Saturday, 14 April 2012

Nuisance dust

Wandering along the road last week when on the way to a meeting, I came across a builder with a 230mm angle grinder fitted with a bonded abrasive cutting wheel which he was using to rake mortar from the front wall of a large house. I say encountered, but in reality I couldn’t miss him since the nuisance dust cloud he was creating rivalled a Saharan sandstorm. Imaging therefore my surprise when I realised that he wasn’t wearing any eye protection, hearing protection or most importantly of all, any face protection.
When the worker paused in his labours, then coughed, hawked and spat out a huge amount of dust that had accumulated in his throat, and the large dust cloud he had caused had finally drifted away towards the next door property, I cautiously approached the operator and suggested in a reasonable tone that it may better for him to take protective measures since it was his health he was immediately endangering. In addition, I also pointed out to him that he should also think about the health of the next door neighbours and the fact that he was leaving himself open to litigation, in response to which I was told (not very politely) to go away and to stop bothering him.
Whilst there are huge numbers of workers in the UK who are totally and completely ignorant and are also oblivious of any rules and regulations let alone common sense and respect for their own state of health, then the efforts of safety personnel up and down the country would seem to be somewhat ineffectual. Whilst this particular operator was not only breaking the law, he was also risking civil action and yet did not seem to care about his own health let alone that of anyone else. It is very sad and a scandal that there are any number of operators working in the construction and building industries who shun the use of PPE and RPE and who never get caught.

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