Health and Safety Gone Mad?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Rob, 18th Mar 2013.

  1. DaveW

    DaveW TS Contributor

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    First I don't recall saying anyone deserved to die? I'd thank you to refrain from trying to put words in my mouth.

    All I am saying is companies and their staff should not have to spend they days worried that one persons stupidity or carelessness could cost them their job. Or the company a lot of money and loss of reputation. The mentality of our so society is the problem not the health and safety officers. Yes people should be able to go out with fair certainty they won't be hurt, but they should also go out knowing that in many cases if they do get hurt they have a responsibility there too. People shouldn't need a health and safety officer to TELL them it's dangerous here stay away, their instincts should do that for them! People have a duty of responsibility to them selves and those they care for to keep them safe, this kind of attitude that if a child hurts them self it's the company's fault is what breeds lazy parenting, such as the example I stated previously at the hotel on Sunday morning.

    This is also the point I was trying to make. The actual health and safety reports that say, this needs doing are one thing, which is perfectly acceptable, however the problem comes from companies putting one person in a position where they come to feel they have to make the whole world idiot proof, by implementing things that don't need to be done at all!
     
  2. BigDave

    BigDave TowersStreet Member

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    I think this is summed up by the "Caution this heater might get hot" stickers on the radiators in the hotels. Considering its a heater, I'd be concerned if it didn't get hot to be honest!

    We joked that one day, the hotel rooms will be empty white boxes with padded walls.
     
  3. BigDave

    BigDave TowersStreet Member

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    Technically not true as people have died because of park rides, but all have been caused by underlying health problems. In addition one boy still has brain damage due to running out into Nemesis brake run and getting struck by the train.
     
  4. Alastair

    Alastair TS Forum Team Team Member

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    The real annoyance is that these measures are brought in after decades of getting along fine without them. Tightening regulations on airgates is simply ridiculous. People are not completely stupid, and if they are then it's more often than not their own fault. If someone walks in front of a train at a railway station, people aren't going to blame the fact that there's no mechanism to stop them from getting onto the track. The person who did it is at fault.
     
  5. BigDave

    BigDave TowersStreet Member

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    I think my post makes it clear that the park do need to constantly review park safety and make changes, but at the end of the day, there is a line. Putting clear signage to the exit and signs saying danger ride area should be enough. Adding plastic flaps is going a bit far. A simple barrier at the bottom that is flexible, should anyone stick their feet or legs out, would have been enough.

    The same is true with the unprotected edges. Find the most dangerous and put in signs and small barriers. Completely covering the gardens with fences is going too far.
     
  6. delta79

    delta79 TowersStreet Member

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    I am reminded of what my works H&S officer says
    he is right, how many of you have see loads of signs in one place and miss what they say due to the amount of them?

    may be Alton Towers needs 'The Health and Safety Handbook: A One-stop Guide for Managers' its a good book and the one of the writers said to me "If you use common sense then you are doing health and safety"
     
  7. Tom

    Tom TowersStreet Member

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    The Health and Safety Executive doesn't actually order specific actions. Following incidents, they insist that you explain to them WHY a failure occured and what you are going to do to prevent it occurring again, and minimising the implications if it WERE to happen again. You do need to satisfy them, but they certainly won't have ordered the erection of scaffolding specifically.

    Alton Towers have chosen to take this action and they've also decided how much money and effort to put into making it look good (very little). They're to blame for A) initially allowing the cable to deteriorate to the point of snapping and B) for the tacky presentation of the new protective measures.

    All the 'elf n safety' bashing and misconception that goes on in the UK has stemmed from the tabloids as per 'political correctness gone mad' and 'the meddling EU' etc. I thought people here were better than that ;)
     
  8. thefatone

    thefatone TowersStreet Member

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    Indeed - it would be towers' decision to action most of this H&S stuff to show due diligence, not the HSE enforcing it on them.

    As for oblivion, that rule has now gone I believe. Least, i was only checked by one host and airgates opened the second the shuttle stopped yesterday.
     
  9. GAGrathea

    GAGrathea TS Founding Member

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    Over the weekend, the whole Oblivion pantomime of *wait til the guests are out* *open airgates* *give each other a little OK symbol before checking harnesses* was going on every time I was up there, unfortunately! :(

    The whole situation just makes me chuckle a little, like the STEP UP BEFORE DESCENDING signs plastered all over the Sanctuary queue, when the maze itself has all kinds of unmarked floor level changes.

    But yeah, Rita's fine now... There was no need to put the Scaff back up in such a rush :)
     
  10. aru

    aru TowersStreet Member

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    I don't think it is H&S gone mad. AT don't want an ugly tunnel under Rita but it is obviously there for a reason. I'm quite glad that I am not forced to stand under a fast-moving launch cable which might not be safe. So whilst I think it is ugly and AT should come up with something more permanent, I am thankful that they are not taking a punt on it. I have seen the footage of Top Thrill Dragster when the cable snapped and it is very scary! :eek:
     
  11. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    Stealth's queue line passes under the launch twice, and it's faster than Rita. Yet that is deemed perfectly safe. The decision to do this to Rita must have been from Alton's own H&S officer, not a government inspector. Otherwise it would be the same on Stealth.
    Whoever they are, they need to reconsider their job if you ask me. They are the type of person who whould force all passengers on a cruise ship to wear life jackets at all times.
     
  12. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    For rides of Rita and Stealth's type (from what I've been told) there is a fail safe that can be installed that, in the event of a RARE cable snap prevents the cable from flying everywhere or hitting the floor (much like last year at Alton). If a cable snap were to happen in future, it would be confined in one space and would cause no risk to guests. Stealth had the fail safe put in a while back (if that's right?) and Rita did not have this installed until over the closed season.

    So as far as the scaffolding is concerned. It is there for literally no reason. As Diogo quite rightly pointed out, this will have been the job of the H&S officer at Alton Towers - who can get away with as many H&S pointless things as they can (such as Oblivion's new checks). They do not need the scaffolding. Simple as.
     
  13. aru

    aru TowersStreet Member

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    Do you know this for a fact? I think scapegoating an individual seems a bit harsh.
     
  14. Noonie99

    Noonie99 TowersStreet Member

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    I think that sad thing about Health and Safety these days is the people that have to impliment it, are indeed doing it because people and society seem to have lost that common sense within themselves. You see it everywhere you go now, groups of people getting drunk and climing onto buildings, only to then fall off and likely sue the company that own the building.
    I honestly think its the society we live in that has made this happen. AT doesn't want to be sued because some chav has fallen over or ended up hurting themselves because they indeed have no clarity over their own safety. I think a lot of people seem to forget they are actually responsible for themselves as well as being able to attend a theme park which is a safe environment.
    With regards to Rita and the cable, I guess they did what they had to do, perhaps it never occurred to them that this could have happened like it did. Either way they acted quickly and did what they felt was for the best for the public.
    Bare in mind they have to think "for" these idiots that also have no common sense. And someone will likely climb up there because "ha ha ha look at me boys i'm funny".
    Comon sense and lack of respect has caused Health and Safety everywhere to go over the top because they have to cover themselves constantly.
     
  15. Benzin

    Benzin TowersStreet Member

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    I didn't even notice these new 'policies' on Oblivion or RMT...

    As for the two staff members checking bars (which I saw on Thirteen on Sunday), that's not H&S (directly) that's new staff being trained and shadowed by a staff member who has previously been trained... It's a bit silly (and slightly patronising) but I would say that's the reason for any situation for the first few weeks where two staff members check your restraints...

    Indeed, maybe the slowness was down to the park being empty and the new staff, not like they needed to push throughputs when you only had two people riding Air...

    The Rita tunnel does look crap mind...
     
  16. thefatone

    thefatone TowersStreet Member

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    H&S is just common sense though - nothing in the eyes of the law makes you do something over the top, that's the own individuals decision. If rita has a fail safe installed, then they don't need a tunnel.
     
  17. John

    John TowersStreet Member

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    Normally double-checking of restraints is due to staff training, but last year on Oblivion all staff were required to do it. They would check one row as normal then return to the side they started from checking the other row as they went. This meant each seat was checked by both members of staff working on that shuttle.

    If anything, it was probably quicker than the system that replaced it of waiting for everyone to leave the station before opening the air gates.
     
  18. andyramone

    andyramone TowersStreet Member

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    Has anyone thought to actually contact Alton Towers and find out the reason it's there?

    Maybe that would be a good idea? Instead of assuming a whole bunch of stuff that may not be true, and slagging of the park for it?

    Sorry to **** on everyone's chips here, but the general attitude towards Health & Safety in this country is horrific. It's always based on misinformation from the tabloids, and a failure to understand what H&S is and how it works. Working in H&S is one of the most thankless jobs in the world, trust me.
     
  19. Noonie99

    Noonie99 TowersStreet Member

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    Next time someone falls over and bangs their head on something, you can bet your last penny that next time there will be a total upheaval of the pavement, and major signage alerting people to "watch their step" lol
    Seriously though, sometimes it does take something to happen before a change is put in place, maybe there are things that happened on Oblivion that people arent aware of.
    I do think people are just noting that things are changing though, and its not to have a go at Health and Safety people specifically, I feel that people need to take some responsbility for their own actions and not ruin it for everyone else, who understand that by obiding by simple safety rules, they shouldn't be any injuries or upsets.
     
  20. LiamC

    LiamC TowersStreet Member

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    Another example of taking H&S to the extreme that I saw at the weekend and which relates to the bit about the people tripping on paths in the post above was on Rita's station platform around the air gates. Any bit of the platform that's slightly raised now has yellow lines around it to mark it out for people and now resembles some black and yellow patchwork flooring design.

    I'm all for being safe and cautious, particularly at Theme Parks, but Towers seem to have taken it to the extreme. Some of the things on show at the weekend just seemed overly cautious and really impacted the running of some rides. When The Smiler opens and gate figures do pick up, I really worry for queue times and ride throughputs :/
     

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