H&S gone mad?

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Smudger105e

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Read this article in the Star (I know!!) today

LANDSLIDE GIRL DIG DELAYED 3 HOURS BY HEALTH AND SAFETY

RESCUE workers did not start digging for Charlotte Blackman for three hours on health and safety grounds after she was crushed to death by a landslide.

The 22-year-old teaching assistant’s family watched in agony as a 30-strong team of firefighters waited for the all-clear from a geologist.

Charlottes’s dad Kevin and boyfriend Matt Carnell desperately tried to dig through the 35ft pile of rubble with their bare hands in a bid to save her, until a second landslip forced them to flee.

They then watched from the top of the cliffs with Charlotte’s mum Rachel, sister Sinead, 20, and brother Mitchell, 12, as rescuers with heavy lifting equipment and diggers arrived at the scene.

Charlotte, of Heanor, Derbys, was strolling along the beach during a family holiday in Burton Bradstock, Dorset, when the cliff collapsed.

Her body was found at 9.40pm, nine hours after the landslide.

A 48-year-old witness, who asked not to be named, said: “It seems strange to me that they had all the gear but had to wait for a geology expert until they could do anything."

“It seems to be about health and safety all the time. "

“How many people would have been removed from the rubble in the Blitz if there was health and safety back then?”


Jacki Witt, 48, from Maidenhead, Berks, said: “If they put an announcement out for people to come and help there would have been teams of people there.’’

But Dorset Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager Mick Stead said it was not safe for rescue workers to attempt to free Charlotte immediately because the cliffs were unstable.

Instead, sniffer dogs walked over the mass of rock to try to locate her body.

Mr Stead explained “We have assessed the risks to the emergency workers and it is a question of trying to balance the rescue operation against the risk to us.”

The Blackman family had been camping at Freshwater Beach Caravan Park, just 400 metres from the scene.


Firstly I would like to say that I really feel for the Family and the young woman, what a terrible terrible way to meet your death, and she didn't live too far from me either, which also brings the tragedy home.

But, I really want to point at what I consider the sensationalist reporting by the Daily Star. The tone of the article is, in my opinion, that the emergency services were prevented from extracting the woman's body by Health and Safety. Damn right!! She was under some 400 tonnes of rock, and how would the family have felt if more cliff fell down and crushed a number of people trying to remove her body?

I think that although sometimes people take Health & safety to the nth extreme, but that in this situation the decision to wait was the right one.

Discuss!!
 
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Nym

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One word, no...

Would you want to go and work on a site that was geologically unsafe and the second a shovel goes to ground you get another landslide and bury more people? No.

If the woman was still alive would it have been another matter? Yes.
 

martin2345uk

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So people start digging... cause another collapse... then complain when the experts wait for the all clear from a geologist? Sorry but that sounds the most sensible thing to do!

Terrible loss I agree, but I'm on the side of 'elf n safety with this one!
 

SS4

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OP said:
Firstly I would like to say that I really feel for the Family and the young woman, what a terrible terrible way to meet your death, and she didn't live too far from me either, which also brings the tragedy home.

But, I really want to point at what I consider the sensationalist reporting by the Daily Star. The tone of the article is, in my opinion, that the emergency services were prevented from extracting the woman's body by Health and Safety. Damn right!! She was under some 400 tonnes of rock, and how would the family have felt if more cliff fell down and crushed a number of people trying to remove her body?

I think that although sometimes people take Health & safety to the nth extreme, but that in this situation the decision to wait was the right one.

Discuss!!

You're exactly right of course. No part of this story stands up to rational scrutiny, of course rational scrutiny is a rare quality in Star readers and the headline and story are written to discourage it and to induce a feeling of anger which we all know clouds judgement.

What makes this dangerous is that this is pretty much a perfect example of H&S being used legitimately as you're going to get and we really don't want it being eroded.

Lastly of course it's frankly idiotic to put much stock in the words of a grieving family, alas news does it all the time now for the human touch (instead of actually reporting the facts)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Last but not least rational scrutiny is further hurt by using an emotional story with the implication that if you don't side with the journalists opinion you are dishonouring the memory of the deceased - two of the posts above me have explicitly stated that the loss is terrible - ensuring that they do not come across as callous.
Of course it should go without saying.
 

the sniper

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Erm... the answer as to why it was sensible is provided in the third paragraph.

Charlottes’s dad Kevin and boyfriend Matt Carnell desperately tried to dig through the 35ft pile of rubble with their bare hands in a bid to save her, until a second landslip forced them to flee.

Oh how I hate newspapers... Though to be fair, the Mail would have omitted the above paragraph to give their readers more of a mental challenge and opportunity to bemoan "broken Britain".

Still, it's a win win situation for the papers. Either you had this or the story of how fire fighters were foolishly sent to their deaths to try and find an almost inevitably deceased person...
 

ralphchadkirk

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Seems perfectly fine to me. No way would I send any emergency workers into a landslip site which had not yet been stabled.
 
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So people start digging... cause another collapse... then complain when the experts wait for the all clear from a geologist? Sorry but that sounds the most sensible thing to do!

Terrible loss I agree, but I'm on the side of 'elf n safety with this one!

Likewise. A ghastly tragedy; but obviously better to ask, for an expert opinion (from a geologist) before potentially risking more lives.
 

142094

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One reason why during field trips to similar areas of the country you are told never to walk directly underneath the cliff face, or as far away from it as possible.
 
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