Health and Safety- how much is too much?

Discussion in 'Army Pay, Claims & JPA' started by pongo_pram, Sep 17, 2006.

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  1. Just wanted to get a few thoughts...

    Trying to do some research at the moment on Health and Safety in the Armed Forces to try and get an idea of the sort of attitude there is out there towards it.

    A lot of people say that the Health and Safety regulations prevent us from conducting realistic exercises meaning that we go on operations unprepared.

    However, other say that it's a necessary evil.

    Has anyone got any views or examples of health and safety gone bad/ well?

    Much appreciated!
  2. which paper do you work for?
  3. Health and Safety has replaced Common Sense.
    Ban it and bring back common sense.
  4. See your point about common sense but surely if we don't have it, the armed forces are just going to get sued more than they already do.

    (By the way, no chance - don't work for a paper. Just need to know a bit more for a course I am on.)
  5. nebosh :?: :? :?: :?
  6. there have been a number of threads regarding health and safety on the arrse forum.
    Training can still be realistic if those conducting it can be bothered to conduct a suitable and sufficient risk assessment, and put in place suitable control measures rather than banning everything as this is the idol person's way out. If you look at lthe approach taken by some local council's you will understand.
    You cannot drive health and safety from behind a desk but many organisations do this. This results in health and safety being dictated by someone who has no understanding of what happens at the coalface - hence the lack of common sense.
    The health and safety at work act has been in since 1974 and the six pack regs since 1993. These underpin the essential parts of UK health and safety legislation. We're now in 2006 and their are still failures in complying with these regulations by the MOD aswell as Civ companies.
  7. One example of H&S madness was a pic on the front cover of the Institution of Civil Engineer's mag NCE, showing engineers on a construction site in stan in combats. With white standard UK construction industry hard hats on....hmmm, would have thought that tin lids would do a somewhat better job - as well as being marginally less of a target :D
  8. In the civi world there is no link between Health and Safety and Common Sense.
    It's all about complying- how I hate that word- with legislation created and passed by "well meaning"?? people that haven't a clue about what actually happens at the coal face.

    God help those of you serving- I can see the SNO being required to give a safety briefing before returning fire- if the jobsworths that haunt civilian employers get a real foot hold.

    Yes of course risks must be assessed but it is the control measures these fools dream up that are in many cases so over the top.
  9. Presumably the rules for military H&S are much the same: if you do a RA that turns out to be wrong, you aren't negligent; but, if you haven't done one and something happens, then you are? In short, just an audit trail and yet another exercise in bullsh*t...

    As you say, the muppets that run H&S often (make that always) have no grip on reality and it can only be 100x worse in the green.
  10. Yep, it is exactly the same. If you compile a risk assessment, which turns out to be incorrect, then your personal liability will be assessed on whether you acted reasonably - if you conducted yourself if a manner which was below that which was considered to be reasonable, then you will be negligent. If you compile a risk assessment which is considered to be compiled reasonably, and someone still sustains an injury, then you will not be held negligent.

    I concede your point that there are a number of "muppets", but in my experience they are the once enforcing H&S regulations in a completely inappropriate matter with a misconception that they need to protect themselves. Have you ever read the HASAWA 1974, it is pretty straightforward, entirely reasonable and simple to understand. The problems arise when these rules are misinterpreted to the extreme.
  11. "Have you ever read the HASAWA 1974, it is pretty straightforward, entirely reasonable and simple to understand. The problems arise when these rules are misinterpreted to the extreme. "

    Sammy, you are so right. H&S is easy.
    I inspect and advise clients on H&S- usually after someone else has visited an put the fear of god in them.

    These "advisors" are the people that "add" skills to their rather thin cv.
    They read a bit and then tell others what to do- with the slant that they can prepare everything- at a cost.

    I go in inspect, assess, and give the simple, basic, logical and workable solution.

    KISS eh?
  12. And in my opinion. this is partially the problem in the Army. In my experience soldiers bang on about crown immunity being removed (which it was, well before most of them actually joined so how that is relevant I don't know), and the endless paperwork involved. You only have to go to almost any unit and see the H&S board festooned with rubbish which is frankly not required.

    I believe that is has become popular in the Army to slate H&S, and it is mostly done (in my opinion), by those who know very little about it. The Unit Safety Manager course is run at DSL Deepcut, and oddly enough it is always undersubscribed, perhaps if it were made a pre-requisitie of CSM appointments the H&S misconceptions would stop.
  13. The most recent example of H&S madness I've seen is the Assault course at St Martin's Plain Camp, Shorncliffe. Each obstacle has its own H&S notice: "Danger Trip Hazard", etc.

    It's an assault course, so before you go on it the PTI has to brief you on each obstacle anyway. So what point is there to these shiny yellow signs (purchased no doubt at the behest of the garrison H&S Advisor)?
  14. Ahhh... Good old common sense. The refuge of people who fail to grasp some of the simple basics of H&S.

    Would that be the common sense that results in over 200 workplace fatalities a year?

    If that's your version you know what you can do with it :wink:
  15. Says it all really...

    It covers someone's arse...simple :)

    I once did a RA with risk as "HSE legislation" and nature of risk "danger of suffocation under tons of bullshit" and no one noticed.

    After 10 years of HSE legislation, the workplace fatalities and incidents were.....exactly the same as before all this crap was brought into force. Sledgehammers and nuts.