YW Tanker Truck

Health & Safety Gone Mad

Health and Safety Gone Mad

It doesn't matter if you work for a small company or a large corporation, you've undoubtedly have experienced Health & Safety practises. Most companies have the basic rules enforced; for example, the most common rule is that all staff must wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment or PPE. Unfortunately, some companies have taken H&S to a completely insane level and expect the most basic rules to be obeyed without any allowance or negotiation for common sense.

Now, I'm all for the implementation of safe working practises and I'm very glad of the changes that have been made since the days of children mining for coal; I just think the whole situation has gone too far.

A Perfect Example of H&S Gone Mad

I was visiting a site of a very large company manufacturing some very well known cooking sauces and foods. They're a prime example of Health & Safety gone mad! While talking to a member of staff on their site, I was warned to be careful of my actions as management had already banned 2 people that morning from ever returning to any of their sites. "What did they do?" – I asked; "FΩ©k all" – I was told.

Getting banned from a customer's site is a tough punishment. Try to imagine that your company needs to frequently visit a number of sites to remain in business – it’s not easy if your staff members are banned.

When I questioned why the company were seemingly banning people for nothing, I was told that a contractor had fallen from a ladder, or something, a few weeks ago. So, now they've tightened up the rules so much that even their own staff don’t know what they're allowed to do. Understandable though, a death on site and they're fearing something else could happen, so it makes sense to leave nothing to chance.

The Mad Part

After putting a jumper on, a fellow contractor stepped out of his vehicle and simultaneously, while walking away from his parked vehicle, put on his high-visibility vest. He then proceeded to cross the pedestrian crossing and met me at the security cabin, where we were booking in/out. Within 2 minutes a member of management from the company came strolling over and declared the contractors actions to be so wrong that they have no other option but to ban him from site.

To my surprise, the man remained calm throughout, though the facial expression of ‘WTF?’ was very clear.

The whole situation left me wondering if a man falling from a ladder really was in the same category as someone exiting a vehicle without a high-visibility vest. Surely, someone with common sense at this factory should tell the team of management to get a realistic grip on Health & Safety.

But they’re not alone in their crazy existence; people working everywhere are becoming overly obsessed with the ‘”what if’s” and “should they”. Without proper training and realistic ambitions they’re turning the working world into a corridor of red tape. I’d like to help them see beyond the narrow-mindedness and simplicity of following rules regardless of common sense.