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back to article Builder-in-a-hole outrage sparks Special Projects Bureau safety probe

Last year, I uncovered the perfect antidote to the internet in an entertaining dig-a-well project, which went down, well, well with those who subscribe to the tenet "man cannot live by IT alone". However, one aspect of the project did cause a bit of a health and safety furore among our beloved commentards: the moment when …

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I put some plasterboard up and laid some loft insulation last week. Can I have an article too?

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

It depends. Just how much safety gear was involved?

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Joke

I put some plasterboard up and laid some loft insulation last week. Can I have an article too?

I got IPv6 working at home last night. Can I have an aspirin?

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Yes, take two, and a large brandy.

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"It depends. Just how much safety gear was involved?"

Full boiler suit, safety goggles, face mask and gloves. I didn't need a miner's lamp though as there was a strip light already there. Enough, or should I load up with more when I'm putting the floorboards on top? I must admit that I didn't do a proper risk assessment...

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If only you'd somehow contrived to include a raspberry pi...

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Anonymous Coward

Rustic

My uncle used to say " If you can't do it right, do it rustic". Glad to see he's still right.

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Joke

But, But, But...

Was he wearing suitable sun-block protection on his bare arms?

We must know!!!!!

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Joke

Risk assessment?

Shouldn't he also have a wad of fully completed (in triplicate) risk assessment forms in his hand? Or at least stuffed in a suitable pocket for use in breaking falls and possibly for lighting aforementioned fag in the woods?

And is the mask due to being in your proximity and the remaining effects of the chickpea diet?

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Re: Risk assessment?

In the end what'll kill you in Spain is the Risk Assessment itself, get a paper cut from it, it gets infected, and you find the pharmacies no longer have any stock of antibiotics - since most of them haven't been paid by the regional governments since last summer!

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Thumb Up

Excellent!

is there such a word as 'Underkill' ?

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Re: Excellent!

"Underkill"? isn't that what happens when workmen get buried at the bottom of a badly shored up excavation?

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Headmaster

Re: Excellent!

Well, technically it is... They were killed, they are under, "underkill"!

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Megaphone

Re: Excellent!

No, that's called backfill.

Mind your backs.

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Alert

Well...

does it work?

Icon - mouse over it...

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Pint

Much Better

I recall posting a comment after the original article about the wall. I think it looks much better now, you'll be pleased to know.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Much Better

I'm delighted to get your seal of approval. The brickwork was always meant for rendering, so it's not so important how it looks.

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Re: Much Better

And there I was, thinking "rendering" was the process of turning horses into glue...

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Childcatcher

Re: Much Better

No, no, no... whales to oil.

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Re: Much Better

no no no... polygons to blockbusters.

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Headmaster

Killjoy statistician Nazi here

2012 Spain: 555 deaths at work, 462,060 injured (source). Total population 46 million.

2011/12 UK: 173 deaths at work, 591,000 injured (source). Total population 63 million.

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Unhappy

Re: Killjoy statistician Nazi here

Fair comment, but relatively speaking how much opportunity is there for a UK worker to get killed on the job nowadays? So many of the potentially fatal occupations (factory work, mining, etc.) are a bit thin on the ground and the working population are largely deskbound ....last I heard, nobody's even been RSI-ed to death

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Re: Killjoy statistician Nazi here

I got a paper cut from the safety manual once and then it broke my toe after they laminated it all to prevent paper cuts and I couldn't hold it.

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Re: Killjoy statistician Nazi here

One thing about those stats. From the moment you leave your front door, until you get back to it, any accidents you have in Spain are "Work related" (if it wasn't for work you'd still be in the house, watching "fisica o quimica"!)

Also bare in mind that each weekend they publish how many lemmings were killed on the roads that week, and for things like bank holidays, they celebrate afterwards that there were 10,000 less deaths on the roads this weekend, compared to last year's mad rush to celebrate the extra day of weekend.

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Unhappy

Re: Killjoy statistician Nazi here

European attitudes to all rules and regulations, including H&S, seem to be like this:

- For the Germans, any rule is a good rule. The more stringent and unreasonable, the better. Zu Befehl! I am only following orders, etc.

- For the Club Med countries, rules are suggestions that we might follow if it doesn't interfere in any way with our lifestyle.

- For the British, rules are things to worry about.

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Re: Killjoy statistician Nazi here

@Mostly

On the other hand, the press likes to tell us that Spain has the highest unemployment rate in Europe so that's skew the data one way. Then we'd also have to account for all those too old to work in the UK.....

too much maths for a Friday.

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Re: Killjoy statistician Nazi here

@ Kubla Cant - I think you're mixing them up with traffic lights and other road markings.

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Pint

No flare gun? What if everything else fails.... and then it's dark? What then?

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Massive oversight

Jesus. I hadn't thought of that. I'll get straight on the case.

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Re: Massive oversight

And where's his ear defenders, to protect from any future verbal about being down an unsupported hole?

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Happy

I thought a flare gun was for dealing with hippies in purple loon pants...

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Pint

"This isn't one of your church picnic flare gun firings Flanders, this is the real thing!"

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FAIL

The way to do it safely

Dig a hole for one ring and put the ring in, and another one on top. Then start extracting earth from inside the rings and watch the whole thing sink slowly while digging. Put another ring on top when you can.

Digging the complete hole first is just madness because of the very real risk that the whole thing will collapse with you inside. Dead.

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Re: The way to do it safely

Is that you, Marc?

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Meh

Re: The way to do it safely

No, but interesting link.

I just posted my opinion based on experience digging a well myself, still scratching my head about those downvotes :/

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Re: The way to do it safely

Sounds slow and prone to the very real risk of going very wrong. Proper assessment of the material you are digging in will give a good idea of the likelihood of collapse. Let people do jobs the way they want to, but make sure the liabilty reflects that. If Rui wanted to it that way, and no-one else was at risk, who are you to preach? That's why I downvoted you.

That said, there is no way I would have gone down there - not because of the risk, but claustrophobia,

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IT Angle

"worked out some kind of tenuous IT link"

A live webcam so you (and we) can check on what the dogs are doing?

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Rob
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Go

I 2nd it

I like this, it's about time we tried to redress the balance of flippin cat videos on the interwebs.

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Boffin

Ref doghouse and "tenuous IT link"

Obligatory reference to Raspberry Pi. Camera driven by Pi, image analysis to ensure that the automatic dog-feeder that you install will feed the correct amount to the correct dog. You might as well get the R-Pi in its idle moments to record Radio 4 on iPlayer and play the programs back to the dogs time-shifted to Central European Time. And check the temperature inside the doghouse and spray water onto the roof when it gets unpleasant for the dogs.

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IT Angle

Re: Ref doghouse and "tenuous IT link"

Sound sensor on a Pi. When dog barks, Pi connected to a GSM module sends a text to your phone so that no matter where in the world you are, you will know someone is attempting a break in. Or the local boars have invaded.

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Safety is never a joke

The picture showing a man standing in a completely unsupported pit is sickening. I have witnessed a 'hole' collapsing, along with a trench, in Toronto, notwithstanding they were lined with heavy sheet steel.

As a contract employer likely you would have been likely held criminally responsible for the mans death, had the hole collapsed, and undoubtedly been made to make financial support payments to the surviving widow and children.

Then we readers would be able to laugh - at your stupidity.

Hope the well dries up soon.

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Re: Safety is never a joke

Standing astride the well head, surrounded by wet concrete doesn't strike me as terribly sensible either.

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Re: Safety is never a joke

Luckily you're here to take it seriously enough for all of us.

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Re: Safety is never a joke

JaitcH, I often agree with you, but your small mindedness on this ("Hope the well dries up soon") is really rather disgusting. I doubt Lester threw Rui down the pit, and it is probable that, had Lester tried to stop him, the answer would have been along the lines of "It's alright, I know what I'm doing!"

Just because you witnessed something unpleasant once doesn't give you an excuse to be objectionable about it. I'm willing to bet that I've seen at least as many unpleasant things as you, but it doesn't lead me to be pompous about it.

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Re: Safety is never a joke

Falling in the wet concrete, even deep wet concrete, is far less likely to be fatal than the hole collapsing on him though. Plus there's equipment you can rent specifically for this job to avoid the risk, the only reason not to use it is not wanting to spend the money

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Stop

Woah there

"The black plastic behind the fence is protecting the roof of the new dog house, pending tiling."

Forget about the health and safety issues... you can't leave animals in such an inadequate enclosure! What if PETA found out?!

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Woah there

Bloody hell. The only things the dogs don't have are a sofa and a plasma telly.

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Re: Woah there

That's a terrible waste of power, surely you need to replace their old CRT job with something less power hungry, I know you have your issues with power, or is their place a "separate residence" on a different spur?

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Re: Woah there

PETA would confiscate the dogs and have the owner prosecuted for animal cruelty.

Then, after 6 months of failing to rehome the dogs, they would be put down. Humanely of course

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Rob
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Re: Woah there

You'd better sort it out then Lester, even the Silverback Gorilla at Longleat had a flatscreen TV and Sky subscription (although I think he passed away last year so not sure if they left in there for the next occupants).

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