Sunday, December 21, 2008

Elf and Safety

There is a constant war going on between those who work for Health and Safety and claim that their rules are only intended to keep us safe, but are constantly being misinterpreted by the incompetent (eg me) for their own ends and those who are on the receiving end of these rules and claim that they must have been dreamt up after a three hour, booze soaked lunch in order to keep vast numbers of otherwise unemployable people occupied.

This story fuels both sides of the argument.

ps 'Elf' in the title is my one concession to Xmas this year, as I'm already sick to death of it. Tacky decorations, awful songs and Santa seem to have been torturing me since late October. Roll on the New Year!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The spelling is incompetent, I believe.

MarkUK said...

I saw this story in the dead-tree version of the Sunday Times and was aghast.

I'm a H&S manager and I reckon that the relevant department (can't keep up with the name changes) never consulted the HSE.

This body of helpful people (genuinely helpful - no irony) promotes "sensible risk". I would maintain that taking parents to help professional staff is a sensible risk.

It's a bit of a sod that one branch of government can't take advice from a government agency.

Anonymous said...

Problem in this country is that we have too many third party agencies, we have too many advisory bodies, quangos and advisors.

What is needed is to do away with most of these people and give professions back their professional autonomy and start letting them make the choices and decisions. In other words using some common sense!

Problem with that is that we need all these managers,agencies, advisors and what-have-you so that we can provide work for people in this country. With only one main strand of ecconomic activity "A Service Sector" one, we don't have a diverse enough range of industry and manufacturing to provide enough jobs without them.

some bloke said...

"Roger Smith, a consultant ... says that while it is not yet statutory, it is already considered “best practice” not to include parents as supervisors on trips involving their children.
“If a trip did go pear-shaped, a school would be asked why it had not complied with this advice,”

So now we are ruled by the opinions of Consultants ?
What a strange way to run a country.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately you also need to read between the lines of the HSEs justifications as to why "it's not them" and most of them are disingenuous to say the least.

One good example, the HSE say that no teachers are sued for injuries at school and I can tell you from personal experience (I'm a Governor at the school) that a teacher *is* being sued for an accident to a child caused by a trip over a toy in an open, supervised play area for a reception class.

MarkUK said...

Anon said:

I can tell you from personal experience (I'm a Governor at the school) that a teacher *is* being sued for an accident to a child caused by a trip over a toy in an open, supervised play area for a reception class.

The plaintiff's brief must be barmy. You are much more likely to get cash from an institution than an individual. As the teacher would be acting as an agent of the school, s/he would be covered by their public liability insurance.

To sue the teacher, the plaintiff would have to prove negligence - a hard thing to do, I would imagine, in a class of young children.

God Geol