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Not before time in my opinion. The number of these rules and often their complexity has led to confusion with the way they are interpreted and applied. Business has been particularly hit by the inconsistancy of health and safety issues which has "turned into a bureaucratic nightmare for some."
The government hope to substantially reduce the number of HSE rules over time whilst working more closely with the EU Commission guidelines "during a planned review of EU health and safety legislation in 2013, to ensure that both new and existing laws are genuinely based on real risks." HSE
Common sense will prevail this time throughout their deliberations, surely?. What are your views on this? TC.
We have been changing the air starter on Hawks for over 40 years by balancing with one foot on the wing and one on a safety platform. Takes about an hour. No injuries - ever. H&S arrive and decide the practice is dangerous. Now the aircraft must be raised on jacks, special staging (£25,000 per set) rolled in and locked down. The job now takes 4 hours and involves some 8 people.
We complained to H&S that there was no natural light in the hangar - no interest.
We complained that the floor was uneven and covered in "instant slip" paint - no interest.
If they find a problem, they look good. Someone else finds it, they don't want to know.
As wiz-king says, it's not the rules but the interpretation that causes the problems.
It's not just H&S either, you'll find vast differences with the way the fire brigade carry out inspections.
Some fire officers will say one thing, others in a different town will have an entirely different opinion, and one fire inspector I saw carried out his inspection sat down in our managers office with a glass of whiskey in one hand and a full bottle in his bag...
In my BT days as a maintenence engineer, climbing poles was an everyday occurence.
Testing a telephone pole for safety was one of the duties you had to do before attempting to climb it. Hitting it with a hammer, to see if it gave a good 'ring' - pole ok. A dull sound indicating a 'suspect' pole.
You had to be your own, Health & Safety officer, if you wanted to avoid accidents.
One of the guys I worked with, Charlie, wouldn't bother with a safety belt, atop a pole. He would wrap one of his legs around the pole,40 feet up, leaving both hands free, to roll-up a ciggy, and talk to central HQ, on the phone, whilst picking up 'the howler' tone, to affect a repair. It's true.
I always think this sums up the difference between "then" and "now".
Health and Safety as its place, as does ordinary common sense, and its when common sense goes, then things can get serious or stupid.
One thing that gets me is the apparent 2 metre working height rule. Now there's a rule that seems to confuse people. Do I scaffold or not?.
Another piece of "sound-bite" government.
Health and Safety Directives come from the EU.
Westminster is powerless, and they know it.
At the risk of repeating myself, most H & S issues can be solved at a stroke.
Take H & S out of the hands of local authorities (yes, those people who are preparing to strike later this week) and put it back into hands of the Health & Safety Executive.
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