is it any wonder nothing gets done H&S stupidy red tape rant

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  • is it any wonder nothing gets done H&S stupidy red tape rant
  • hughjengin
    Member

    Blimey, is it no wonder nothing gets done and people dont get an opportunity to do stuff nowadays.
    I run a small yet relatively succesful manufacturing businesses specializing in quite unique products. We have a team of excellent staff who have developed skills with us and have all been with us for several years. As a small manufacturing businesses we are often under pressure, and to make things works we all have to do what we can despite position etc, as we cant afford to carry any dead weight.
    However we run our businesses in a reponsinsible and correct way, and in general have happy and satisfied staff. Very rarely do we have the time and resources to take on work experience lads. However I was asked recently by a friend whether his 18 year old son could get a 5 day placement with us, as he was really keen to try something different in engineering and had a real interest in what we do. So keen to give this lad an opportunity I agreed, as a favour to both him and the local tech college where he studies.
    I was soon contacted by the admin bods from the college with a request to come and do a H&S assesment to check all was ok. I have no exception to this, as I accept these things have to be done nowadays, until I get this request by email at 4pm in readiness for a 9am visit the next day:-

    Please have the following prepared and ready for my inspection at our morning meeting

    1. Employer and public liability insurance expiry date
    2. Insurance company name
    3. Amount of indemnity
    4. Written confirmation from your insurers that Learners are covered?
    5. Is the learner required to drive a company vehicle ( e.g. van ), if so insurance details.
    6. H & S Policy and person responsible.
    7. Fire risk assessment and review date.
    8. Written fire precautions, drills, sinage, exits, etc.
    9. Fire extinguishers, and certificates of date last checked.
    10. First aid, person trained and place where kit is kept.
    11. Please provide written document about any safety equipment and protective clothing.
    12. If you have 5 or more employees please prepare a risk assessment to cover learners.
    13. Induction and format what’s included
    14. RIDDOR, COSHH, written details of storage of substances, lifting equipment.
    15. Electricity at work policy
    16. Written detail of Manual handling procedures

    So I promptly told him I was too busy to deal with all that, and perhaps it would be best if he looked elsewhere.

    So the lad just faces the same souless placement in a massive corporation. And leaves you feeling like they are doing you favour. Is it any wonder why our enginering and manufacturing industries are dying.

    Rant over, thanks for reading 🙂

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    To be fair, as an employer most of that should be in place anyway, shouldn’t it?

    lemonysam
    Member

    is it no wonder nothing gets done

    Double negatives aside it strikes me that actually quite a lot gets done.

    brokenbanjo
    Member

    I’d have thought all of that has to be in place already? Just kept in a handy file incase something happens, maybe given to new starters or staff annually to remind them?

    aP
    Member

    +1 surely you should have all of them apart from the 3 relating to Learners.

    grum
    Member

    It’s political correctness gone mad. You couldn’t make it up.

    Etc.

    Premier Icon granny_ring
    Subscriber

    Could you not rearrange it for another day?
    That gives you more time to get the list sorted and the lad a chance……

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    You ought to try having a work experience placement youngster for a few weeks, he or she having an accident, and you not having all of the above in place. See how much time that’ll take you to sort out.

    hughjengin
    Member

    All these things are complied with as I said everything we do is as correct as we can possibly be And yes of course, To provide insurers details etc and fire extinguisher certificates is fine. But much of what is being asked is written documents prepared specifically for this 5 day placement. I have taken on short work experience placements before about 10 years ago and it was a far more sensible procedure based on common sense by the careers people. Fine if thats the way its got to be nowadays, but I know of very few small businesses on the scale of ours. That would have the time to prepare all this to simply help someone.

    ninfan
    Member

    I remember many years ago after I started a YTS with the forestry commission (later went on to work for them from that) – The placement inspector came round, and the entire college/YTS system nearly went into meltdown over their need for insurance documents meeting the doctrine of crown immunity 8)

    Premier Icon hatter
    Subscriber

    I must confess to being a touch conflicted on this matter, on the one hand the U.K.’s record in reducing
    Workplace accidents and fatalities is something we should all take pride in, there are thousands of people watching their children grow up who wouldn’t be here without the hard work that went into this.

    On the other foot…

    This has been at the cost of creating a whole certain breed of officious little hitlers whose sole purpose in life is to enforce regulations so Byzantine and vague that the question of whether they’ll pull you apart rests more on which side of the bed they got out of that morning than the actual safety of anyone.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Workplaces were completely arsehole free before H&S and PC Brigades. Now they’re full of them.

    Premier Icon finishthat
    Subscriber

    “very rarely” or never take on work experience lads ?

    ok seen note ref 10 years ago – well blame the insurers and litigation

    dont blame the lad .

    hughjengin
    Member

    Is it any different if a work experience lad or a permanent employee has an accident? Not as far as I know? Which is why we do everything that is required to cover all bases. So if God forbid anyone did hurt themselves then we could show that we have done what is required as our responsibility as an employer. I am not suggesting that the placement staff are being unreasonable by demanding a full portfolio of documentation be prepped within a couple of hours, but I am just left at a loss that with this level of redtape, that small businesses like ours just dont need the hassle. And to me thats just a bit of a shame

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    Ask the college for their risk / benefit document on the placement.
    Also, refer them to HSE’s page on school and college trips. I quote the high level statement:
    .
    HSE’s statement makes clear:
    that the focus should be on how the real risks arising from such visits are managed and not on paperwork;
    the need for a proportionate and sensible approach for planning and organising off-site activities;
    that those organising visits should simplify the planning process and authorisation arrangements for visits that involve everyday risks;
    that HSE’s primary interest is real risks arising from serious breaches of the law. Any HSE accident investigation will be targeted at these issues.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    Young people in working environments are pretty much most at risk as they are young dum and full of cum in the bravado sense of the word, they are also most likely to feel pressured to do something that they probably shouldn’t, just to fit in, make the boss happy etc.

    The stuff you have been asked for is stuff that you should have anyway,

    If anything, the notice for you to gather this info is a bit off but that’s about it IMO.

    As deadly points out, be unfortunate enough to have a member of staff in a workplace accident and if the above isn’t in place, your feet won’t touch. The HSE have some serious powers too.

    hughjengin
    Member

    I used to help out my local secondary school, by giving a few lads a weeks placement about 10years ago. With the day to day involvement in trying to keep things going, and also an increasing realisation that the redtape surrounding these placements was getting more and more involving that despite being asked many times I had avoided it of recent years. Until I was asked recently by person above. My thoughts were, ok I’d like to help out again in this case. The lads keen, genuinely shows an interest in our product, so how much hassle could it be? Its not opportunity missed for me, it wont make a single difference to me, in fact during the busy period we are having at the moment it would be a lot easier not to take him on. Just sad that he misses out

    This is about the college covering their back after approving a placement.

    Premier Icon boriselbrus
    Subscriber

    Yes it is different if a young person has an accident. The HSE will want to know what controls you put in place to protect vulnerable employees for a start. Your risk assessments should take into account the experience and knowledge of the people doing the task as it affects the likelihood of the hazard being realised.

    Young people with no factory experience are far more likely to get hurt than an old hand.

    If your risk assessments don’t take account of this then I respectfully suggest that your assessments are not suitable and sufficient for a young person to join you. This is fairly common which is why schools and colleges ask to see assessments before allowing the placement.

    grum
    Member

    I must confess to being a touch conflicted on this matter, on the one hand the U.K.’s record in reducing
    Workplace accidents and fatalities is something we should all take pride in, there are thousands of people watching their children grow up who wouldn’t be here without the hard work that went into this.

    This is the bit everyone seems to forget about.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Workplaces were completely arsehole free before H&S and PC Brigades.

    Largely due to Darwinism.

    rene59
    Member

    Only 4, 5 & 12 on your list is specific to the young individual and wouldn’t take long to do at all. Everything else you should already have in place. What’s the big deal?

    The only gripe you should have here is the short notice to look out these items. That’s got nothing to do with H&S and everything to do with poor admin on the college side.

    Premier Icon woody21
    Subscriber

    The reason that all the documents / policies are requested is that as the learner is on a government funded programme the College is responsible for there safety, health and welfare. I have admit it does seem a tad excessive at very short notice although it is a standard request that a College or other training provider would make

    I used to work for a training provider that delivered NVQ programmes in the construction industry, we had to explain to 6 foot 6 hard as nails construction workers that we were responsible for their safeguarding and if they felt that they were being bullied etc they should report it to us.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Largely due to Darwinism.

    Yes, employees dying from a lack of H&S legislation is largely down to Darwinism.

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Subscriber

    Doesn’t look all that onerous to me. Treat it as an excuse to get your paperwork in order then you’ll (a) be ready for the next work experience placement and (b) if you haven’t got the basic stuff in place (ie fire safety) you’re going to find out the nice way.

    Premier Icon chickenman
    Subscriber

    Well, I think the OP has a point. My son did work experience (in 3rd year Secondary) last year and the one thing the youngsters were not allowed to do was trades (plumbing, electrician or joiner).Apparently you are likely to kill yourself when you pick up a screwdriver..
    These trades are where there is guaranteed employed for the foreseeable future and exactly what work experience is supposed to do; give those likely to leave at the end of 4th Year a taste of their likely job market!

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Well, I think the OP has a point. My son did work experience (in 3rd year Secondary) last year and the one thing the youngsters were not allowed to do was trades (plumbing, electrician or joiner).Apparently you are likely to kill yourself when you pick up a screwdriver..

    Hyperbole apart, were I to take a lad for a few weeks work experience, I could be working in someone’s house close to water and gas pipes, lifting great big piles of timber up a few flights of stairs, working on an upper floor with no stairs, on a site where it’s 110V only, and a multitude of other things where it’s probably not best for an early-teenager to be hanging around. Plenty of time for them to learn properly as an apprentice.

    slowoldgit
    Member

    Could you offer the lad a temp job for a week or two in the hols? That would serve the same purpose while avoiding the college input.

    piemonster
    Member

    2. Insurance company name

    LOL

    b r
    Member

    While it looks/sounds excessive you could probably get it all down on a couple of sheets of A4.

    My son is hopefully going to the local gun shop for his work-experience… 🙂

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    I really dont see what the problem is

    If all of these things are in place already (and they all seem pretty standard) how hard is it to show them to the inspector?

    Ive spent the last 15 year working in a molecular biology lab,
    try being the lab H&S bod, on a surprise government inspection when you’re working daily with retroviruses designed to enter mammalian cells and cause various types of cancer, E. Coli modified to produce cancer causing growth factors,biological compounds labelled with tritium p32 and gawd knows what other radioactive shit that your team leaders had since the 70s.
    Chemicals that make you mutate, infertile, blind, blister, fluoresce, bald ,deaf, stop your heart, paralyse, irritate, suffocate, give you cancer, grow breasts, mutate your unborn child, give you more cancer, plus acids, alkalis, flamables, compressed gas cylinders, huge tanks of liquid nitrogen at -200C, bunsen burners, mercury thermometers, 20 year old unlabeled bits of patients in formaldehyde jars at the backs of cupboards, various diseases eg HIV, Malaria, TB, Herpes, centrifuges that spin over 150000rpm, sonicators, autoclaves, lasers, and electrophoresis tanks that separate dna buy running a current through high salt solutions and **** latex gloves that give you excema (-that last one, you have no idea how much time ive spent dealing with that)

    we regularly take work experience school kids on in the summer

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    Ok, the college were mad to ask for that at 4pm for a 9am meeting, but (provided you don’t let him drive the van) most of it you should already have and the rest is learner specific and not unreasonable.
    If you had an accident the HSE were interested in they wouldn’t be asking you to write a document they’d be asking to see it pronto and can you prove you enforced the policy not just paid lip service to it.

    We take it seriously and we’ve reduced safety incidents by 80% in 20 years, but our industry will always be dangerous, not unsafe but definitely dangerous, and occasionally even with the H&S procedures in place and being encouraged, cajoled and if necessary stamped into place people get badly hurt. We don’t stop concentrating on safety until they stop getting hurt – and probably not then either.

    IanMunro
    Member

    I really dont see what the problem is

    I do.
    I work for a larger organisation than the OP, and we have the odd work experience person, and yes all the things listed on that list exist. But sure as hell couldn’t get hold of them for 9am if being requested at 4pm.
    Nor would I really be interested in doing so at any other time. It really is a complete ball ache if it’s not your prime activity.

    Strange coincidence but I today I was testing a 5KV Isotachophoresis system I’ve just built 🙂

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Chemicals that make you mutate, infertile, blind, blister, bald ,deaf, stop your heart, paralyse, irritate, suffocate, give you cancer, grow breasts, mutate your unborn child, give you more cancer,

    Good gods, are the Daily Mail aware of these chemicals? That’s a year’s worth of front pages.

    IanMunro
    Member

    I bet the chemicals have foreign sounding names too!

    14 reads as if they’re just padding out the H&S audit by throwing in something they’ve heard in the pub.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    We had all of the info in a specially designed (by clueless fkwits) piece of software that COSSH etc for all the chemicals were stored in

    items 6-16 would be kept in a folder by the door as you enter (had to be review and updated annually)
    1-5 Id just email site management theyd probably get it too me in time

    to be fair this was in a large institute of a few hundred people with a dedicated H&S staff of 3 people

    Reads like a pretty bog standard approved contractor list of requirements really. You can be sure the dry corporate robots the world over make a living from that stuff day in, day out.

    bokonon
    Member

    I’ve had to ask employers for this when arranging placements, it’s bloody embarrassing all the stuff they require, but I always gave the list of things required as one of the first documents I provided, and broke it down so it didn’t look like some kind of list of ransom demands – never had an employer pull out on me because of it. There is a lot more of it in FE colleges than elsewhere in my experience – due to the general privatisation of the FE system.

    andyl
    Member

    Doesnt look anything unusual really.

    The problems is when you have not done this before (and probably should have) so have to run around putting it all together.

    Once you have it all sorted out you can re-use it again with minimal afford and if you have ever been involved in an industrial incident then you would probably be glad of having the relevant stuff in place, both so everything is done right at the time and to cover your arse in the fallout.

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