It continues to surprise me, when I read articles in the papers about (in their words) “health and safety Nazis”, “health and safety Gestapo” and “health and Safety Taliban”. The papers seem to assume that we’re ‘bureaucratic’ Sharon’s or ‘tick-box’ Kevin’s. Perhaps I’m a ‘risk assessment’ Patrick ….. RAP for short!
Joking aside, health and safety professionals rarely make the decisions that lead to the headlines. These headline-grabbing decisions are usually made by people looking for an reason not to do something ….. something that they don’t want to do anyway! These non-health and safety professionals make decisions in the name of health and safety that unnecessarily stop people’s fun and makes life unnecessarily difficult. And I’ve found an exception. Bulmers in Clonmel (Ireland).
Bulmers sacked eight staff for “serious health and safety breaches” that were captured on a mobile phone and published on www.youtube.com. SIPTU, the Trade Union representing the staff, said it would not be appealing the decision of the company unless asked by individual employees to do otherwise.
The dismissed staff lost their jobs after footage taken at the Bulmers plant showed workers wearing high-visibility vests jumping into moving forklifts, setting driverless vehicles moving across the warehouse floor and then sprinting after them, spraying fire-extinguishers and somersaulting from stacks of crates onto cardboard boxes.
Click here and to read more and click ‘Working Hard at Bulmers’ to see the YouTube footage.