On 6 April 2015, CDM 2007 was revoked and replaced by the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015).
The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM) are the main set of regulations for managing the health, safety and welfare of construction projects.
CDM 2015 is subject to certain transitional arrangements, for construction projects that began before 6 April 2015 and continue beyond that date. It applies to all building and construction work and includes new build, demolition, refurbishment, extensions, conversions, repair and maintenance.
Key changes of the new CDM Regulations 20151. All projects must have:
- workers with the right skills, knowledge, training and experience
- contractors providing appropriate supervision, instruction and information
- a written construction phase plan
- principal designer and principal contractor must be appointed
- a health and safety file
- last longer than 30 working days and
- have more than 20 workers working simultaneously at any point in the project
- OR exceeds 500 person days
- Client must notify project to HSE
The Health and Safety Executive wants businesses that provide customer service to turn over a new leaf and stop blaming health and safety for poor or over-the-top decisions.
The regulator launched its 40th anniversary year with a call to stop the culture of blaming anything and everything on non-existent ‘health and safety’ rules.
Retail and leisure businesses feature prominently in new research (published today) by the University of Exeter, which reveals half of all cases put to HSE’s Myth Busters Challenge Panel came from shops, cafes and leisure centres.
Traditionally January is a time when people want to get fitter, healthier, or take advantage of the sales. However, customers are being left increasingly frustrated by ridiculous decisions made in the name of health and safety, more often than not to cover up what is simply poor customer service.
These are just some of the many examples submitted by bemused customers to the challenge panel, which was set up to refute inaccurate or over-the-top decisions made for ‘health and safety reasons’.
The research which also looks at perceptions and understanding of health and safety regulation in society, found the fear of being sued, cost avoidance and lack of training were other key reasons behind the use of the health and safety myth.
Department for Work and Pensions Minister Mark Harper said:
“The Health and Safety Executive has done fantastic work over the past 40 years to keep working people safe.
“Elf n safety’ myths get in the way of what the law is for – saving lives, not stopping people living them.
“No employer or worker should hide behind the health and safety excuses, if they act in a sensible way. If you hear of a bogus health and safety myth, report it to our panel.”
Judith Hackitt, Chair of HSE and the Myth Busters Challenge Panel said:
“HSE wants to encourage everyone, especially those working in leisure and retail, to make a resolution to stop using the health and safety catch-all excuse.
“Give the real reason for the decision you take. We want people to be honest – giving health and safety the blame is lazy and unhelpful.
“Customers are at the heart any business. Getting rid of over-the-top decisions blamed on health and safety will improve the service customers receive and enable the business to prosper.”
As usual, NEBOSH has began to release the Diploma Unit D Results a week ahead of schedule.
How have you done? Better or worse than expected?
Hopefully better! For most students, the NEBOSH Diploma Unit D marks the end of a long road of studying. But what if your marks are not what you expected? Well, submitting an EAR (Enquiry About Result) is a fairly straight forward process. If you need 3-4 marks to get that all important pass, then go for it.
If you are faced with re-submitting, then have no fear. Dust yourself down and see our Guide to Unit D Report.
Helicopter crashes, out-of-control explosions, runaway trains… this is Health and Safety in Hollywood!
It was the middle of the afternoon when the emergency call came from Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire. A 71-year-old man had injured his ankle “in an incident involving a garage door”. Paramedics on the air ambulance sent to ferry him to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford were amazed to discover their patient was no ordinary pensioner, but Hollywood actor Harrison Ford. His ankle had been smashed by a door falling from the Millennium Falcon, the spaceship his character Han Solo flies in the original Star Wars trilogy.
Weeks later, any initial suspicions that producers were being overcautious about their star have been dispelled; Ford had broken his left leg. No 71-year-old, however fit, rich and famous, is going to recover quickly from such an injury. Ford is expected to miss at least eight weeks of filming on Stars Wars: Episode VII.
Ford’s accident – involving, as it did, one of the leading men in the most high-profile film currently in production – was bound to make headlines. But many more have gone largely unreported. In fact, it’s the film industry’s dirty secret that accidents – even fatal ones – on film sets are shockingly common.
Statistics are hard to collate because most health and safety executives don’t file incidents under “film industry”, but it appears that between 20 and 40 people worldwide are killed or seriously injured during a film production each year — more, proportionately, than in US law enforcement, road construction or mining. (A particularly shocking statistic when you bear in mind that the majority of film employees have “safe” office jobs.)
“Certainly on lower-budget films, we suspect there is a lot of under-reporting of accidents and near misses,” says Martin Spence, assistant general secretary of BECTU, the media and entertainment union.
“Film sets are inherently dangerous,” says a producer of several blockbusters who doesn’t want to be named. “Even when it’s just a scene of two people walking across a set, there will be tremendous amounts of electricity, hot lights, ladders, heavy suspended equipment, power tools and trip hazards like cabling and carpentry everywhere.
“If you’re talking horror or thriller genres where the public always demands more thrills than ever before, you can add in weapons, explosives, chemicals, loud noises, cranes, helicopters. Factor in the constant time and money pressures, the fact that nearly everyone is freelance and working on a temporary structure, and it’s actually surprising more disasters don’t happen.”
The majority of accidents involve falls, fight sequences and trips and slips. The most dangerous work, unsurprisingly, involves helicopter crashes, which have killed 33 US film and television workers (no British figures are available) – nearly one a year – since 1980.
“Film-making is a weird world – a physical and psychological bubble,” says one crew member, who claims he was nearly killed last year when he fell from four-storey scaffolding which had no ladders or handrails and an insufficient number of walking boards, during a shoot for a big studio. He managed to save himself by grabbing a rail. In 2004 a similar accident killed a crew member of 2004’s The Phantom of the Opera.
“For eight or 10 weeks the director’s in charge of cast and crew, sometimes in a remote location, and his or her word is law,” he says. “If he wants people to do something crazy, it’s very hard for someone lower down the ladder to speak up.”
In the early days of film-making, death and injuries were almost an occupational hazard. Between 1925 and 1930, nearly 11,000 people were injured during Californian film productions; 55 died.
During the filming of 1920’s Haunted Spooks, the star Harold Lloyd lost his thumb and the first finger of his right hand when he picked up a bomb with a lit fuse which he assumed was a prop but which turned out to be real. For the rest of his career, Lloyd hid his missing fingers with a prosthetic glove. The same year, actress Lillian Gish lost the tips of her fingers to frostbite while being filmed floating on an ice floe towards Niagara Falls.
In 1928’s Noah’s Ark, 15,000 gallons of water were dumped too quickly on a crowd of extras in a studio tank. Three men drowned, another lost a leg and dozens were injured, including Marion Morrison – better known by his stage name, John Wayne.
Following this, the first film safety laws were passed, but accidents still happened with alarming regularity. During filming of 1939’s The Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch of the West, Margaret Hamilton, was badly burnt during the scene when she “vanished” in a burst of flame and smoke, when the trap door that should have removed her from the explosion was late opening. Her stunt double was injured in a scene involving a smoking broomstick, while Buddy Ebsen, originally cast as the Tin Man, had to leave the production after an allergic reaction to his make-up, resulting in a collapsed lung and lifelong breathing problems.
But the public became truly aware of the dangers of movie making only in 1982 when, during filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie, a helicopter flying just eight metres off the ground got caught in the pyrotechnics and span out of control, killing actor Vic Morrow and two child actors, aged six and seven, who were being paid in cash to circumvent laws banning children from working at night. Morrow’s line, which he never got to deliver, was, “I’ll keep you safe, kids. I promise. Nothing will hurt you, I swear to God.”
Investigators concluded there had been 36 safety violations and the tragedy resulted in a near-decade-long lawsuit. In the aftermath, numerous new safety codes were implemented. Over the next four years, accidents on set fell by almost 70 per cent, although there were still six deaths. While filming a Pepsi commercial in 1984, Michael Jackson’s hair was set on fire by a faulty pyrotechnic, resulting in second and third-degree burns to his scalp and body. After this he became addicted to painkillers, a condition which contributed to his death in 2009.
Since then, the litany of disasters has continued. Several stars, including Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 and Bruce Willis in Die Hard, have suffered permanent hearing damage after firing guns without using earplugs. During recent filming of the third Hunger Games film, Jennifer Lawrence nearly choked to death when a fog machine suffered a “horrific” malfunction.
Unsurprisingly, far more at risk than the stars are professional stuntmen and women, with Hollywood recording 37 deaths related to stunts between 1980 and 1990. Since then, increased use of computer-generated imagery in films has meant the riskiest feats can be simulated. But stunt people remain in the front line, with many unwilling to turn down jobs for fear of being blacklisted. In 1995, respected stuntwoman Sonja Davis was killed when she hit her head making a 47ft backwards jump from a building for a scene in Vampire in Brooklyn. Friends said she’d refused the job initially, but then accepted after being offered more money, worried a refusal would render her unemployable.
In 2009, Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry Potter stunt double David Holmes was left paralysed after crashing backwards into a wall while filming the reaction to an explosion. Just last month, a stuntwoman began legal proceedings after receiving “severe” burns during the making of Face Off, an American reality show in which prosthetic make-up artists compete against each other to create the sort of prostheses found in science fiction and horror films.
But even more vulnerable are the often underpaid and overworked men and women behind the scenes. Investigations into safety standards on Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings franchise and King Kong, filmed in New Zealand, revealed that one model-maker was forced off work with permanent lung damage, allegedly after inhaling toxic chemicals.
Another contractor, who collapsed after ventilation fans failed, claimed he was “harassed about unfinished work” when he came in the following day.
Most at risk are cameramen and women, who are usually closest to the action but with little of the protective gear afforded actors and stunt people. In February this year, 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones was killed while filming for Midnight Rider, a biopic of singer Gregg Allman, starring William Hurt. The accident happened during a dream sequence filmed on a railway bridge; with no warning, a freight train approached. Cast and crew ran for their lives but Jones, known for her indefatigability, was mown down, apparently as she tried to rescue equipment.
Hurt, who quit the movie, recalled in an email leaked to the Los Angeles Times how he’d previously asked the producers “how long the crew had to get off if by some impossible chance another train came”, and was told 60 seconds. “I said, ‘Sixty seconds is not enough time to get us off this bridge.’ There was a communal pause. No one backed me up. Then, we… just went ahead.” Then the train came. “We didn’t have 60 seconds; we had less than 30.”
Jones’s parents, who lobbied successfully on social media for her death to be acknowledged at the Oscars, where many attendees wore black ribbons on their lapels in her memory, said she had confided she was worried about her superiors’ inexperience. In a letter to the American Society of Cinematographers, Jones’s father wrote: “The industry apparently needs safer film sets, which… needs to start with a rediscovery of its spirituality… If the people in charge of Midnight Rider had properly regarded the lives they controlled on February 20, would they have placed them on that railroad trestle without proper safety measures?”
The producers are now facing multiple lawsuits from Jones’s parents, as well as other cast and crew members, alleging, among other charges, that they had not secured permission to film on the track, but concealed this fact from the rest of the cast and crew. Also being sued is Gregg Allman, who insists he had nothing to do with choosing the train-track location and who had begged producers (eventually successfully) to abandon the film after Jones’s death. Midnight Rider’s director, producer and production manager have now been charged with involuntary manslaughter, and could face up to 10 years in jail.
Naturally, all big studios insist that safety is paramount. “It’s our first priority; we have a safety meeting every single day and insurance people are always on set saying: ‘You can’t do this’, or ‘Try this another way’,” says one producer.
“It’s far cheaper to carry out advance checks than to risk a multimillion-dollar lawsuit or insurance premiums tripling. Everyone on set is always telling each other: ‘This is a hot spot’; ‘Watch your back.’ Assistant directors, who are mainly in charge of safety, get very angry with anyone who, for example, is fooling around during a stunt, and ban them from set.”
Despite this, many crew members tell of safety concerns being overlooked, with all but the most powerful afraid to speak out. “I complained about safety standards with my manager and he didn’t speak to me for the rest of the shoot, probably because he was covering his own back,” says the crew member who fell from scaffolding. “This was last year and since then I haven’t worked. In an industry where nearly everyone is self-employed you daren’t stick your neck out.”
“It’s absolutely true that the nature of freelance employment means no one wants to be a troublemaker,” says Martin Spence. “But, in my experience, those who do stand up and say ‘No’ gain a lot of credibility. There are idiots out there, but there are also decent producers, who will respect that.”
Recently, a video went viral from the British set of a low-budget film He Who Dares 2. It appeared to show a flying door narrowly missing an actress after an explosion. Message boards were filled with anonymous posts from film workers describing similarly dangerous incidents they’d experienced or witnessed, not to mention numerous complaints about low or no pay, and appalling working conditions.
“I can’t stress enough how quickly things can go wrong on a set,” wrote one. “People constantly get hurt, when everyone is doing their best to create a safe environment. When someone, especially higher-ups, decide to be reckless it becomes like playing Hacky Sack with a bag of unstable chemicals.” The film’s producer promptly had his lawyers take the clip down, and reportedly threatened crew members tempted to talk with legal action.
In the UK, BECTU is concerned by a proposed parliamentary bill that would leave most self-employed people, including those in the film industry, completely uncovered by any health and safety regulations.
“Right now [the Health and Safety Executive] virtually never makes proactive spot checks on set,” says Spence. “I’m sure they’d like to but they don’t have as many inspectors as they’d need. The only time they visit is when there’s been a near miss or some other incident.”
While some crew members demand statutory shorter hours, others rely on overtime earned during long days. Others worry that lobbying for tighter regulations will simply result in even more filming being outsourced abroad. “Already no one wants to shoot in the US, because it’s so unionised and overtime rates are so high,” says one director.
On some occasions, budget restraints have forced actors to perform stunts themselves. In 1988, British actor Roy Kinnear died after falling from a horse in The Return of the Musketeers. Kinnear, 54, expected a double to be used for the riding sequences but, at the last minute, he wrote to his wife, Carmel: “Oh, gosh, darling. I’ve been called on to do a stunt.”
“Actors are inclined to take undue risks with their lives,” Carmel said later. “They are frightened. Time is money. They don’t want to hold production up. They don’t want to look silly in front of other people.” The film’s director, Richard Lester, whose credits included Superman II and A Hard Day’s Night, was so distressed he retired from film. The movie, however, was still released.
Indeed, no matter how tragic the fallout, the show nearly always goes on. Actor Brandon Lee died aged 28 while filming The Crow in 1993, when he shot himself with a gun meant to fire blanks. The film’s firearms expert had earlier been sent home. Filming continued, with Lee’s fiancée’s and mother’s blessing, using a stunt double, and it became a cult hit – in part because of the ghoulish associations.
The Twilight Zone movie was released to mixed reviews and only modest financial success. Its director, John Landis, who was eventually cleared of involuntary manslaughter, went on to direct hits such as Trading Places and Coming to America. (The courtroom was especially charged – at one point the prosecutor hissed “murderer” at Landis as he walked past.) But the film’s co-producer Steven Spielberg ended a long friendship with him, saying the accident “made me grow up a little more” and left everyone who worked on the movie “sick to the centre of our souls… No movie is worth dying for.”
At Pinewood, concern about Ford’s health coexisted with worry about the millions of dollars potentially at stake if the shoot was delayed for lack of its biggest star. Some speculated Ford would be filmed from the waist up, and, in the meantime, producers frantically altered schedules to keep filming on time.
“The phrase you hear all the time is, ‘Just get the job done’,” says the man who survived the scaffolding fall. He has had only one safety briefing in five years of working on big shoots. “I nearly died on a huge-budget movie but there was no, ‘How are you?’ just, ‘How soon can you be back at work?’ It’s showbusiness; the cameras don’t stop turning for anything.”
Post shared from The Telegraph.
The 40 year old Health and Safety at Work Act’s rules are founded on common sense, but they’ve been hijacked by jobsworths
Summer is well under way, so we can expect the usual litany of patronising health and safety announcements on public transport and elsewhere. Among the blindingly obvious bits of advice that have apparently passed mankind by in the millennia since we started to walk upright are the following: we should wear loose-fitting clothes in the heat, make sure we drink plenty of water and sit down if we feel faint.
So how did an Act that was by any measure a milestone in social reform turn into one of the most disparaged statutes of recent times? Partly it has to do with the way the law is interpreted – and often wrongly blamed for absurd restrictions imposed on perfectly innocuous practices. But it also reflects an absolutist view that it is possible to avoid accidental injury or death, rather than simply to reduce the circumstances in which they might occur.
However, the restrictions that are now imposed in the name of health and safety were far from the minds of parliamentarians in June 1974, as they put the finishing touches to the new law. MPs and peers were aware that this was not only pioneering legislation but potentially of great significance. The Act’s purpose was to implement the recommendations of the Robens Committee, which reported in 1972 and concluded that the existing workplace safety legislation was over-elaborate and confusing, with about 30 Acts and 500 sets of regulations.
Robens recommended a new structure underpinned by an enabling Act setting out the basic principles of safety responsibility, thereby providing a statutory base on which all future regulations could be founded. New rules would, if possible, be confined to general statements of the objectives to be achieved. Robens wanted greater reliance on standards and codes and for no regulation to be made at all if a non-statutory alternative was available. While many might question whether the ambition of fewer rules was realised, the legislation certainly did what it said on the tin.
Before the Act, 700 employees were dying every year on average and hundreds of thousands were being injured. Last year, the number of fatalities at work was down to 148 and non-fatal injuries have dropped by more than 75 per cent. Even for those of us who balk at excessive regulation, that is a considerable achievement, not least when you think that 500 workers have died on construction sites in Qatar since 2012, building the infrastructure for the World Cup in 2022. That certainly puts a ban on flags into perspective.
Throughout our history, health and safety laws have often been a reaction to appalling tragedies. In his ill-starred response to the pit disaster in Soma last month, in which 300 miners died, the Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan cited examples from Britain’s industrial past to justify his own government’s inadequacies.
“I went back in British history,” he said. “Some 204 people died there after a mine collapsed in 1838. In 1866, 361 miners died in Britain. In an explosion in 1894, 290 people died there.” Indeed they did – but what is important is to learn the lessons. For instance, in 1862, when the beam of a pumping engine at Hartley Colliery in Northumberland broke and blocked the only mineshaft and means of ventilation, suffocating 204 miners, new legislation required that every seam should have at least two shafts or outlets.
Even as the more recent Health and Safety at Work Act was going through Parliament, an explosion at a chemical plant at Flixborough near Scunthorpe killed 28 people. Subsequent regulations imposed new rules on manufacturers who use dangerous substances. Why the Act was important is that is set out to prevent the accidents happening in the first place, rather than reacting to the death and injuries they cause, by which time it’s too late.
Forty years on, the Act has achieved what it set out to do, which is to insist upon high standards of health and safety in places of work. All we need do now is to apply the law with the common sense that inspired it in the first place.
Article shared from The Telegraph.
It’s as easy as ABCA risk assessment for using a tape measure and written guidance for walking up stairs – these are just two of the bizarre actions that some companies mistakenly believe are necessary.
These absurd steps were typical of several myths uncovered in an HSE survey. So to help anyone who wants to separate fact from fiction, HSE is encouraging small and medium sized employers to use its free online tools and guidance.
The H&S ABC provides simple information to help small firms save time, effort and money by identifying the things they really do and don’t need to do.
The results also revealed that one in five people (22 per cent) surveyed believed they weren’t capable of managing health and safety themselves and needed to hire a specialist consultant. Eleven per cent believed that a qualified electrician must test electrical appliances, such as kettles and toasters, every year – another persistent myth.
Nearly a third of small businesses surveyed classed themselves as ‘hopeful-have-a-gos’ when it came to health and safety – aware they have to take some action but unsure where to start or if what they are doing is correct.
Whether a business employs one or two people, or is expanding to multiple locations, the free online guidance will help even complete beginners get health and safety right.
Visit www.hse.gov.uk/abc to get started with sensible health and safety.
The HSE fight back and respond to an article in The Morpeth Herald – ‘Health and Safety Madness Risks Lives’.
The original “news” story:
‘RIDICULOUS’ health-and-safety rules could be leaving children’s lives at risk, a councillor has warned.
The Herald revealed in June that hundreds of children at Chantry and Newminster Middle Schools were being left to cross the busy Mitford Road without an attendant. Parents and teachers were told in December that a lollipop man was due to start soon, but he never showed up for duty and there continues to be no school crossing patrol in place.
Now Morpeth Town Council has learnt that teachers and parents are unable to help show youngsters safely across the road without having appropriate training or insurance. Coun Alison Byard told the Planning and Transport Committee last week: “I went to the schools to have a look to see what was happening at home-time.
“They did have a teacher on duty, but what I didn’t realise is that the teacher is 10ft back from the road and out of sight of the cars. They can’t even let the cars see them. All they can do is ensure the kids don’t run towards the road.”
The committee suggested approaching local Police Community Support Officers to fill the gap until a crossing attendant is appointed. But it dismissed calls from Coun David Clark for the community to take on the task, saying any volunteer could be at risk of legal action if an accident occurred.
Coun Clark said: “I find it hard to believe that the head and teachers can’t form a rota. These health-and-safety rules are madness. It just seems crazy.” After the meeting, he said: “It seems as though we are putting ridiculous health-and-safety rules and fear of litigation before the safety of our children. The world has gone mad.
“I think parents should don high-vis vests and take matters into their own hands as Northumberland County Council seems unable to resolve this.”
The HSE’s response was as follows:
Your report (Morpeth Herald online, 23 January, “Health and Safety madness risks lives”) suggests ‘health and safety’ is the reason for teachers not helping children to cross a road.
Whatever the reasons for teachers believing they are not allowed to see youngsters safely across the road, we at the Health and Safety Executive would like to be clear that it is not because there is anything in health and safety legislation that prohibits it.
We see hundreds of stories each year in which health and safety is blamed incorrectly for an unnecessary or overzealous restriction. So much so that we’ve set up a panel of experts to help people challenge daft decisionshttp://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/myth-busting.htm
‘Health and safety gone mad’ is something we hear too much about, but we should keep our minds on what health and safety legislation is really there to do – ensuring everyone can return home to their families, safe and well, from their day’s work.
John Rowe, Head of Operations Yorkshire & North East
Another step too far??
Plans to hold a zombie invasion theme night at a disused hotel have been turned down because of safety concerns.
Events company Requiem Live wanted to turn the International Hotel, in Rutland Street, Leicester, into a house of horrors on May 24. It was aiming to sell up to 500 tickets to enthusiasts looking to spend the night being plagued by actors dressed as the undead.
But councillors refused to grant the firm a temporary event notice.
A licensing hearing, held at Leicester Town Hall yesterday, heard council officials were concerned about the run-down state of the building – the reason it was attractive to the company, which wanted a venue with a post-apocalyptic vibe.
Council pollution control officer Andrew Sansome told the hearing: “Building work has come to a halt, leaving it in an unfinished state.
“I believe it is unsuitable for a playground-type chase event with participants who would be in a highly charged state.” He said the event would use four floors from the basement up but there was a limited electricity supply, uneven floors, broken windows and asbestos.
Mr Sansome warned of the potential for accidents and said there were concerns about “noise break-out from the occasional scream”.
Oliver Snedker, of Requiem, said safety fears were based on assumptions. He said the £25-a-head event, which would see people walking a pre-determined route, encountering zombie volunteers, would be marshaled and all participants would have a head torch.
There would be public liability insurance of up to £10 million. He said the event would not involve chasing and customers would be briefed not to run, except in one open area in the basement car park.
“We are responsible for providing a safe event but the customers are responsible for themselves,” he said.
Councillors raised concerns about plans to sell alcohol but were told it would be available only at the end of the experience and would not be allowed back into the zombie zone. Mr Snedker said there would be a maximum of 250 to 300 people in the building at any time and only 100 of them were likely to be moving, with the rest waiting their turn.
Richard Wheatcroft, of Requiem, said the company used one floor of the building in a similar event last year without any objection from the council. Mr Snedker said any hazards would be made safe by a contractor. He said: “We believe we have suitably offered remedies to the concerns raised.”
Licensing committee chairman John Thomas said: “Our major concern is the possible risk to the public posed by the state of the building.” He told Mr Snedker and Mr Wheatcroft another building might be better and said: “We think it’s a great concept. We feel you will take this as a learning exercise.”
After the hearing, Mr Snedker said: “We are disappointed given we have used the venue before without objection by the council.
“Nevertheless, we appreciate the concern and will be considering the alternatives.”
Article shared from The Leicester Mercury.
SPARKS are flying after council chiefs confirmed there will be no official Bonfire Night celebrations for Peterlee this year. Yet another classic example of risk aversion over risk management. Is there really no limit to the lengths organisations will go to avoid the basic need to manage risks, giving health and safety a bad reputation?
The decision was made at a town council meeting before the 2014-15 budget was set. Town council leader, Councillor Bill Jeffrey, insists the reason is because of health and safety, and congestion caused by heavy traffic.
But fellow town councillor Andrew Watson, of the Free and Independent Representation Party, claims it is due to cost-cutting. The event is said to cost between £4,000 and £7,000 to stage.
Coun Jeffrey said: “It wasn’t done because of money, it was done because of health and safety.
“Last year there was a lot of congestion – people couldn’t get in or out.
“But where do you stand if there’s an emergency?” But Coun Watson said: “The reason is they can’t afford it, it’s a money-saving exercise. Durham County Council and County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service recommend people go to an organised display.”
Shared from The Sunderland Echo.