Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Health and Safety Taliban Strike Again

The Health and Safety Taliban has struck again and this time it might stop a town’s clock from striking! According to the BBC a clock-winder, who is the fifth generation of his family to keep a town's timepiece ticking, has been stopped from doing so for health and safety reasons. For a century and a half David Rees and his ancestors have looked after the clock at Llandovery Market Hall. Carmarthenshire Council said the working conditions in the clock tower posed a danger to Mr. Rees.

Once a week Mr Rees has climbed a ladder into the tower to wind the clock – he’s paid £8 per week - and if something should go wrong during the week he’s on call. Not anymore he’s not! The council's head of corporate property, Jonathan Fearn said: "Following a report from the health and safety advisor it has become necessary to cease the clock winding activity in its current form due to the danger posed by the extremely difficult conditions within the clock tower. The space is extremely confined, there are no handrails, and inadequate footholds - the confined space makes it impossible to install sufficient safety restraints. Our focus now is on finding alternative means for keeping the clock going, either through mechanisation or moving of the clock mechanism.

All readers of this blog are advised to stay in bed for the foreseeable future to avoid any possible risk of injury or other forms of damage to their person.

10 comments:

Colin Campbell said...

Maybe they can get some solar panels.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

This country never ceases to amaze me....your right about them being called the H and S Taliban..Oh so it didn;t matter for the other generations then!!!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Blimey! Ok, I will stay in bed!

bigrab said...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-365931/Its-health-safety-honest.html

Richard T said...

At the risk of tedium, bearing in mind recently that an English Council was 'done' for liability when a janitor fell off a ladder and got compensation, my bet is that either the insurers or my learned friends in the legal department are behind this.

Richard Havers said...

Mr.T, I'm sure you are correct. It's all rather worrying though as it is slowly strangling our way of life. Will there be a time not long hence when we will all be required to work from home to avoid any risk of injury - notwithstanding the fact that most accidents happen n the home!

Dragonstar said...

Will they reimburse him for loss of income? What about tradition?

Ken Dyer said...

Sadly I am not surprised. Soon we won’t be able to do anything for ourselves without infringing some insane H & S regulation. As you say we will soon be confined to home for our own safety!

With increasing regularity I seem to get involved in H & S related issues. A couple of late spring to mind;

We had a leak in the roof of our Flight Simulator Centre…not good on a wet day with all that water falling on sensitive electronics. So we get a repair firm in to fix it. Of course we chose a day when we had a H & S visit. The Inspector instructed the repair man to come down off the roof since he didn’t have the proper safety equipment with him (harness etc). The Inspector then asked for our Risk Assessment of the job…oddly we hadn’t done one…we had this wild idea that a company that specialises in such tasks would be better qualified at assessing the risks involved in their line of work than a company that operates aircraft, run by a team of people, that without exception, have no experience of fixing roofs! Our views on such matters were of no interest to the Inspector, who then went on to say it was our responsibility to ensure the safety of workers on our premises, even if they are performing a task that is outside of our experience. So the next time you fly, if the pilot is incapacitated, and the airline make’s that dreaded call over the pa “if there is a pilot on board could they please identify themselves to the cabin crew”, remember that if you naively volunteer for this, the cabin crew will need to perform a Risk Assessment on the task prior to handing the controls over to you. Should of course they fail to do this, you can probably sue the airline if you survive!

The second incident is equally ridiculous. Our contracted cleaner elects to ignore the walkways that are clearly marked and even fenced off (just to make it very clear to all who enter where they should or more importantly, should not be) and instead takes a short cut across the hangar floor, which (as is typical of hangars) has various oily deposits on it. Of course the cleaner slips up, ends up flat on his back with an injured leg. He is now threatening legal action against us for failing to put up adequate signage!

The belief of the “powers that be” is that no-one can think for themselves and accept responsibility for their own actions. And sadly we are now becoming a society that accepts this ludicrous position without question.

CherryPie said...

I need to stay in bed too, I tripped over my chair leg at work yesterday!!!

Aileni said...

It's all mad. I'm reading 'Scared to Death' by Booker and North - they cover the begining of this mindset. It requires Risk Assessment to read it is so frightening. What has become of us - I have the bad feeling my pro-Europe beliefs are going down the tubes because Brussels has a lot to answer for here.