Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Shocky Shocky. Work place safety

R and I were sitting in an el cheapo breakfast location in St Kilda Road yesterday. Five dollar bacon and egg sandwich and decentish coffee included. Look at that, I remarked. Stopped because of traffic lights was a Jim's Electric Tagging Service van. What isn't this Jim's Mowing guy into? Just about everything it would seem, including born again religion. Not a bad effort for someone who started off mowing lawns though.

For your information, many if not all workplaces need to have all their electrical appliances and tools checked by and electrician at regular intervals.

The sight of this van led R onto a rant about his workplace, which he is managing at the moment. It seems his type of workplace is being targeted by the inspectors and they have given him a hard time over a couple of matters. These matters were solved by updated information from the workplace's cleaning contractors.

Last night there was a body corp committee meeting and of course R attended.

I recently read a piece in the paper about the making of a Bollywood movie at Docklands.

Wasn't the tv show about the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge fascinating?

Now, to tie all the above together.

Workplace safety, especially in large workplaces, can seem onerous and silly at times. But in my workplace, I know some of the seemingly mundane and irritating workplace safety regs that have saved people from being injured.

How many people get electrocuted at their workplace. Now, zilch I think.

During the making of the Bollywood movie, as reported in the paper, the Indian technicians and lighting wallahs ran away yelling shocky shocky when a brief rain shower happened. It had to be explained to them that no shocky shocky in Ozland.

During the committee a sometimes painful member of the body corp committee was banging on and on about emergency procedures in the building, in the the light of my locked in the lift experience. The body corp manager told her that she had no idea how much protection from fire there is in high rise buildings. There is not a chance in hell that you will burn.

In the tv program about the bridge, 16 construction workers died while building the bridge. There was a terrifying image of a worker hand feeding steel sheets into a press in the factory in England that supplied the steel for the bridge.

Yeah, we can quite comfortably sit back and moan on about occupational health and safety rules, building regulations and costs etc etc, and the over protection and and nanny state but the rules did not just fall out of the sky. We don't die in highrise building fires, we are not electrocuted at work, we don't have our hands inches from a metal press all set to be crushed and we don't fall off a 100 metre plus tall structure into Sydney Harbour.


  1. It's pleasing that Constructing Australia and previous docos like 7 Wonders of the Industrial World have highlighted how dangerous it was building some of these things. It would be all too easy to forget the human cost.

  2. I saw another short film of the building of the Harbour Bridge and there were two guys sitting on either end of a long bit of steel while the crane lifted it up onto the bridge. Another guy carrying a plank of wood and a bucket of paint, no harness. I'm surprise a lot more didn't die.

  3. It was a great series Daniel and I am looking forward to rest of the Aussie one.

    I have seen that footage too Jo. You were lucky to be there.

  4. Did you ever see the doco on the building of the Empire State Building, now that was frightening but being the depression, a job was a job.

  5. I did see it. I think it was worse for the workers there than in Australia.

  6. burned by flames happens well after smoke inhalation.

    Until I had a stovetop fire of my own
    (telephone and chips are a bad combo)
    I had no idea that breathing black smoke REALLY hurts, and the pain LINGERS, so, in a lift, gasmasks might be good till the fire that definitely won't actually burn trapped passengers, is put out.

  7. 'In case of fire, do not use lifts' signs plastered around our building.