Did you see Channel fours “The fun Police” ?
In this programme we saw behind the scenes of a Health & Safety Consultant, an HSE inspector and a local authority safety officer.
The Health & Safety Consultant was looking around a glazing manufacturer, looking at the operations and running a short session on Manual Handling skills for the workforce. He was talking about correct assessment and posture – all good stuff BUT he was bending and twisting badly. Not exactly leading by example. He was wearing a dapper suit when the people in the factory were wearing work-wear, this did nothing for his credibility (see Intelligent Dressing). As for his presentation and training skills – well lets not go there – flip-charts that could not be read, a poor voice tone and no rapport with the workers. This individual was obviously passionate about safety – but could not relate to people – a real shame.
Interestingly the show highlighted the IOSH sponsorship of the annual conker competition as a way of showing that H&S can and do support fun, I thought this move was a wonderful piece of PR, but i don’t remember much of this in the press.. a shame
In the local authority office there was papers and folders strewn all over, carpets lifting and poorly attempts at sticking down the flooring with black and yellow tape… mmm me thinks they should look at home first. then you have one local authority banning a glue from the ‘nail boutiques’ because it is banned in the US, but there is now such ban here. If only they would stick with the established legislation they would hold more credibility with the UK bosses. Let the law courts put in bans if required on danger grounds.
H&S is about risk assessments as much as stopping.
Conclusions – if we are talking H&S we must walk the talk, remember that the law generally says risk assess, not ban – and all that is ‘policy’ is not always the HSEs doing!