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A rare bit of common sense in our 'ealth-n-safety-gone-mad world


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#1 Perruqueporte

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 09:24

Not really off topic - it's to do with the trailer I have bought to transport a car.

 

Yesterday I was told that bicycles may no longer be used by Royal Mail employees, because they are too dangerous, and that postmen & women are instructed not to lift anything above shoulder height "in case they hurt themselves".  All of which is depressingly illustrative of a growing malaise.

 

I was relieved this morning when looking at the manual for my new (Brian James) trailer to read: "When loading a trailer it is absolutely vital that a POSITIVE nose weight is achieved. Loading cars of front engined design means that the car should be driven forwards onto the trailer until the tow vehicles suspension just starts to settle. (Rear engined cars must be reversed up onto the trailer).  Apply the same logic for machinery and equipment.

 

It's that last sentence - "Apply the same logic….." - which cheers me up.  Someone at Brian James Trailers trusts us to have minds of our own.

 

Christopher W.

 

 



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#2 uffen

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 13:08

It seems that the Royal Mail took the advice offered by Top Gear a few years ago. They were asked to produce a video to promote bicycle safety. Clarkson's approach was to show how dangerous they were so people would stop riding them. The ultimate in bicycle safety!



#3 Charlieman

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 15:27

Over at Motor Sport magazine, Mat Oxley has a sensible piece about racing safety:

http://www.motorspor...er-be-too-safe/

 

Mat questions whether safety provisions make the track safer for racers. 

 

***

 

Your typical Daily Mail 'elf'n'safety article doesn't sincerely argue about safety; the story can always be disintegrated, as to whether somebody's actions annoyed or inconvenienced somebody else.  'elf'n'safety is the excuse for a bossy person to have a go at somebody who is different or contrary. It is just an excuse to ban something which is inconvenient. 'elf'n'safety has become an easy excuse.

 

***

 

Health and Safety considerations at work are brilliant. Just as we don't want racers to die, workers should be safe when they operate the machines for racers. 

 

Somebody smart needs to explain how there is a difference between Health and Safety and 'elf'n'safety.



#4 D-Type

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 22:15

Circuit "Safety Provisions" can have one of two objectives - Safety of the competitors or Safety of non-competitors (spectators and occasionally marshalls or pit personnel).  Generally the two run hand in hand, but I am sure there are some circumstances where reducing one risk means increasing the other.  This is the reason that people nowadays carry out formal risk assesments.

 

The "elf 'n safety" decisions that infuriate us are generally taken by people who don't fully understand the formal "Risk Assessment" process and apply risk mitigation measures indiscriminately.  To try and avoid this issue the Construction safety law includes the term "Where reasonably practicable" but even then, some people, and organisations, are overly conservative.



#5 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 23:57

Circuit "Safety Provisions" can have one of two objectives - Safety of the competitors or Safety of non-competitors (spectators and occasionally marshalls or pit personnel).  Generally the two run hand in hand, but I am sure there are some circumstances where reducing one risk means increasing the other.  This is the reason that people nowadays carry out formal risk assesments.

 

The "elf 'n safety" decisions that infuriate us are generally taken by people who don't fully understand the formal "Risk Assessment" process and apply risk mitigation measures indiscriminately.  To try and avoid this issue the Construction safety law includes the term "Where reasonably practicable" but even then, some people, and organisations, are overly conservative.

Believe me Track Inspectors get it wrong often. Often the dynamics of racing is NOT taken into acount. Nor is commonsense for flag locations, from a vision perspective and sometimes the flag point is vulnerable to be hit.

'Temporary' circuits are worse too as the circuit has to go around eg a tree which makes the wall stick out to be hit or most flaggies are more vulnerable as they waving through a gap in the catch fencing behind a big concrete block they is NOT secured in place, just relying on its own weight. They can and do move quite a way when hit.

Worse what is great for bikes is not so good for cars, air fencing. I have seen a FF bury itself under it and the driver could not get out. That was ok as the car did not catch fire. Kerbs that may be ok for cars can launch a bike big time. Though many kerbs can do that too a car, some are as high as 500mm. Worse at one satge many were corrougated on top. The idea is to keep the cars down, ok it does unless you are avoiding a spinning car,, or just having your own private accident. I damaged a fuel tank on one of those and many damaged exhausts. But hit them wrong [with or without corrougations] and they will launch you in the air and possibly into a wall. 

Smooth walls are safer to hit at less than 45 deg angle as you bounce off, tyres or earth walls tear the car to bits as they GRAB. Sometimes better though for bikes. Head on tyres are the best, better than air fence except again for bikes.

Really a circuit that is safe for bikes can be lousy for cars, even open wheel or really low sports cars require different dynamics than a tintop or large sporty.

With a deal of work you can change the worst of it for bikes or for cars, a 2x4 meeting [and I wish there were more] will always be a severe compromise. But open wheelers and tintops are generally always on the same bill.



#6 Charlieman

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 15:24

The "elf 'n safety" decisions that infuriate us are generally taken by people who don't fully understand the formal "Risk Assessment" process and apply risk mitigation measures indiscriminately.

I think there are distinctions.

 

Health and Safety considerations protect people at work.

 

'elf'n'safety, acknowledging your definition, permits administrators who do not understand risk to create mistaken rules.

 

'elf'n'safety, by another defintion, provides administrators a convenient excuse to prohibit inconvenient  behaviour.



#7 D-Type

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 17:10

Agreed.  And then there's [mis]using 'elf 'n safety because of an [unjustified] fear of litigation.  I know of one public body that has produced an almost impenetrable wall of treacle and silly rules to protect them from the perceived risk of being held accountable for the actions of contractors and being sued. 



#8 Nick Planas

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 19:47

Believe it or not, at a school where I visit to teach once a week, a long standing employee (the incumbent caretaker) was berated by a new management regime for climbing a ladder without having been on a one-hour course...seriously! This guy had been the job for 26 years. 'Elf'n'safety and a complete lack of common sense from someone charged with teaching the next generation... Needless to say said employee decided it was time to retire.

 

Wonder what the regime would make of a typical race track then :drunk:



#9 Siddley

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 20:14

Believe it or not...

 

Oh I believe it. Before we emigrated my wife worked as a technician at a state comp and she had to take the very course you mention.
Ironic considering her hobbies outside work were riding insane ex-racehorses, fast motorcycles and full contact kick boxing...
She used passive resistance and feigned stupidity to make the course as trying as possible for the apparatchik conducting it. Eventually he gave up, said " just sign this form to say you have completed the course' and stomped off in a bad mood :lol:



#10 GMACKIE

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 20:48

How long will it take for 'everything' to gring to a halt ????

 

It seems that [in the confused minds of some] the only sure way to 'not make a mistake', is to do nothing.



#11 Dipster

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 21:03

This is the modern world.

 

Until I threw the towel in a couple of years ago my job periodically involved going on roofs. After 40 years of doing so safely I was told I could no longer do so until I returned to the UK to take a "working at heights course". This was one of the 12 reasons I found that told me I had had enough of madness......  I am now enjoying life fully.



#12 Mistron

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 21:27

Over at Motor Sport magazine, Mat Oxley has a sensible piece about racing safety:

http://www.motorspor...er-be-too-safe/

 

Mat questions whether safety provisions make the track safer for racers. 

 

***

 

Your typical Daily Mail 'elf'n'safety article doesn't sincerely argue about safety; the story can always be disintegrated, as to whether somebody's actions annoyed or inconvenienced somebody else.  'elf'n'safety is the excuse for a bossy person to have a go at somebody who is different or contrary. It is just an excuse to ban something which is inconvenient. 'elf'n'safety has become an easy excuse.

 

***

 

Health and Safety considerations at work are brilliant. Just as we don't want racers to die, workers should be safe when they operate the machines for racers. 

 

Somebody smart needs to explain how there is a difference between Health and Safety and 'elf'n'safety.

Absolutely, and thank god someone has made this poit early on!

 

 I work in Health & safety (formerly for HSE as a construction inspector) and often i'd arrive to face strong objections based solely on perceptions of H&S rather than the fact, and leave on good terms - often having stopped work, but having explained what was wrong & why it needed to change.

 

Britain has a fantastic H&S regime, copied across the world, but sadly the name has been hyjacked by those wishing to justify making unpopular decisions or more often, to avoid admitting that it is insurance costs drivig decisions.

 

There are very few things 'banned' by H&S in the UK - work with asbestos or certain toxic chemicals without a lisence being the main examples. ANYTHING esle IS possible if you plan accordingly and take the appropriate actions to mitigate the risk.

 

and I am now the H&S officer in an art college - (now that's a fun challenge! :-)  and with regards to the ladder point above, acknowledging that many of our students may not be used ot working high up  stepladders to hang work, here's what I did - attach a photo of a belly button (yup!)  to the top step and arrows to the stiles and the level of the top step and the simple instruction to keep your belly button between these parameters. Simple, but it engages their attention and gets the right message across! (and remember, I used to enforce the law, so am happy I know a fair bit about what I'd expect by way of compliance )

 

Al


Edited by Mistron, 18 July 2014 - 21:33.


#13 Mistron

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 21:42

Believe it or not, at a school where I visit to teach once a week, a long standing employee (the incumbent caretaker) was berated by a new management regime for climbing a ladder without having been on a one-hour course...seriously! This guy had been the job for 26 years. 'Elf'n'safety and a complete lack of common sense from someone charged with teaching the next generation... Needless to say said employee decided it was time to retire.

 

Wonder what the regime would make of a typical race track then :drunk:

 

Believe it or not, at a school where I visit to teach once a week, a long standing employee (the incumbent caretaker) was berated by a new management regime for climbing a ladder without having been on a one-hour course...seriously! This guy had been the job for 26 years. 'Elf'n'safety and a complete lack of common sense from someone charged with teaching the next generation... Needless to say said employee decided it was time to retire.

 

Wonder what the regime would make of a typical race track then :drunk:

If by 'the regime' you mean HSE as regulator:

 

http://www.hse.gov.u...ooks/hsg112.htm

 

However, most events are of course run to the MSA guidance.

 

I have previously made the point that I believe Motorsport (in the UK at least) has a very robust H&S management system, which of course needs to be reviewed in light of incidents and events. I will be interested to see the outcome of the recent comments regardign HANS and whether the MSA 'enforce' their wider use.

 

Al



#14 Nick Planas

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 22:00

I meant the new management at the said educational establishment



#15 BRG

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 10:44

Yesterday I was told that bicycles may no longer be used by Royal Mail employees, because they are too dangerous

 

In Woking, Surrey they are still happily using their red Royal Mail liveried bikes.  Maybe they have decided to desist in London or other big cities, where frankly you must be suicidal to ride a bike.



#16 scheivlak

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 11:58

It seems that the Royal Mail took the advice offered by Top Gear a few years ago. They were asked to produce a video to promote bicycle safety. Clarkson's approach was to show how dangerous they were so people would stop riding them.

Once again proving what a disgusting clown he is.



#17 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 12:04

If you take Clarkson seriously you mostly have yourself to blame.



#18 E.B.

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 12:26

In reviewing one car's safety he said that, because it had a better pedestrian NCAP rating than driver rating, in the event of an imminent crash the best course of action was to jump out of the car and throw yourself infront of it.

#19 Perruqueporte

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 15:56

In Woking, Surrey they are still happily using their red Royal Mail liveried bikes.  Maybe they have decided to desist in London or other big cities, where frankly you must be suicidal to ride a bike.

We're only a few miles south of you, near Haslemere.  We've obviously gone soft around here!

 

Christopher W.



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#20 BRG

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 19:57

We're only a few miles south of you, near Haslemere.  We've obviously gone soft around here!

 

Christopher W.

Lot of hills around Haslemere though, which may have something to do with it?  To paraphrase Noel Coward "Very flat, Woking"



#21 scheivlak

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 22:26

If you take Clarkson seriously you mostly have yourself to blame.

That's why I called him a clown   ;)

 

The problem is that some people take any of his farts as gospel. But indeed, the real problem is not Jeremy but those cheaply satisfied goons.



#22 king_crud

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 15:08

In Woking, Surrey they are still happily using their red Royal Mail liveried bikes.  Maybe they have decided to desist in London or other big cities, where frankly you must be suicidal to ride a bike.

 

I find London fairly easy to cycle around, drivers are considerate (quiet back there) and because traffic flows so slowly you don't have too many chances to get hit by boy races flying around blind bends into you



#23 Duc-Man

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 16:28

If you take Clarkson seriously you mostly have yourself to blame.

:up:

I love watching Top Gear for the laugh. It is almost like Monty Python's or the three Stooges, just with cars. People that take this stuff serious should be locked away. Same thing counts for those 'elth-n-safty nazis...they should also be locked away.



#24 Mistron

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 18:18

At least the Nazis could spell.......

 

And H&S is generally seen as more of a 'left wing' argument, so perhaps you mean 'elth & Safety Communists'?

 

Comrade Al. :-)


Edited by Mistron, 25 July 2014 - 18:24.


#25 275 GTB-4

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 00:26

:up:
Same thing counts for those 'elth-n-safty nazis...they should also be locked away.

I agree, but first I would like to start with a Risk Assessment.

Points to consider would be:

- the impact on the individuals health and well being
- the safest way to achieve said locking away
- an appropriate location for said locking away, including the impact on the local populace, flora and fauna and real estate prices!
- the financial overhead for said locking away, including start-up costs, ongoing costs and eventually, disposal costs
- signage considerations
- a hazard assessment and remediation for said locking away facility
- a multi-agency and well funded program to avoid said locking away actions in the future

[I could go on...but you get the idea! :rolleyes: ]

#26 DanTra2858

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 05:19

OMG Mick are you trying to make a point? lol

#27 Mistron

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 08:24

Before you have a go at H&S:

 

Have you ever interviewed an injured person following a workplace accident? Someone who may never work again

 

Have you ever taken a statement from a guy who witnessed his pal's death?

 

Have you ever seen the aftermath of  an industrial accident? (it can be messy)

 

Have you ever spoken to the family of someone who went to work in the mornig, but didn't come back?

 

We can all make lists........

 

I've done all the above many times, so perhaps my view is based more in reality than tin the Daily Mail.

 

Al


Edited by Mistron, 26 July 2014 - 08:24.


#28 275 GTB-4

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 08:51

Before you have a go at H&S:
 
Have you ever interviewed an injured person following a workplace accident? Someone who may never work again
 
Have you ever taken a statement from a guy who witnessed his pal's death?
 
Have you ever seen the aftermath of  an industrial accident? (it can be messy)
 
Have you ever spoken to the family of someone who went to work in the mornig, but didn't come back?
 
We can all make lists........
 
I've done all the above many times, so perhaps my view is based more in reality than tin the Daily Mail.
 
Al


Well done Al, you have highlighted the main reason for H&S, to save lives or avoid taking lives in the first instance...but your humour bypass may be forcing you to overlook the inane lengths some are going to in the name of H&S :rolleyes:



#29 Mistron

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 10:27

Ah, but that's people taking the name in vain - nothing to do with H&S legislation (Criminal law, only applicable to work activities) 

 

I do have a sense of humour bypass when people use it as an excuse, and then others use it as a cheap target in ignorance.

 

I do an important job, not a frivoulous one.

 

I'm not even sure why it all became associated with H&S and not the insurance industry? They're the main 'culprits'.

 

Al



#30 LotusElise

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Posted Yesterday, 09:13

<snip>

I'm not even sure why it all became associated with H&S and not the insurance industry? They're the main 'culprits'.

 

Al

 

This is absolutely true. 

 

In my current industry, the reason for the obsessive training modules, overkill signage and other associated things, is not H&S zeal, it's a craven fear of being sued by customers.

We get several claims a week from people, encouraged by insurance firms and compensation solicitors, for injuries that were blatantly deliberate, or their own fault.



#31 BRG

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Posted Yesterday, 10:23

A friend of mine had a holiday site with various facilities like a pool etc. He became fed up with specious claims for compensation and decided to contest every one in court if necessary. His main opponent was his own insurance company which tried to force him to settle every claim below £1000. He refused and rarely thereafter paid out to anyone unless their case was genuine.

#32 Duc-Man

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Posted Yesterday, 16:09

Al, I'm not trying to take the piss.

I'm a factoryworker and do understand H&S issues. We have every month one H&S advice about the general risks we face at work.

It's about anything from riding a bicycle over using a ladder to 'dangerous' chemicals.

And it usually takes about ten minutes. That's fine.

Somebody tries to force an employee to take a course about using a ladder, what is part of the job he's been doing there for 20+ years? Seriously?

 

Makes to me as much sense as trying to make an 105 year old stop smoking and drinking because it could kill him...

 

Not long ago somebody tried telling me something about a 'dangerous' substance (not alcohol) in the drink I had and I turned aroud and told him that I don't care because I'll die someday anyway.

 

 

539701_493070417413147_224674613_n.jpg

 

How did Bilbo Baggins say in the Lord of the Rings? Leaving your house is dangerous buisness.



#33 E.B.

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Posted Yesterday, 17:46

Remind me not to try any coffee in Canada, if they only serve it cold.

#34 LotusElise

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Posted Yesterday, 19:52

Working At Height is for those using scaffolding, not ladders.

 

Dad has to do it. They provide a decent free lunch and lots of tea and coffee, so he doesn't mind that much.

 

We have a training video at work which explains the correct way to react when a customer starts on you. This does happen.



#35 BRG

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Posted Today, 09:37

To return to the posties' bikes question, apparently it is to do with efficiency and productivity, not H & S.  On a bike, the postie can carry at most two bags of junk mail and has to return to base to collect more, or use one of those cabinets attached to postboxes, where his mate in a van leaves further bags for him.  Now they are issued with four wheeled carts with battery power assistance with a big red plastic tub in which they can put all their mail for the whole day in one go.  So no time wasted returning for more post, more time spent putting fliers for thermal underwear and letters for people in a different road altogether through my letter box.

 

Not health and safety, but (health and) efficiency then...