By Jason Godfrey, General Manager, Safesite Ltd
We often hear people moaning that 'health and safety' is stopping them doing their job because of all the rules and regulations, but what they fail to acknowledge is that these rules and regulations are there for a reason – to protect people.
We've all been amazed recently at the video below which shows workers standing on what appears to be a 3 or 4 storey building, and smashing the wall supporting them with a sledgehammer. The men appear to have a total disregard for the severity of the hazards involved in this work. It's clear there are no safety precautions such as harnesses or nets and the workers are merely relying on their own balance and the hope that the wall won't collapse under them.
Unfortunately this video is not a one off, and we are now used to seeing how work around the world is carried out. We like to think that we take health and safety more seriously and that companies support this through safe working practices and training.
But is this true in all cases? Surely working on a fragile roof without any form of protection such as platforms or rooflight covers, or using a MEWP without correct training is just as hazardous as standing on a wall you're demolishing. So maybe next time we call workers like these in the video 'crazy,' we should take a step back and think about how we're working.