pointed tools in your pockets.
Watch this video on Power Tools (1 min): https://youtu.be/Q_ndd_Z5jdg?t=0m 44s
For additional information, see https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha 3080.pdf and http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/guidance/cn3.pdf