Saturday, January 9, 2010

Elf and Safety

One of the things I've been meaning to comment on is the lack of health and safety obsession we're seeing in our building crews. It all seems very different to the UK. Take, for example, the two jolly guys who have been demolishing our front yard last week. Both are using hand-held jack-hammers. Neither is wearing a hard hat, gloves, or eye protection. They do seem to have ear plugs in, but they aren't wearing those all-singing and dancing ear protectors that are common in the UK. The one with the moustache was wearing jeans and a vest/singlet to do his work this week. The other one is at least wearing a long sleeved shirt.

The men working in the pool renovation, who are also using jack-hammers, though smaller ones, are wearing goggles, but again no hats, gloves or other protective gear.

Everyone seems to wear proper boots, but they don't look like anything special.

The men from Jim's Bunch haven't worn any special gear either. They are up on the roof without hats, no knee pads or anything when they are crawling around. They were wearing gloves when they were handling the lumber, so I suppose they must be alive to the danger of splinters.

It all seems odd at first, but you get used to it. All the companies have workmen's compensation insurance, so it is really up to the individual contractors to decide what their employees need to wear.

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