Have the Elf and Safety been rumbled at last?

Just listened to Beeb radio 4, whilst having a late mid morning tea-break (12.45ish). It was so sad, poor old E&S spokesperson complaining that their budget had been severely pruned, they've had to reduce the numbers of their Stasi, etc etc. I was crying into my tea mug. Those poor, unfortunate people.

David P.

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David Powell
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Thanks for letting me know. I shall have have to take extra care getting home now so as to avoid the vast numbers of dead children lying in the street having been hit by conkers falling off trees and those vicious flowers jettisoned from hanging baskets etc etc. In the words of Private Fraser in 'Dads' army' ... We're all doomed, doomed I say!


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It's perhaps a bit unfair to blame the HSE directly for stuff like that, I think most of those are down to over zealous local govt employees either with nothing better to do, or trying to do everything imaginable to stop equally idiotic people suing the council. It's a bit of a vicious circle, the more you protect people the more they expect protection even from themselves, & the HSE will certainly be in that circle somewhere.


Reply to
Tim Leech

Don't get me started :-). Problem is that such a system eventually institutionalises individuals to the point that no-one is responsible for anything that happens to them. "Protecting" everyone from real or imaginary danger conditions people to the point that they become complacent and unable to deal with real danger when confronted by it.

Whatever happened to self reliance, common sense safety and responsibility for your own actions ?. A world gone mad indeed...


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One thing I noticed in the days when I worked for a large multinational was that the institutionalised safety mentality had the effect of making it almost impossible to report near-misses. They were not so much interested in improving safety as in improving the safety statistics (which affected management bonuses).

Think about it: if you nearly have a nasty accident, but are lucky enough to get away with say a minor injury, do you (a) report it, spend hours filling in paperwork, and getting tarred by serious management disfavour (never admitted, of course) for spoiling their statistics and being a "troublemaker", or (b) keep very quiet about it at the time, and feel a bit guilty when the next poor sap gets it in the eye?

I tried to discuss this with the E and S police types, but was met with blank, uncomprehending stares. (That, and many other worse things, made me determined never to work in the large corporate environment again.)


Reply to
David Littlewood

A bit late getting back this - sorry.

Agreed, the process never gets improved and the same type of accident happens over and over again, because the natural feedback loop is broken. Am not surprsied about the blank stares either. Political correctness and stuff like safety mania have been absorbed quite thoroughly into the culture in many areas of life, but much of it looks like social engineering to me, though perhaps i'm out of touch. Individuals so institutionalised into group mantra that they no longer have the ability to think outside the box at all. Any disagreement is seen as abnormal or a threat to the group and is to be resisted, even when they know full well they are wrong. A sort of cultural fascism. Be nice, and don't rock the boat, we know what's best for you etc etc ad nauseum. Just thinking it makes it happen, right ?. Having just gone through 5 years hassle with social services over care for an elder relative, making sure that they got what they were enitiled to, I never want to have to deal with such people again. Devious, ass covering managers protecting or building empires, endlessly passing the buck, never admitting to anything, let alone get a straight answer and we are forced to pay these people from taxes.

The above reminds me of another sort of related example. Was working freelance onsite at a very well known former nat industry telco in Suffolk in the early 90's, about the time when BS9000 (or was it 9001 ?) was just becoming fashionable. Not only were the project documents completely out of date and inaccurate in terms of project definition and state, but all everyone seemed to worry about was that the files were neat and tidy, in the right order in the filing cabinet. As for getting the job done, forget it, everyone was editing documents, making sure they were nicely formatted etc :-).

Of course, the result of this "normalisation" and conformity is that we become less competitive with the rest of the world. This at a time when we never needed to be more switched an and innovative to survive...

(rant done, feel better now)...


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