Sunday, December 1, 2013

Health & Safety Poor Practice – Shocking Pictures! – Part 1



When regulation is introduced or updated there is an expectation that everyone will follow it because it becomes mandatory to follow.  Human nature however seems to take a different view in that no matter how much regulation is introduced or how much (or little) training is given, there will always be those who decide to ignore it and prefer to cut corners and take risks with their lives

Source: http://www.personallicence.com/
Health & Safety in all of it’s different forms is something that everyone should be aware of, particularly for those who work within the construction industry who’s poor safety record has been well publicised for many years.  The UK construction industry is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the World and although statistics show that improvements have been made in recent years, it is clear from the latest Health & Safety Statistics (HSE) statistics below that there remains room for significant improvements:

‘There have been significant reductions in the number and rate of injury over the last 20 years or more. Nevertheless, construction remains a high risk industry. Although it accounts for only about 5% of the employees in Britain it accounts for 27% of fatal injuries to employees and 10% of reported major injuries.

The latest results in construction show:

- 39 fatal injuries to workers. 12 of these fatalities were to the self-employed. This compares with an average of 53 over the previous five years – including an average of 18 to the self-employed (RIDDOR);

- about 3 700 occupational cancer cases are estimated to arise each year as a result of past exposures in the construction sector (CAN04);

- there were an estimated 74 thousand total cases and 31 thousand new cases of work-related ill health (LFS, 2012);

- an estimated 1.4 million working days were lost in 2011/12, 818 thousand due to ill health and 584 thousand due to workplace injury, making a total of 0.7 days lost per worker (LFS, 2012).’

These statistics are even more worrying when we appreciate that the UK construction industry over the last few years, has suffered with low output due to the global economic downturn, therefore resulting in a significant reduction in personnel within the industry.  It would be fair to expect a natural reduction in fatalities and accidents due to less people working within the industry, rather than being able to relate this to the impact of regulation. Regulation is important, in fact essential, however its effectiveness will relate to the manner in which it is understood, implemented and enforced. 

When regulation is introduced or updated there is an expectation that everyone will follow it because it becomes mandatory to follow.  Human nature however seems to take a different view in that no matter how much regulation is introduced or how much (or little) training is given, there will always be those who decide to ignore it and prefer to cut corners and take risks with their lives.  Legislation assumes that people will understand and follow it however, what is not accounted for is the 'human factor'.  I have worked on many construction sites as a Labourer, a Bricklayer and visited sites as a Consultant.  During my early years on site I witnessed some serious health & safety breaches, where operatives for some unknown reason would pay little regard to their own wellbeing or to the wellbeing of others, and would often take short cuts just to 'get the job done'. The attitude to health & safety of most of the operative on site at the time was that health & safety was a hindrance that got in the way of them doing their jobs.  Although, I have seen a marked improvement is health & safety procedures on construction sites over recent years there still remains an 'ignorance' to health & safety by many, particularly the more experienced operatives who have been on site for many years. Take a look at the extraordinary clip below, which provides an example of how little value we can often place on our safety:



The images below, which are widely available on-line and you may have seen then before, however they provide some quite shocking examples of how little some people value their lives and how they are prepared to accept high levels of risk, by cutting corners.  The images are taken from all over the World, not just the UK.  When you look at the images I am sure you will ask yourself, ‘what was going on in that person’s head at the time’, a question that these people obviously failed to ask themselves. Part 2 will be published in the New Year with more examples similar to those below:
Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/
Source: http://tradesman4u.wordpress.com/
Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/
Source: http://shelf3d.com/
Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

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4 comments:

  1. I love the forklift one - it must have taken considerable operator skill to execute. I would have loved to hear the discussions leading up them actually doing it...probably started with "hang on, I've got an idea..."

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  2. THE BRICKLAYER'S STORY
    By Gerard Hoffnung
    I've got this thing here that I must read to you.
    Now, this is a very tragic thing... I shouldn't, really, read it out.
    A striking lesson in keeping the upper lip stiff is given in a recent number of the weekly bulletin of 'The Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors' that prints the following letter from a bricklayer in Golders Green to the firm for whom he works.
    Respected sir,

    when I got to the top of the building, I found that the hurricane had knocked down some bricks off the top. So I rigged up a beam, with a pulley, at the top of the building and hoisted up a couple of barrels of bricks.
    When I had fixed the building, there was a lot of bricks left over.
    I hoisted the barrel back up again and secured the line at the bottom and then went up and filled the barrel with the extra bricks.
    Then, I went to the bottom and cast off the rope.
    Unfortunately, the barrel of bricks was heavier than I was and before I knew what was happening, the barrel started down, jerking me off the ground.
    I decided to hang on!
    Halfway up, I met the barrel coming down... and received a severe blow on the shoulder.
    I then continued to the top, banging my head against the beam and getting my fingers jammed in the pulley!
    When the barrel hit the ground, it burst it's bottom... allowing all the bricks to spill out.
    I was now heavier than the barrel and so started down again at high speed!
    Halfway down... I met the barrel coming up and received severe injury to my shins!
    When I hit the ground... I landed on the bricks, getting several painful cuts from the sharp edges!
    At this point... I must have lost my presence of mind... because I let go of the line!
    The barrel then came down... giving me a very heavy blow and putting me in hospital!

    I respectfully request 'sick leave'.

    from: http://monologues.co.uk/004/Bricklayers_Story.htm
    Alternatively see if you can find a copy of Noel Murphy singing it.


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  3. Something tells me those guys need a refresher on proper construction site safety protocol!

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  4. It is good to know that there are reductions in the number and rate of injury for workers over the last 20 years or more. Health and safety training really play an important to avoid any accident and mishap in the work place.

    Regard
    Arnold Brame

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