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Has the law changed or have we changed?

strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
19 Oct 2011 3:51PM
I agree you get petty HSE rules, and often it is made worse by ambulance chasers and the stupid who go to lawyers but the basics are there because people are often so incredibly stupid. The basic principal you need to remember is they are put there for the protection of people. I saw a guy fixing a powered window fan with the electricity live and him standing with one foot in a metal sink and the other on a microwave on top of a worktop. The reason he could not be arsed to walk back for a ladder. But if he fell he would be the first to put the claim in. A lot of the rules come to protect those in jobs where risks are high like the building trade.

Quote:Back in the rave days there used to be 6 of us crammed into a VW Jetty, the wheel arches would constantly rub on the back wheels and it was covered in rust, no one wore a seatbelt in the back, some of us even **** ***** and got properly *** *** **** (censored by rob) and we are still alive today
When I was at school a kid rolled his car, he lived with injuries, 1 kid suffered spinal injuries, two died when they were thrown from the car and it rolled on top of them. A friends sister died in a rear end crash when her head hit the steering wheel, a seatbelt would have saved her life an air bag would make certain. Her parents had to agree to turn the life support off. Where do you draw the line. Another (wearing a seat belt) rolled the car dented every panel and when the car halted released the seat belt to put his arse through the window. His only injury was to his arse with bits of glass from the window stuck in it, and heavy bruising from the seat belt.

Like everything it is all about the risks and more importantly if you step over the line accepting its your fault.

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oldblokeh 6 1.2k United Kingdom
19 Oct 2011 3:56PM

Quote:I agree you get petty HSE rules.

So, can anyone please point me at some HSE documentation containing a petty rule?
AlexandraSD 6 758 United Kingdom
19 Oct 2011 4:04PM

I used to hate wearing seat belts in the back of cars, and only in the past 2 years have i adhered to that rule simply because despite my seemingly carefree, reckless attitude, i would like to live a little bit longer if that is possible, i value my health and life too much to risk being hurt in a car crash, ending up in a wheelchair or unable to communicate without blinking.

But if we pay too much attention to rules then we would be the most pathetic species ever to walk on this earth. We alone are responsible for our own actions, passing the buck is akin to admitting that your a moron!
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
19 Oct 2011 4:23PM
The rules are not the problem. It is the British bureaucrat, bless 'em all. They aregreat at doing some things on trust but as soon as you put something in writing they apply it to the letter.

This is understanable because no inspector wants to put their neck on the block by being lax on interpretation and enforcement only to defend themselves when someone has an accident. So they 'gold plate' the regulations with their own interpretations, their own biases, and by playing 'what if' scenarios with the worst possible case if the world's greatest idiot is given to the job. Then everyone has to abide by the strictest interpretation given. As the lawyers say "extreme cases make bad law".

I used to work in an engineering company and the best defence we found was to politely ask the inspector exactly which part of the rulebook was being contravened. A polite discussion sometimes resolved things in our favour or we better understood their thinking. This was (is) paricularly important because interpretations and enforcement adapts over time.

I remember talking to the director at a London theatre where they were preparing for a production of Wagner's ring cycle. Imagine the situation with moving machinery overhead carrying the backdrops etc - to the inspector this made it equivalent to a construction site which meant everyone had to wear helmets. And as for the stage lift, because someone could fallinto the stage pit, they had to put a barrier and flashing lights around it when it was operating. Tongue Apparently it did not take long to convince him of the stupidity of all of this but this is what happens when someone puts commonsense before enforcement of regulations.
Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
19 Oct 2011 4:26PM

Quote:So, can anyone please point me at some HSE documentation containing a petty rule?

I don't think there are any and before anyone tells me I don't know what I'm talking about, I'm the holder of a H&S certificate and I'm about to embark upon a course to get another which is specifically relevent to H&S in a school environment.
The rules only seem petty when they're misused. In fact, I have my doubts regarding the actual existence of many of the rules that I hear people spouting as an excuse to prevent others from doing something or to excuse themselves from the bother of doing it.
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
19 Oct 2011 4:31PM
I agree. The actual rules are painted very broadly and they have to be so that the basic principles can be applied across different industries. It is then up to the inspector to apply those in the best way to the situation they see before them.
It helps a lot if the company has their own safety policies in place because they can (to some extent) set their own agenda. You see the real problems when the company has no guidance and the inspector decides to do it for them.

I always look on the inspector as an ally and an advisor - in any audit what they are doing is identifying unexplained holes in the company's process and fillng those holes should be a dialogue, not blindly accpeting what the inspector says.
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
19 Oct 2011 4:46PM
True to be fair, some policies and controls implemented can look petty, the rules I have seen are ok, but often the problem is how do you implement safe working practices. The example given of informing builders not to put power tools in buckets of water could be one, but then someone does it. Also schools are famous for stories of banning conker fights on the grounds of HS. Determining what is the practical cut-off is hard.

My post was meant to reflect how hard it is for people working in HS to strike a balance as there is a claim culture and people do stupid things. So perhaps I should phrase it you get some policies that on the surface look petty....
tomcat 12 6.4k 15 United Kingdom
19 Oct 2011 7:33PM
I am a senior site manager for one of the O.C's, of the largest construction company in the UK

No CSCS/CPCS/CISRS and you do not get as far as an induction, to my work on my site
I might add that the trade reflected on the back of the CSCS card needs to reflect that particular discipline.

If it says for example bricklayer and you are on the site to install curtain walling, you don't come on.

If it is a refurbishment site, on a building constructed before 2000, you don't get as far as the induction stage, if you do not hold a current asbestos awareness certificate also - within the last 12 months

That is the way it is, or should be.
Anyone who mocks /scoffs at H & S in the construction industry, shouldn't be in the trade.

To many deaths & serious injury, mainly caused by complacency
brrttpaul 6 234 United Kingdom
19 Oct 2011 7:40PM
its all very well having the health and safety rammed down you throat and having to fork out 55 for the privelage but what gets me is soon as the builder has fallen behind or is pushed on something then it all goes out the window, and if you dont do it then down the road you go, an i have worked for all the major house builders an they all the same
brrttpaul 6 234 United Kingdom
19 Oct 2011 7:43PM
meant to add its not a question of mocking or scoffing its common sense, as far as im concearned the cscs card is nothing more than a scam
Tooth 13 5.8k 227 Ireland
19 Oct 2011 8:16PM
I fell of a 60 foot ladder once didn't get a penny compensation..

I suppose it was the bottom rung, though ...
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
19 Oct 2011 10:46PM

Quote:Meant to add its not a question of mocking or scoffing its common sense, as far as im concearned the cscs card is nothing more than a scam

Yep. nearly all regulations are commonsense. But regulations are there for two reasons: not everyone applies commonsense when in the 'heat' of doing the job and secondly not everyone will apply the same commonsense. Take electrical wiring - you can find five electricians who, left to their own devices, would do things their own way. But that would be a nightmare for anyone trying to see instantly if something was done safely.
Just Jas Plus
16 26.2k 1 England
20 Oct 2011 10:53AM

Quote:H&S is just there to cover employers arses

Spot on.

You mean that employers arses have spots on, CB?

How did you come to that conclusion? GrinGrinGrin
pabloisme 7 566 England
20 Oct 2011 11:05AM

Quote:Has the law changed or have we changed?

we dont bounce so high now!
Carabosse 15 41.0k 269 England
20 Oct 2011 11:06AM

You mean that employers arses have spots on, CB?

How did you come to that conclusion? GrinGrinGrin

Where we you when we were doing the fish puns, Jas? (Or is that a little too close to home Mr S? Wink)

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