Excellent episode! Must admit, I wasn't expecting there to be a sweepstake running, I wonder who chose over-voltaged cattle-prod...
There's a small-scale war going on between me, the PFY and the folk in Health and Safety. Now your normal, run-of-the-mill person would rather perform a root canal on themselves with a hammer action drill than take on a Health and Safety role in any organisation. The position itself has all the prestige of an unflushed turd …
I would have had money on a high-voltage accident involving a UPS in server room.
"We didn't see what happened. We couldn't see at all until the emergency power kicked back on. Then there was this strange, almost overwhelming smell of barbecue. We've no idea what he did to that UPS; he was only supposed to be inspecting things visually as we understand his SOPs."
We had a rather large H&S manual produced by an overenthusiastic OCD bloke. When asked if I'd read it I facetiously said 'Yes but I got a paper cut' and not long later took delivery of a laminated version that would have given an olympic weightlifter a hernia. I nearly filled out an incident form to complain of hysteria pains.
Heh. Used to work for the Forest Service long ago. I returned one day from the field with a slightly sprained ankle. The H&S person asked me to detail the accident. I wrote it up. It was immediately returned as an unacceptable explanation. I had explained that while in motion, the safety helmet, which we referred to as micrometeorite protection - totally useless for real world hazards, slipped over my eyes, and I reacted poorly to being unable to see, misplacing a foot and twisting the ankle while straightening the helmet. I was informed that I could not blame safety equipment. So, when I asked what lie the H&S person preferred they left and a report was never filed.
So the H&S person was later involved in a terrible helmet accident?
And are they aware that they are breaking the H&S at Work Act?
A badly-fitting or unsuitable helmet is dangerous.
But yes, I have encountered many such H&S idiots. The HSE have spent a lot of time and effort trying to deal with that type of imbecile.
We used to have a H&S lady like that working on our site... She decided to audit the datacentre, one of her findings was that one of the servers (a Sun Fire x4200 which liked to forget its HBAs) was a noise hazard - turns out she stuck her measuring device right up to the exhaust grill on the back...
She also once asked us what the bottle of oil for the shredder was and where its safety data sheets were. We prevented another "finding" by making sure it was kept in the cupboard below...
Safety googles because Health and Safety ->
...is NOTHING, compared to the noise from the "low environmental impact" turbofan hand dryer in the Gents'
For most air-dryers, the reduced environmental impact is because the dryer is so feeble that we give up on in and wipe hands on shirt or trou instead of running it for the full five minutes required to actually dry hands.
I use a set of bluetooth headphones, not noise cancelling but it helps when in a server room & talking to a remote network operations bod.
Used to work in a microcomputer lab in college. Had a pair of non-bluetooth headphones that weren't plugged into anything. Kept the annoying users away
To be completely fair, the noise level in some server rooms is loud enough to do damage to your hearing over time
That is true. It was just odd that she picked on the Sun Fire and ignored my HPC cluster which was a lot louder; not to mention some of the big Sun Sparc boxen we had in the room too.
.... with Advanced IntelAIgent MMORPGasms
I trust El Reg is/would be equally diligent and erring on the side of extreme caution should/when officious officialdom comes calling and trawling for information on commentards with views sharing an altogether different live picture with networked events horizoning.
The Great Game is Changed with NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive Commanders in a Vast Space Control of Multi Media Presentations of Practically Virtualised Realities ........ Novel Orderly World Orders that Create Destruction and Disruption in/of/with Dystopia ........... ergo IT is/is IT a Greater IntelAIgent Game Play to Play?!.
Parsing amanfrommars is a bit like seeing those stereogram thingies. You have to kind of absorb it as a single picture rather than as a series of words in a sentence.
Having said that, I think El Reg would sell us out faster than a sheep in vacuum (I'm debating on whether it would require an initial inquiry though - no canary's round 'ere)
Wow, geez! The Boss (and The Director) both being in on the game is something I was certain hadn't previously arisen, and given the overwhelming response appears that the senility hasn't quite hit me full on, yet. I'd ask how much rope they're willing to lend but the answer is self-evident: exactly as much as is needed to hang himself, no matter how provocative the pictures our BOFH has secreted in the vault. Anyway, that's what PFY's are for, when falls need be taken.
Wow, geez! The Boss (and The Director) both being in on the game is something I was certain hadn't previously arisen, and given the overwhelming response appears that the senility hasn't quite hit me full on, yet.
Has happened before, way back in episode 3 (and I mean waaay back!)
Two seconds later the red phone goes. I pick it up, it's the boss. He mumbles the username of the person I was just talking to, mentions something about a nasty mail message, and utters the words "You know what to do...", with the dots and everything.
A hospital a little while back, having spent plenty of time dragging data cables and clipping them to steel I-beams above the staff below, I'm as careful as chuff and only fallen once, from a two-stage scaffold, cos I forgot to level the wheels, the floor in this part wasn't good anymore.
Did a cracking SAS roll as I hit the ground, not a scratch, bump or mark anywhere!
So now getting back to the point, go up one step on a step ladder and you have to put a hard hat on, winds me up to the Nth degree.
Working in a department store in north Manchester a long time ago me and the lads found a room full of old clothes and wigs on dummies in a dusty store room upstairs.
So every now and then the staff would look up, cos we'd caught there eye crawling around above and we'd have dresses on plus wigs, old suits on with Elvis-ish wigs on and shit like that, staff and customers crying laughing at us while we toiled away, so funny, couldn't get away with it now though.
I can understand the health and safety argument to a degree, cos some of the jokes I've seen played on fellow workers were very dangerous!
I work for a large IT services company in Canada.
One of our large clients (a major petroleum corporation) has some pretty strict H&S policies for contractors.
I need to reverse the car into any parking spot at their petrol stations and put on a high vis vest and steel toe boots that protect the ankles before stepping out of my car.
I need to wear the high vis vest inside the store while working on their computers. And put on cut resistant gloves if I need to touch any cables under the counters because there might be rough edges on things.
We also have to fill out "work safe" forms detailing what we will be doing and every potential risk of injury we could encounter along with preventive measures to avoid said risks.
Even if all we are doing is replacing a mouse.
I was installing wireless AP around the perimeter of a warehouse, in a safety cage on a forklift. The AP were only just above head hight but as step ladders were not aloud to be used in case of a fall, I was driven around all day by a FLT driver.
Anyway, being the professional that I am, I had got most of the PPE on, hard had, hi-viz etc, everything but the full body harness, which was in a heap in the bottom of the safety cage.
At one point during the day the H&S 'Git' came walking past and pointed out that I wasn't wearing the harness, and that I 'must' put it on or I will be removed from site. I smugly pointed out that the risk assesment that I did prior to the job states that the harness is not suitable. The 'Git' was still adamant that I wear it. I then pointed out the it wasn't suitable because the harness had a 3m fall arrester on and that should I fall I would most probably break my legs before the harness had any real effect.
He didn't know what to say, but low and behold the following day there was a suitable harness in the cage.
So now getting back to the point, go up one step on a step ladder and you have to put a hard hat on, winds me up to the Nth degree.
Want to stand on something the height of a table in NZ? Safety ropes or railings, or a safety line +harness. Ladder must be tied (which helps a lot TBH), and those "gaming laptops" (IIRC about a 21" screen) that were out a few years back I think qualify for heavy enough to require 2 people to carry them. As would any comprehensive dictionary (I think the cut-off weight is something like 4kg but can't think where I'd find that today). Flat roof that is big and strong enough for a car park? Must have safety lines to prevent you falling off it, even if you're working in the middle. Of course, a ramp up the side and markings that make it look like a carpark would be a different issue, coz then it would be a car park and not a roof so wouldn't need safety lines and harnesses.
Great work for those who install safety lines, not great for the people who have to pay waaaaay extra for all this faffing around.
(I spent some time working for a demolition company - you learn very quickly how to be safe in that work, you learn very quickly what building practices will get you dead fastest and how to deal with them, and you learn how to safely handle heavy stuff at heights, or you find work elsewhere - oh, and you also learn very that being tethered to any structure can be incredibly fucking dangerous if you need to move in a hurry!)
Some years back, during my construction site manager days, on the building site of a new logistics centre I walked past a couple of guys working on one of the high racks. They had their hardhats and harnesses and safety cords - the works, as per regulations.
Still, something didn't seem right and kept nagging me, so I went back... Couldn't put my finger at it. Went on... went back again, and this time I realised what it was: the guys were working 12 m above floor level. Their safety cords were about 15 m long.
Great one and I can agree 100%
We have a shop floor area where you used to be able to stay on the grey lines and walk through without needing steel-toe shoes. This included the stairs well away from the shop area and any machinery. A shit fit was raised by H&S when someone was caught approaching the stairs with no protective gear because there was no grey patch in the last 15 feet leading up to the stairs. Numerous memos and meetings later, 15 feet of concrete near the stairs was then painted grey so people could walk on them with no steel toes.
A month later the whole grey area concept (very aptly named I guess) was abolished and you needed steel toes everywhere on the shop floor.
As a side note, I once poked myself in the eye with my safety glasses..
"As a side note, I once poked myself in the eye with my safety glasses.."
Once did an installation job at a school which was still in the process of being built. Full PPE required to get to the work site, but not required once there. Thank fuck, because the only "injury" I got was fecking blisters from the brand new safety boots that hurt like hell. Spent most of the work day with just socks on my feet (which probably broke H&S rules too, but they were too busy playing around on the construction site). Took my shoes with me the the rest of the week and changed once on site.
"And don't tell me," the Boss says, "even after all those years the hammer still looks like it was only bought this afternoon and is no doubt completely clean of fingerprints?"
A light scrub with abrasive, eg sandpaper, a spritz with something acidic eg graprefruit juice, a wipe with a clean cloth to remove most traces of the substance used, a few days in the sun followed by sitting in the rain for a couple of days then more sun can really "age" metal tools. I'll leave the reader to spend a few minutes with Google to come up with way the fingerprint problem can be solved.
Posting anon coz, well, someone might think I know this from nefarious experiences, not from a neighbour who was crap at caring for other's tools. Except for the fingerprint issue. I am sure that someone has some suggestions on Google somewhere, and someone even more stupid will use Google to search for "how to fake other people's fingerprints" from their home PC.
... of the time we had just built a new server room for a government agency.
The Safety Elf insisted on a visit and was allowed (escorted) past the door. He was furious that I wouldn't give him a keycard for the door(s). I pointed out that he had the wrong security clearance and he'd have to go and get a better one if he wanted a keycard, but even then I wouldn't give him one because he didn't have a need to know what data we processed and wasn't even going to be allowed into the outer sanctum. He spat feathers in impotent rage then demanded an escorted tour.
Aisles of closed racks with nothing visible except the rack numbers, electronic locks and the door handles. He was, again, furious and demanded to see inside the racks. I asked to see his security clearance. He screamed that I had already seen it. "Yes, but I need to confirm that you have the appropriate clearance to see inside the racks." He showed me his pass. "Oh dear, you don't have the appropriate clearance to see inside the rack."
He screamed again and tried to inspect what he could see. I told him I'd have to report his curiosity to the vetting team because they had a note that said any person showing "excessive interest" in the system was to be reported. I observed that it was possible that he'd have a note made on his record that he was trying to access systems that he was not authorised to see, which would preclude him from having a higher security clearance.
He went purple and then cried a bit, shouting that he hated all the geeks and we were just out to get him. The first moment of clarity in his entire life, I reckon.
I miss working in a place where server racks were intermixed with 7500 V switch racks. You could hear the 60 Hz tone getting louder if you leaned on the doors of the high-V ones.
And the correct action to leave those panels, should you lean against one, was to re-position your feet and then lean back away from it, instead of just pushing yourself against it. Bad things happened to those that didn't follow that simple procedure.
Everybody was really respectful when entering that room, not leaning against any equipment.
That gentle 60Hz buzz (like a swarm of angry bees, but louder) was the most effective deterrent ever devised.
One of my Construction Manager best moments. The day I Red Carded the H&S advisor off my site...
I had a site with the vehicle park about 30 yards away from the site offices. So I put a "Green safe route" between the two, mapped designated, signed and barriered.
I got in to work one night to find the route removed by our H&S because of the risk.....
So I looked at the signage, stayed sat in my car. When the worker bee's came in I told them to stay in their vehicles and do not approch the site under any circumstances.
The client rolled up. As usual about half hour after everyone else, looked at me, walked over and asked what was wrong. So I pointed at the signs, told him that technically he was breaking the rules standing outside his vehicle, and until H&S sorted this out we would all be staying in outr vehicles. I couldn't do anything about it, my PPE was in the site office.
So next our H&S weenie rolled up. Looked at me, looked at the rest of us and then walked across the car park to the site office in his trainers and jacket.
Then he came back out to see what was wrong. By then I had informed head office that I was Red Carding him and removing him from site for a gross misdemeanor. And until someone rolled up on site with PPE that could go to the office and bring MY PPE to me so that I could get to the office we weren't going anywhere near work.
I was told by him that I couldn't red card the H&S guy. I pointed out that as an F10 site, under CDM it was MY responsibility to mangle the H&S on site so yes I definitely could red card him and remove him from site. I also out ranked him having better H&S qualifications but there you go. Have to be honest I enjoyed it...
A certain famous car manufacturing plant that was...
The lads all bought me my coffee for the rest of the job. You know, I didn't care less if they sacked me...
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