The intelligence of senior management

  bumpkin 19:35 18 Jun 2018

Let me pose you this one. My son and his colleague are air conditioning installers, they work in London. The job is behind schedule and they are desperate to get it finished on time asking people to do overtime as they can’t get the right labour. They were both working on the ninth floor scaffolding, all netted up as required.

Big boss turns up and says they should be wearing wristbands attached to their tools in case they are dropped and bounce over the netting. OK, I can accept that on a health and safety issue but instead of asking them to use them he sent them home at lunch time as punishment, meaning half a days pay lost. They could not give a toss, nice sunny afternoon off and no point in doing Sat morning now as it will be basic rate. Who is the loser at the end of the day .

  morddwyd 20:10 20 Jun 2018

It depends a bit on the site rules.

Legally it is a defence (which I have used) to show to the HSE that any alternative you have put in place must provide protection at least as good as that required by the regulations, i.e. did the netting provide the same protection as tethering?

On the average construction site I would doubt it. Even a one inch hole, large enough for a small screwdriver (and I'll bet I could find one!) in the whole of the netting would put you in breach.

  bumpkin 21:57 20 Jun 2018

Thanks for the reply morddwyd. Here is my next point, does an 8mm nut which could easily bounce through the netting and accelerate at 32ft/s/squared need tethering. I thought H&S was about assesing risks and minimising them. No system is perfect, if it were why did a helicopter smash into a building he was working on.

  Forum Editor 22:41 20 Jun 2018

"I thought H&S was about assesing risks and minimising them."

It is, which is why your son and his colleague were sent home.

As I said, CDM compliance is a legal requirement, and the client is ultimately liable in law.

  oresome 15:33 21 Jun 2018

No system is perfect, if it were why did a helicopter smash into a building he was working on.

Perhaps the pilot flouted the rules like your son?

  lotvic 18:15 21 Jun 2018

Helicopter - perhaps the pilot was at the end of his tether?

  bumpkin 20:08 21 Jun 2018

*Thank you for this thread, I shall in future avoid every building that is having work done. *

No need for that lotvic, just avoid the ones where my son is hurtling tools from the scaffolding and of course the ones that get hit by helicopters.

  morddwyd 20:50 21 Jun 2018

You have answered your own question. It's all about risk assessment.There is a document, "Five Steps" to assist with this, but for non-professionals I used to recommend an action matrix.

You assess the likelihood of the hazard occurring e.g. Will the building catch fire, from very likely to unlikely, This will run, typically through eight or nine stages - possible, possible but improbable, improbable and so on. These will be given a numerical value.

You then assess the possible outcome if the hazard occirs, from death,non fatal but life changing, non life changing , hospital To cuts and bruises and give this anumerical value.

Multiply on by the other and you get a risk factor. Obviously this is an over simplification and there are other factors, such as cost, to consider but it gives non profession a quantifiable starting point

In the scenario you describe it is unlikely the nut would react 120 mph. This oft quoted figure only applies in a vacuum; and the object would almost certainly hit something on the way down anyway.

Can't do a assessment site unseen (pun fully intended) but in th scenario you describe I would have an inwardly sloping "catch shelf" at the first level of pla king to catch/throw inwards such objects

  bumpkin 21:55 21 Jun 2018

Interesting reply morddwyd and it makes a lot of sense.

  morddwyd 09:45 23 Jun 2018

The detail may have been amended since I retired, but not the general thrust.

It's almost of academic interest now anyway. Much EU H&S legislation, particularly the "six pack" was initiated by British trade unions, With their mainland colleagues.

After Brexit the CBI will soon start to nibble away at the regulations, especially the CDM, as they did with the Working Time Directive before it was even implemented.

I remind everyone I'm a "leaver" but I'm in no doubt what we are leaving behind.

  oresome 12:24 23 Jun 2018

I remember when working, completing the risk assessment matrixes that morddwyd describes.

As non-professionals in H&S matters we would struggle with the first question morddwyd poses in his example. i.e. Will the building catch fire?

There had been no fires prior to the assessment, but that's not to say rats weren't gnawing at the electrical cables in the roof void as we were doing the assessment and we had no statistics relating to fire incidents in the type of building or the type of work carried out within it or indeed the vehicles being worked on.

Knowing what I know now about Vauxhall Zafiras, I think I would have increased the risk of the building catching fire. Add a Whirlpool tumble dryer in the kitchen and a plastic backed fridge and it would be even more likely.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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