Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
do I have muppet written on my forehead?
Re site huts and handwashing - I once charged my employer ?15/week to use my van as a tea hut with handwashing facilities after they refused to get a mobac.

My experiences with site H&S - I ran a combined building/archaeology project a couple of years ago with unemployed trainees forming the main workforce. I was also responsible for complying with the CDM regulations, and took it all pretty literally.

At the start we organised a manual handling course, and a first aid course so that everyone was qualified for CPR. Then we divided the areas up and did area and task specific risk assessments, copies of which were given to the individuals concerned (no point doing an assessment without showing the site workers, is there?). Then we trained the trainees to do a daily site safety check themselves, and to work out how to make the site safer. Each trainee was given responsibility for the daily inspection, and to take whatever action was highlighted. Some realised they could avoid doing any real work by being extremely vigilant on the inspections.

Everyone was bought PPE - most of which was gone within a week. Hard hats are not supposed to be used once they are dropped on the ground. The wind was such that we had to replace about 20 hats (there were only about 8 on site). Actually we would have had to supply a new hat every day if we wanted to be sure it was safe. 12 months supply of sterile eyewash (10 bottles) were used within 2 weeks, all by one trainee who refused to wear goggles, and we were were working with lime...

The cost of making the site safe was alarming - one assessment noticed that the main pathways were getting muddy, and formed a slipping hazard, which could be alleviated by using duckboards. So we hired in an extra load of scaffolding planks. These were judged to be too dangerous to be used indivually, so the order was doubled so we could sister them. Then we needed to buy some 2X2 and nails to fix the planks together. These obviously got slippy, so we bought in some chicken wire and some U nails, and fixed that to the top. This took one person the best part of a week to put together, and the scaffolding plank hire costs were over ?1000 for the project. I inherited a budget which included a single sum for the entire project, so in the end I had to reduce the amount I claimed for my own part in order to pay for the planks.

I started to wonder how everyone else handled these things - once a hazard had been identified (ie dangerous walkways, unstable masonry) and was recorded on paper, it couldn't be ignored, and action had to be taken. Any accident that occurred as a result of something that was identified as a hazard and had actions that could have reduced the risk, but wasn't acted on - it's obvious where the blame lies. So the answer must be to only record things that can be sorted out easily/cheaply, or not to record things at all.

In the end the H&S probably accounted for 5% of the budget, but no-one got hurt during the 12 months of the project.
Moderators choose the word to delete.


H&S normally overrides all other matters. There is a legal phrase de minimus non curat lex - the law does not deal withn trifles. Copyright is a trifle, H&S is not

Dr P
I have asked before and was told no...

I could ask again.

Another day another WSI?
This is one of my major bug H&S bears.. "The Old slippery mud covered floor right next to the boiling kettles routine, I have so many times nearly burned my jubblies off by that last minute skid by the kettle/Urn.

It must be the most leathal area on site but is seen as a traditional hazard also whats all this working in the pouring rain mularky! You know the one where everybody starts to look at everybody else and think the same thing "Is he gona rain us off or not" any useful archaeology has stopped and you just hunker down in your trench like a first world war soldier smoke a fag and hope it stops.

When you are usually soaked you wonder back to the site hut nearly kill yourself on those great planks that some idiot didnt put chiken wire on and the ones that have always tear your hands to pieces when you move them.

Having ruined the site we all sit in damp clothes risking chest complaints in a damp hut because most units dont provide you with wet weather geear other than those old fishermans friends type yellow rain coats and trousers that you sweat so much in just putting them on you have to immediatly take them off.

Another corker is the Hi-lux 4X4 wobble special going home after the wheels have gone out of balance due to the mud in them and you end up holding on to the steering wheel for dear life while it trys to yank itself out of you grip.

Or we could look at the lack of mushroom caps on grid pegs and I know of a very nasty story of a wessex guy who... well lets just say sat back on one....

Also a lack of hot water on most sites too is good un so, as was mentioned, we all eat bits of dead folk with our egg sarnies.

And why oh why do units buy those crap mattocks that do that comedy metal bit sliding down the shaft to smack you on top of the hand routine when you lift the damn thing..

There is also the great satan that is hoeing baked clay in 30C and wondering why your back hurts and the person next to you starts crying.

And to end with the crowning turd in the water pipe the Mohammed Ali of all fits of anger and frustration the top dog of all frustration and venting of spleen....... yep its the old flat wheel on the Wheelbarrow shuffle we all do at least once a week generally exhasperated when you go up a slippery plank and it all falls over the side. I mean why! Why do unit keep em at every unit there is a barrow in the store room that should be thrown but always makes it out on site. Big GrinBig GrinBig GrinBig Grin

Quote:quote:Originally posted by trowelhead

This is one of my major bug H&S bears.. "The Old slippery mud covered floor right next to the boiling kettles routine, I have so many times nearly burned my jubblies off by that last minute skid by the kettle/Urn.

So you've identified a hazard - what's the solution?

besides moaning?
Trowelhead, this all sounds horribly familiar - either we've worked on some sites together, or such H&S nightmares are sadly too common! Incidentally, the comedy mattocks problem can usually be avoided by soaking the heads overnight (every night) in buckets of water to make the wood expand - if there's any water on site. Pete M is right - a lot of potential problems are solveable with some common sense.

I once worked on a windy open area site where an empty wheelbarrow blew into the pit I was digging and whacked me on the head. As the machines had gone by then, I'd dispensed with my hard hat, so that hurt. B) I've also been hit twice on site by JCB buckets during machining. These incidents were actually my fault for not paying proper attention and ignoring basic rules - it's not only the managers who need to be vigilant on sites. Remember that H&S is the responsibility of everyone on site - not just the bosses.

Obviously that doesn't excuse poor management however - heavy metals, radioactivity (!), asbestos etc. are unacceptable. Point out your concerns to your employers, and if they won't do anything, then shop the gits to the HSE. I posted some links on the Scaum H&S manual discussion a while ago which are useful. Basic health and safety isn't some form of luxury that's not affordable on the rubbishy budgets that archaeology usually gets, so check out what you're entitled to expect.
Pete M my old fruit I wasnt having a moan I was just light heartedly highlighting issues that effect us on site as for soloutions well you post some out mate instead of having a Big Grindig.. handbags at 20 paces I fear.
In my short archaeological life (I hesitate to call it a career) I have also seen some nightmares, including the "Dummy" ordnance episodes to which Troll refers, which was just asking for an entry into last years Darwin awards (though the controlled explosions were entertainingBig Grin)
Excavation of human remains with no handwashing facilities.
No drinking water on site in extremely high temperatures etc etc. I was a Health and Safety advisor in the Oil exploration industry in my previous life, and to be quite honest I have issued "STOP" notices for lesser shortcomings than we see every day in this job. And that is saying a lot, as Oil companies are working towards serious profits, not the crumbs which some unit's seem to be
picking up from developers. The difference being that it (Oil) is a high profile job, and it does the multi nationals no favours if they cut corners in H&S just too save money.
We have all heard the stories of the good old days of the 70's, mattocking in flip flops etc, and quaint as these tales are over tea break, it goes to show that not a lots changed in damn near 4 decades. Its definitely time something was done, but dont get the idea that its someone elses responsibility, as CuratorKid so rightly said, SAFETY is the responsibility of EVERYONE on site, so it's up to us as a workforce to make sure that employers do their duty. Sorry to go on but this is a subject that I actually know something about.

H and S is indeed everybody's responsibility.

The idea that you can take your hard hat off when the machines have gone is ridiculous. The number of times you see people down pits or in ditch sections below ground level, walking round scaffolding or wielding picks without a hat is beyond belief. I get bored reminding people to put their lids back on, but it won't stop me doing it.

Anyone else got snakes on their Risk Assessment? Good year for adders this year you should be aware.
Quote:quote:Originally posted by trowelhead

Pete M my old fruit I wasnt having a moan I was just light heartedly highlighting issues that effect us on site as for soloutions well you post some out mate instead of having a Big Grindig.. handbags at 20 paces I fear.

Handbags are far too dangerous !!

I was merely being over-sensitive [:I][:I]

Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  muppet of the year award Troll 12 3,053 6th December 2005, 09:11 PM
Last Post: sniper

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)