On 18/04/2012 21:23, David Walland wrote:
> Dear Mike,
> So please, don't blame my ex-colleagues and I too much, you'd be surprised
> how many of us are actually on the side of the angels!
> David Walland
people who opt to work in the rain usually have a pragmatic outlook on
life - it's armchair elf-and-safety who create problems!
The serious point though is that even for the pragmatist, actual risk is
very different from what we perceive the risk to be, and there is no
alternative than obtaining good statistics and basing risk-reduction
focus on those areas of highest actual risk rather than highest
>>whereas boiling water fatalities are pretty infrequent.
No!!!! A very common and life threatening accident on cub/scout camps is
when children run through cooking areas where there are four gallon
containers boiling. I got this information talking to the insurance
person for the Scouts.
The problem is that these cookers are often on rickety tables which are
on slopes, the cubs are playing hide and seek, and it only takes a
slight knock for the whole table to collapse sending boiling water all
over the cub ... next second they have 70% burns and are facing a
lifetime of plastic surgery ... if they survive.***
Fortunately, as you say, such accidents are rare, but given the large
quantities of water and the way the containers fall down on those
affected the risk of serious injury is very high. That is why
risk-reduction must be evidence based, ... I may have been camping all
my life, but I just hadn't thought about the most serious risk on the
campsite: large quantities of boiling water. That is why most risk
assessment are useless ... we need to focus on the actual accidents
occurring, not our perception of what is/is not important.
***Risk reduction for boiling water:
1. Only use sturdy tables/frames on even ground or carefully chocked to
level ... if in doubt put it on the ground.
2. Children are banned from cooking areas (unless they are cooking!)
3. There must always be a bucket of clean water at the cook tent. After
years of trying to ensure this happens (and finding it nearly empty and
full of dross when I got a serious burn - which became infected) .... I
eventually bought a white bucket and sprayed a red cross on it. After
that people stopped using it for rubbish!