Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Health & Safety Taliban

This picture will soon be a rarity as Rosslyn Chapel have decided that cameras will no longer be allowed inside the building. Not, as you might think, because there is an issue with damaging the building in some way. Colin Glynne-Percy, Rosslyn Chapel director, said he had taken the decision on health and safety grounds. "We have had reports on a regular basis of people falling as they walk through the chapel while looking at the screens on their cameras so we have decided to ban them. We have taken the decision because we are trying to pre-empt further accidents as the floor is very uneven and badly cracked. We also have to be aware of flash photography in such a small enclosed space causing epilepsy"

The H & S Taliban strike again. They are taking over the world. It is of course an extension of the HR culture that is creating an economy that will soon be in crisis as the non-productives take control. Soon we shall be asked not to leave home in case we are involved in some avoidable 'situation'.

13 comments:

Richard Thomson said...

You're on the wind up here Richard, surely?

Richard Havers said...

Richard, Oh no I'm not.....it's on the BBC web site.

http://tinyurl.com/3xe7qr

Richard Thomson said...

Deary me. Better hope no-one does a similar 'risk assesment' on Edinburgh's High Street. All those cobbles and raised slabs could have someone's eye out if they're not careful...

jmb said...

These risk assessment advisers won't let us do anything anywhere.
And the penalty for this idiocy?

Epilepsy? They'll be banning blinking Christmas lights next.

Ellee Seymour said...

Let's hope custodians of other historic buildings don't follow suit. The fact, these people will still want public money to enjoy its future survival. What are they playing at?

Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

Trying to pre-empt, prevent or circumvent?

Richard Havers said...

Circumcise more likely!

Phil A said...

I think a usable technical term for these people you are probably looking for is 'Numbats', though there are other terms that could work too.

Though this may be qualified by prefacing it with 'Complete', "Absolute", or indeed a combination of the two.

Richard Havers said...

Numpties is the Scottish vernacular for a whole host of people, from Neds to politicians....

Anonymous said...

What health and safety taleban?
The chapel owners have made a decision on H&S grounds - some people might agree, some might not. However there is no evidence of any outside agency applying pressure.
H&S-gone-mad stories are 99% cobblers. In this case, blame the chapel owners not some mythical H&S police.
Here is a fact: 241 people killed at work last year - the highest for 5 years - while prosecutions/inspections/enforcements are all falling.
I wish we did have a decent H&S Taleban, then perhaps we'd stop killing the equivalant of a Lockerbie disaster each year.
Mock that.

Richard Havers said...

OK Anon person I take the point about deaths at work but as far as I'm aware no one has died at Rosslyn and isn't likely to unless there's some tragic accident.

Many deaths are avoidable but we have been taken over by a culture that's concentrating on the wrong things, not the big issues. That's exactly my point. Everywhere you go there is a culture of prevention, a mindset that says no - but as often as not its concentrating on the wrong stuff. If we spent more time dealing with the important stuff then perhaps the deaths would reduce, although frankly I doubt it. I'm afraid i don't subscribe to the theory that all accidents are avoidable. They are by definition accidents and while there's always improvements that can be made there's no such thing as a cure-all.

And I think you miss the point. Of course there's no H&S Taliban. I'm making a point about a culture, a mind set. We have become totally obsessed with the power of the litigators. Where there's blame there's a claim....

p.s. when did someone last suffer an epileptic fit at Rosslyn?

Anonymous said...

Good response Richard. However most accidents/deaths are avoidable. They occur because established rules are ignored because its cheaper. We need a better word than 'accident'. Not paying for machinery to be made safe is a crime; not an accident.
But I accept that your point was about a culture/mindset.
And I think it's a bit like schools quoting the Data Protection Act to stop pictures being taken at nativity plays.
There isn't any legal basis for it, just a confused interpretation, and because teachers hear lots of stories about it they think they should do the same.
They're both popular story archetypes at the moment - and become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I'm willing to be put right but I reckon there are no more spurious legal claims than 20 years ago.

Jim said...

I was going to say something, but on second thoughts it might be more prudent to just let things be.