Health & Safety in the Construction Industry

There’s nothing like the freedom we ‘used’ to enjoy in the construction industry to make you feel ‘really good’ when you got up in the morning. I’m just glad that I was born in the era of ‘common sense’. When we weren’t wrapped up in cotton wool for our own safety like building workers are today.The irony is; that with all of the ‘health and safety’ equipment everyone has to wear and use these days, workers are actually put in ‘more’ danger because of the ‘physical restrictions’ the safety-wear imposes. Not least the wearing of goggles and gloves in a trade that relies on peripheral vision to establish what’s going on all around at all times, and the natural ‘feel’ we need to ‘know’ if what we’re doing is accurate or not.If you’ve ever put on a pair of H&S goggles, you’ll know just how they restrict your vision. You find yourself holding your head at strange angles just to get a ‘feel’ for your environment.Have you ever tried to do anything ‘artistic’ with gloves on? It’s a contradiction in terms to say the least. Yet construction workers ‘are’ artist mainly. You have to have a ‘feel’ and intuition for the work. You have to have a sixth sense almost to know when you’ve got it right.As soon as you don all of the specified H&S gear, your natural instincts are ‘gone’. You are now just a worker-drone, going through the motions much like the robotic car assembly lines. Buildings being created with no ‘soul’ anymore.We weren’t given our senses so that we could mask them off and stumble around being restricted. We were given them so that we could ‘naturally’ assess our environment at all times, and act fast to counter-act any dangers or miscalculations that cropped up in our lives.Take the laying down of plastic sheeting on wooden floors for protection. Somehow, health & safety seem to think it’s a great idea and it should be implemented everywhere. I had a stand-off several years ago regarding this very issue. Plastering is a wet-trade, and as the name implies, a lot of water gets used, and dripped or splashed everywhere. What do you get when you put water on top of any plastic sheeting? As any nine year old child will tell you, you get a skating rink.How many back, elbow and leg injuries are caused on skating rinks? Let alone with razor-sharp trowels in your hand that can slice through an artery in an instant. Cover floors by all means with thin hardboard, but that idea is not only too simple, it’s not cost-effective, and that leads to the whole crux of the matter. Money!Health & Safety is a ‘money-gravy-train’ thought up by the Boffins that are paid a fortune to sit around all day dreaming up new ways to extract our hard-earned wages and put them to ‘no good’. Construction workers were earning TOO much money and had to be slowed down. This has been achieved by creating jobs for people with little or no intellect to run the lives of those who maybe have ‘too much’ natural savvy, and brimming with common sense.Whole industries have been created to serve the ‘Heath & Safety’ niche`, from equipment that’s superfluous, to design and printing of the numerous ‘signs’ that are put up everywhere you turn, just to make sure you obey the H&S ‘rules’ of engagement.You have the overstaffing of far too many H&S departments up and down the country, all who are paid a salary far beyond their life-qualifications. All at the expense of the ‘die hard’ construction worker who has had to take a ‘drop’ in income to facilitate the ‘Heath & Safety’ mantra.Health and safety is a mechanism set up to ‘control’ us. To disable our natural instincts and senses so that we can be led blindly into a future we would never recognise as ‘normal’ in a million years.