Cameron says health and safety rules 'over the top

  peter99co 16:38 01 Dec 09
Locked

I applaud this but have a sinking feeling it is to late and the damage has been done. I do not see how even the cleverest minds can rewrite the book.

Mr Cameron insisted the biggest cause of the UK's health and safety culture was the "perception" that "behind every accident there is someone who is personally culpable, someone who must pay".

And that is why it is to late. It is money driving out common sense.

  peter99co 16:46 01 Dec 09
  oresome 17:28 01 Dec 09

Playing to the crowd with popular rhetoric.

  shellship 19:00 01 Dec 09

"playing to the crowd" maybe, but that's what politicians do, like it or not. I do not like, however, the continual blame culture, lack of personal responsibility and the willingness of bodies to stop activities in the name of 'elf and safety. It is high time someone at least tried to do something about it.

  peter99co 19:01 01 Dec 09

If it was GB saying it, I would still make the same comments

  oresome 20:48 01 Dec 09

It's perhaps no coincidence that our least structured and supervised industries are also our most dangerous..........Fishing and agriculture.

It seems perfectly reasonable to me that in employment where there is an identifiable risk, measures are taken to remove or minimise it.

There may be the odd example that makes a good story for the papers, but in general our industries are safer than they were and most workers return home safe.

  peter99co 23:07 01 Dec 09

Our most dangerous..........Fishing and agriculture.

They can't find anyone brave enough to write the rules and then send someone out to check if they are being enforced.

  interzone55 11:47 02 Dec 09

On a similar note to petty bureaucrats using H&S to ban any fun activities, many companies use the Data Protection Act to limit the supply of information.

Both pieces of legislation are misused due to either plain bone-idleness, or because people are too dim to use their common sense.

A perfect example was on Grimebusters last night. A crime scene cleanup operative was washing out the back of a police van, lots of blood everywhere. He says that the police won't say whether the blood belonged to a person with HIV/Hepatitis etc because of the data protection act.
Surely if the police do not identify the person, they can say if the blood is infected, but it's easier to play dumb...

  HondaMan 11:57 02 Dec 09

"he police won't say whether the blood belonged to a person with HIV/Hepatitis etc"

My answer - "Do it yourself in that case"

  wee eddie 13:16 02 Dec 09

It's the implementation that's the problem.

In 'Alan's' example, it should make no difference. The same techniques should be applied regardless of the status of the source of the blood.

My experience is in the Catering Trade.

If our Officers were sent to work in France and/or Italy for a while, surely the home of the best food in Europe, they would find that it is required to use your brains as well as the 'Rule Book' to create the very Best.

As an example: a family member, near Auchterarder, had just re-built his Smokehouse to the highest standard available. During a pre-run check-up, the visiting EHO said that the special plastic Wall Panels would have to be removed and replaced as the dome heads of the screws, that held them to the sub-frames, could harbour dangerous organisms. As the job had cost £60,000 and been done with the materials recommended by the DoEH. Jock locked the doors and laid all his Staff off, as there appeared to be no way of pleasing them.

  OTT_Buzzard 14:57 02 Dec 09

I'm sure that there are thousands of examples of H&S laws that appear to have been ridiculously applied.
In my experience, although H&S laws have undoubtedly caused changes in working practices, they have never caused accident and injury rates to increase. There is an issue of cost to apply H&S laws, especially for small employers who may not be able to afford new capital equipment to sate the desires of the law makers. It would be interesting to know what the split is between small and large companies who have been cited for breaches of H&S.

It has to be said though, I worked for a manufacturing company several years ago that really didn't have a clue what was going on with H&S. You couldn't help but spot reckless and dangerous actions by employees everytime you went near the shop floor (unlicensed forklift drivers, people jumping over safety barriers, chemicals in use that should require breathing apparatus, people climbing up racking to get materials etc etc etc). And the best bit of all? The H&S 'Manager' wasn't qualified. He tried and failed the exams! As a consequence there was no training, no H&S policy, no risk assessments and no other records. That place was a prison sentence in the making for the director.

It was only by pure luck that no-one was ever seriously injured. It's probably a good thing that the site shut down, it saved someone a great deal of pain.

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