12 Nov 2009

Never fear! Health and Safety are here!

"There's gold in them thar hills!"

"According to the concept of transofrmational evolution, first clearly articulated by Lamarck, Evolution consists of the gradual transofrmation of organisms from one condition of existence to another." - Ernst Mayr

And how we did it all without the fluorescent jacket, we'll never know.

I think it's fair to say that the biggest and most stupid religion of them all, is 'Health & Safety'.

What a load of shit.

Sure, it's good if you work down a mine, or fight wars in Iraq - but for most of us who will wind up working in an exciting office environment, H&S, well, it kind of takes the piss, doesn't it?

When I think back to my beloved year within the Civil Service, I remember the H&S folks. It was a comedy show.
Watching a load of high-vis jacket, hard-hat-wearing white-collars, scurrying around the office at lightning speed like rats scavenging for meat - except they're not scavenging for meat, they're scavenging for piles of paper under desks, water-coolers that are out of place and the old H&S holy-grail of a trailing wire.

It's all a bit much, isn't it?

I sit here, writing this, laughing my ass off at the latest junk-mail sent to me by the Scouting organisation that I proudly associate myself to.
This junk mail in particular is more junky than normal, as they've included an activities risk assessment.
Thank God for that, I mean, I'm almost certain that a Friday night in the scout hall would result in certain death for all involved should I fail to carry out this risk-assessment.

Professor Idiot from the Ministry of the bleedin' Obvious

Firstly, I'd like to point out that I'm not fucking blind. I can see the lowered headroom, there's really no need for the 'MIND YOUR HEAD' sign, taped with a whole fucking roll of duck tape, not to mention the 7 billion lights all fitted for my convenience so I don't bump my head. - and even if I was blind, I'm still fucked, because no matter how bright those 7 billion lights shine, I'LL STILL NOT BLOODY SEE IT.

Bumping your head is bumping your head. It's all a part of life. Some days you bump your head, some days you don't. Some bumps will be big, some will be small. But if I bump my head, the last thing I want to see is an enormous larger-than-life warning sign, laughing down upon me as I rub my head in despair.

Robert, confidently sporting his high-vis jacket, as he walks on the main London-Oxford line.
"them there trains there will just there pass right there through me there, hey"
Unfortunately, Robert realised later that day, high-vis jackets don't make you transparent to trains. First Great Western have refused to comment on his death, stating only that "he was within the FGW H&S guidelines, despite walking on the tracks"

We asked a few of his colleagues to comment on his death.

"Robert was a health and safety hero. I remember back in the early days, he ensured that all pens were in the cup-holders, all paper was filed in cabinets and there wasn't a trailing wire in a hundred yards. He may be one death, but it's obvious that he's saved many"

"Robert, Rob as we called him.. he was the nicest guy ever. His death was tragic and will never be forgotten. On the plus side, we did get his jacket back."


I think I've dragged this one on a bit now, basically, the whole nanny-panny molly-cuddling state we've all scared ourselves into needs to stop right now. Just calm RIGHT down.

Just because your milk's expiry date was yesterday, doesn't mean you'll grow a third arm if you drink it.
Just because there's a trailing wire in the office, doesn't mean somebody is going to trip and break their leg and die.
Just because there's reduced headroom, doesn't mean that every visitor is guaranteed to leave with a concussion.

Any Norman raider would be appalled at the level of signage on trip steps these days.

H&S, give it a rest will ya?

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