Reise, Reise

I love that cartoon below from Private Eye, who from the ease which this can be found online aren’t looking particularly litigious… ?

I remember this style of health and safety from my younger days as an engineer where on sites we often had a heady mix of heavy weights, dangerous machinery, open flames and scary heights to enjoy and we all took an equal share of personal and group responsibility.
Experience, intelligence, foresight and the ability to think on your feet are vital skills and are worth less today than a sheet filled in with a few sentences of stating the obvious like “Trip hazard: tools around work area will be kept tidy” or “Steps will be taken to ensure no loss of life”. I have written both of these many times.

The weight of bureaucracy slows us down, watching our backs means we’re not concentrating on what we’re doing, sticking to a format dulls our blades and limits our reactions.
There is no progress without risk.

Talking of which Driverless Cars are in the news at the moment. They say it’s for safety, sustainable development, better for the environment but that’s all bollocks. It’s all for power and profit. That and sucking every last bit of joy from the ordinary punter that they can too.
Think about it, you’re sitting in your car which is driving itself and what do you do? Look at the view? Aye, but after a few seconds you’re bored and then what? Buy more products to keep you amused during all the new down time. They’ll love it in Made in China land when that plan comes together.

It’s also travel for the Facebook generation, rather than feel the road, work with the conditions and see the landscape change as you propel yourself through it you’ll be able to sit at arms length, detached.
I want to feel my journeys, I’m even happy to bear the wear and tear from the miles be they personal, geographical or philosophical.


6 thoughts on “Reise, Reise”

  1. Bureaucracy pure rips ma knittin’!

    I’m trying to resist writing a wee rant about the ridiculousness of it all but I can’t help it. I thought I’d seen it all until I started working in the medical device manufacturing industry 5yrs ago. I regularly see what would be a ten minute job (replace a pneumatic cylinder for example) take well over 2 months worth of risk assessments, method statements, work instructions, quality assurance planning, potential disaster containment planning, etc, etc, ad nauseum before I’m finally allowed to start. After the ten minute job is completed it can then take several more months of status change forms, more risk assessments of the new current state, verification, validation, ranging studies, gauge R&R’s, etc, etc before the process can be reinstated to production. Honestly, I’m genuinely amazed that we ever actually manage to make something to sell to our customers! And, I’ve heard that the pharmaceuticals industry is even worse.

    Driverless cars eh? I wouldn’t like to try sorting one of them myself or paying a mechanic, or glorified parts fitter which is all most of them are these days, to fix it when it inevitably goes horribly wrong. No thanks, I’ll stick with my auld Landy I think.

  2. “Experience, intelligence, foresight and the ability to think on your feet are vital skills and are worth less today than a sheet filled in with a few sentences…”

    Not where I work, but only because I’m the in-house H+S bod! I’d prefer site inductions to be “don’t get hit by the machine, don’t fall in the hole you’ve just dug and don’t eat the site” oh and “your mums not looking after you now”…

  3. The cheekiest observation I ever heard about H&S is that it was interfering with natural selection…

    20 years ago I consulted on some of the work permit formatting for enclosed space works so I know some H&S is based on real experience but I also know much is based on flying a desk though the dangerous skies of manual endeavors. It’s often easy to spot which rules were made by who.

    We need H&S, largely to stop corner cutting or dangerous practices endangering lives, but without it we engineered the modern world. Couldn’t we find a middle ground somewhere?

  4. Well H&S does work as death and injury rates are much lower than in the past. But I do agree that there is a large overhead of bureaucracy.
    As you say, it’s finding the middle ground.
    I am currently working for an organisation that pretty much includes H&S briefings in every presentation to the employees and the walls, website and even the toilet cubicles have H&S notices that change regularly.
    Does this work? Well they do have a very low rate of ‘incidents’. And every time there is a significant incident it is communicated to the workforce.
    The things that get me riled are some of the quality standards that pretty much say you should document everything you do.
    It doesn’t matter if what you are doing is shite, as long as you document it and stick with it then you have passed the standard.

  5. Aye, that last statement says it all, box ticking = arse covering.

    I know that having to follow procedure does catch folk that might well have cut off their finger or burnt the building down, but it strangles the rest of us at the same time.

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