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Is The Uk Going To Price And Regulate Itself Out Of Work?

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We have become a country burdened by high taxes, high transport costs, high living expenses and high house prices. Added to this, regulation has grown like topsy. Manufacturing cannot survive in this climate.

Boehringer UK plant 'couldn't compete'

In Ireland, manufacturing investment is still steaming ahead and Boehringer are investing heavily elsewhere in Europe.

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We have become a country burdened by high taxes, high transport costs, high living expenses and high house prices. Added to this, regulation has grown like topsy. Manufacturing cannot survive in this climate.

Boehringer UK plant 'couldn't compete'

In Ireland, manufacturing investment is still steaming ahead and Boehringer are investing heavily elsewhere in Europe.

Its costs mainly. I read somewhere (believe it or not) that the UK is one of the least regulated economies in the OECD.

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Its costs mainly. I read somewhere (believe it or not) that the UK is one of the least regulated economies in the OECD.

And again, as compared to other countries the OECD reports that levels of taxation in the UK are not significantly different from other industrialised nations, but as Northcliffe new, repeat a lie often enough and you can fool some of the people all of the time.

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And again, as compared to other countries the OECD reports that levels of taxation in the UK are not significantly different from other industrialised nations, but as Northcliffe new, repeat a lie often enough and you can fool some of the people all of the time.

Having experienced regulatory issues in a number of different economies I can report there is nothing unusual about the UK. regulation in the UK is comparable to Euriope, USA, Australia. Its less in China but then bureacracy is replaced by corruption - there the only way to do business is through back handers.

Biggest problem in the UK is the regressive nature of welfare which basically rewards people who don't work, does not reinforce family values and cohesion.

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We have become a country burdened by high taxes, high transport costs, high living expenses and high house prices. Added to this, regulation has grown like topsy. Manufacturing cannot survive in this climate.

Boehringer UK plant 'couldn't compete'

In Ireland, manufacturing investment is still steaming ahead and Boehringer are investing heavily elsewhere in Europe.

Yes, it's fast becoming unviable to run the particular business I work in, for one.

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Its costs mainly. I read somewhere (believe it or not) that the UK is one of the least regulated economies in the OECD.

I think you are fairly near the mark in terms of numbers of regulations. In the UK, rules are implemented aggressively.

I do not agree with this. Although the legislation may be similar, there are huge differences in implemtation. On the continent, the concept of competance and professional judgement still carries considerable sway. In the UK, people have to write a rule book for everything they do and then adhere to it. Factories avoid new technologies (I know this to my cost) for this very reason. Schools find it easier to avoid field trips because of the rules and regulations. Police spend more time the station doing paperwork. University chemistry labs are severely restricted in what they can handle. The list goes on and on.

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I think you are fairly near the mark in terms of numbers of regulations. In the UK, rules are implemented aggressively.

I do not agree with this. Although the legislation may be similar, there are huge differences in implemtation. On the continent, the concept of competance and professional judgement still carries considerable sway. In the UK, people have to write a rule book for everything they do and then adhere to it. Factories avoid new technologies (I know this to my cost) for this very reason. Schools find it easier to avoid field trips because of the rules and regulations. Police spend more time the station doing paperwork. University chemistry labs are severely restricted in what they can handle. The list goes on and on.

My predominant line of work is accident investigations and health and safety gets more than its fair share of blame presently for the ills of the UK economy. Having interviewed more than I care to, people who have lost limbs, confined to wheelchairs, disabled for life, terminal ill, the bereaved etc I tend to see value in the concept of prevention.

A recent case I have been looking at involves an unsafe working practice that involved a worker breaking his back. Fortunately he should fully recover. However:

The safer system of work would have cost £1500 to impliment and would have prevented the accident in the first place.

The accident will cost:

Estimate £20,000 out of court settlement with employee

Possibly criminal prosecution by Local Authority - fine up to £20,000 - in this case highly likely.

Legal costs £10,000

Sick leave £9,000

Internal investigation £5000

Costs associated with regulator investigation £7000

In all £70,000. Not covered by insurance. The firm has a £500,000 excess on any single claim

The best bit of all is that the safe system of work would only have required one employee. The unsafe system required two. Had the company implemented the safe system it have paid for itself in less than 1 year.

I do however agree that competency and professional judgement are sorely lacking in the UK.

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My predominant line of work is accident investigations and health and safety gets more than its fair share of blame presently for the ills of the UK economy. Having interviewed more than I care to, people who have lost limbs, confined to wheelchairs, disabled for life, terminal ill, the bereaved etc I tend to see value in the concept of prevention.

A recent case I have been looking at involves an unsafe working practice that involved a worker breaking his back. Fortunately he should fully recover. However:

The safer system of work would have cost £1500 to impliment and would have prevented the accident in the first place.

The accident will cost:

Estimate £20,000 out of court settlement with employee

Possibly criminal prosecution by Local Authority - fine up to £20,000 - in this case highly likely.

Legal costs £10,000

Sick leave £9,000

Internal investigation £5000

Costs associated with regulator investigation £7000

In all £70,000. Not covered by insurance. The firm has a £500,000 excess on any single claim

The best bit of all is that the safe system of work would only have required one employee. The unsafe system required two. Had the company implemented the safe system it have paid for itself in less than 1 year.

I could spend all day recalling unsafe practices in UK industry where safer CHEAPER alternative methods are readily available.

I do however agree that competency and professional judgement are sorely lacking in the UK.

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My predominant line of work is accident investigations and health and safety gets more than its fair share of blame presently for the ills of the UK economy. Having interviewed more than I care to, people who have lost limbs, confined to wheelchairs, disabled for life, terminal ill, the bereaved etc I tend to see value in the concept of prevention.

A recent case I have been looking at involves an unsafe working practice that involved a worker breaking his back. Fortunately he should fully recover. However:

The safer system of work would have cost £1500 to impliment and would have prevented the accident in the first place.

The accident will cost:

Estimate £20,000 out of court settlement with employee

Possibly criminal prosecution by Local Authority - fine up to £20,000 - in this case highly likely.

Legal costs £10,000

Sick leave £9,000

Internal investigation £5000

Costs associated with regulator investigation £7000

In all £70,000. Not covered by insurance. The firm has a £500,000 excess on any single claim

The best bit of all is that the safe system of work would only have required one employee. The unsafe system required two. Had the company implemented the safe system it have paid for itself in less than 1 year.

I do however agree that competency and professional judgement are sorely lacking in the UK.

I was also involved in industrial safety for some years but I have little respect for most of that profession. My area was design safety of chemical plant. In the end, I realised that the greater good of the nation was being sacrificed by a missguided profession. Children who grow up today are less healthy (both mentally and physically) than 20 years ago. People who would have once worked in factories are now sitting at home drinking and smoking. The 'safety profession' are one of the the major causes of these trends and are therefore a catalyst of ill health and early death in this country. They will destroy a thousand jobs to save one limb.

The example you site above illustrates all that is wrong with the safety industry. In this case, the 'safety professionals' turned an accident into a £71K bill and look where all the money went. Only 28% went to the victim. The rest was mopped up by parasites like you.

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My predominant line of work is accident investigations and health and safety gets more than its fair share of blame presently for the ills of the UK economy. Having interviewed more than I care to, people who have lost limbs, confined to wheelchairs, disabled for life, terminal ill, the bereaved etc I tend to see value in the concept of prevention.

A recent case I have been looking at involves an unsafe working practice that involved a worker breaking his back. Fortunately he should fully recover. However:

The safer system of work would have cost £1500 to impliment and would have prevented the accident in the first place.

The accident will cost:

Estimate £20,000 out of court settlement with employee

Possibly criminal prosecution by Local Authority - fine up to £20,000 - in this case highly likely.

Legal costs £10,000

Sick leave £9,000

Internal investigation £5000

Costs associated with regulator investigation £7000

In all £70,000. Not covered by insurance. The firm has a £500,000 excess on any single claim

The best bit of all is that the safe system of work would only have required one employee. The unsafe system required two. Had the company implemented the safe system it have paid for itself in less than 1 year.

I do however agree that competency and professional judgement are sorely lacking in the UK.

I know what you're saying, but this one particular safe system which "only would have cost £1500" is probably one of dozens of similar safe systems that the company could/should/would adopt, which when all added together would cost more than is viable.

It's easy to compare the costs of the outcome with hindsight, but without knowing in advance precisely what accident is likely to happen, the company are left with the dilemma of either safety over-kill (and possible resultant insolvency) or playing Russian roulette with existing risks.

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I was also involved in industrial safety for some years but I have little respect for most of that profession. My area was design safety of chemical plant. In the end, I realised that the greater good of the nation was being sacrificed by a missguided profession. Children who grow up today are less healthy (both mentally and physically) than 20 years ago. People who would have once worked in factories are now sitting at home drinking and smoking. The 'safety profession' are one of the the major causes of these trends and are therefore a catalyst of ill health and early death in this country. They will destroy a thousand jobs to save one limb.

The example you site above illustrates all that is wrong with the safety industry. In this case, the 'safety professionals' turned an accident into a £71K bill and look where all the money went. Only 28% went to the victim. The rest was mopped up by parasites like you.

I agree.

H&S consultant in my company told management to ban Tippex because it's a dangerous flammable liquid, in a workplace which uses many other more dangerous items daily as an essential part of the work.

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And again, as compared to other countries the OECD reports that levels of taxation in the UK are not significantly different from other industrialised nations, but as Northcliffe new, repeat a lie often enough and you can fool some of the people all of the time.

All western economies are over regulated and overtaxed today. The government today has evolved into something thats forced to take care of the people.

But every dollar taken from us makes us one dollar poorer, and regulation stifles us even more. Socialism is a failure.

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I was also involved in industrial safety for some years but I have little respect for most of that profession. My area was design safety of chemical plant. In the end, I realised that the greater good of the nation was being sacrificed by a missguided profession. Children who grow up today are less healthy (both mentally and physically) than 20 years ago. People who would have once worked in factories are now sitting at home drinking and smoking. The 'safety profession' are one of the the major causes of these trends and are therefore a catalyst of ill health and early death in this country. They will destroy a thousand jobs to save one limb.

The example you site above illustrates all that is wrong with the safety industry. In this case, the 'safety professionals' turned an accident into a £71K bill and look where all the money went. Only 28% went to the victim. The rest was mopped up by parasites like you.

Clearly hit upon a sore point there ;) - been up in court against an expert witness - been legally a$$raped in public perhaps? :lol: Sounds like you should write a column in the Daily Diana.

If you had bothered to read my comment it sought to disassociate itself from that end of the health and safety spectrum that I find as nauseating and indeed does untold damage.

Sounds like your alternative to 'reasoned' and 'cost effective' preventative measures is insurance. That fact is insurance only deals with a residual of risk and cannot indemnify against all losses. I havent met a paraplegic, amputee, mesothelioma victim yet who wouldnt swap their compo back for their limbs, mobility, life.......

Ethel - The consultant who told your company to ban tippex is a complete A$$hole.

Edited by Kurt Barlow

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I know what you're saying, but this one particular safe system which "only would have cost £1500" is probably one of dozens of similar safe systems that the company could/should/would adopt, which when all added together would cost more than is viable.

It's easy to compare the costs of the outcome with hindsight, but without knowing in advance precisely what accident is likely to happen, the company are left with the dilemma of either safety over-kill (and possible resultant insolvency) or playing Russian roulette with existing risks.

In that particular case even if an accident had never occured the measures would of paid for themselves within a year and would have paid back 10 fold through reduced labour costs. That sort of investment is never going to effect the viability of a commercial organisation and certainly not this particular one.

In most of these cases it is not an issue of hindsight. The fault, procedure whatever has been identified previously and often documented. Its failure of management to act - even when there is a positive cost - benefit. This fact usually destroys their defence of took all 'reasonably practicable' measures.

Its the failure to act / recognise an opportunity thats half the problem with this country.

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Clearly hit upon a sore point there ;) - been up in court against an expert witness - been legally a$$raped in public perhaps? :lol: Sounds like you should write a column in the Daily Diana.

If you had bothered to read my comment it sought to disassociate itself from that end of the health and safety spectrum that I find as nauseating and indeed does untold damage.

Sounds like your alternative to 'reasoned' and 'cost effective' preventative measures is insurance. That fact is insurance only deals with a residual of risk and indemnify all losses. I havent met a paraplegic, amputee, mesothelioma victim yet who wouldnt swap their compo back for their limbs, mobility, life.......

Ethel - The consultant who told your company to ban tippex is a complete A$$hole.

You didn't dissociate yourself at all. You described an incident where the 'safety professionals' milked a company of £51K.

A car company can build and sell a luxury saloon for £20K. A few 'safety professionls' however can burn their way throug 51K in no time.

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You didn't dissociate yourself at all. You described an incident where the 'safety professionals' milked a company of £51K.

A car company can build and sell a luxury saloon for £20K. A few 'safety professionls' however can burn their way throug 51K in no time.

Safety professionals didnt milk that company - most the costs were associated with their own labour losses, sick leave, and lost production. 30K is speculative - assuming the regulatory authorities decide to proscecute and represents the potential maximum fine in a magistrates and the probable legal costs. Should the state not regulate???

The safety advice they choose to buy in cost less that £2K.

So - if I consult for a company and provide expert advise that costs £10K and 40 K to implement but saves them £150K, year on year in reduced sick leave, lost production, litgation and compensation - how am I miilking them??? - they are now more profitable.......maybe they could of discovered the improvements themselves - but they chose to buy in expertise.

Are you perhaps of the view that employees injured should not be able to seek compensation for workplace injuries / ill health?? Then of course organisations could do what they like and there would be no need for people like me.

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My predominant line of work is accident investigations and health and safety gets more than its fair share of blame presently for the ills of the UK economy. Having interviewed more than I care to, people who have lost limbs, confined to wheelchairs, disabled for life, terminal ill, the bereaved etc I tend to see value in the concept of prevention.

A recent case I have been looking at involves an unsafe working practice that involved a worker breaking his back. Fortunately he should fully recover. However:

The safer system of work would have cost £1500 to impliment and would have prevented the accident in the first place.

The accident will cost:

Estimate £20,000 out of court settlement with employee

Possibly criminal prosecution by Local Authority - fine up to £20,000 - in this case highly likely.

Legal costs £10,000

Sick leave £9,000

Internal investigation £5000

Costs associated with regulator investigation £7000

In all £70,000. Not covered by insurance. The firm has a £500,000 excess on any single claim

The best bit of all is that the safe system of work would only have required one employee. The unsafe system required two. Had the company implemented the safe system it have paid for itself in less than 1 year.

I do however agree that competency and professional judgement are sorely lacking in the UK.

Hmm, but how many companies save that £1500 and don't have the accident? Sometimes, the cost benefit analysis means its "worth the risk"...though not if you are the sucker the accident happens to.

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The example you site above illustrates all that is wrong with the safety industry. In this case, the 'safety professionals' turned an accident into a £71K bill and look where all the money went. Only 28% went to the victim. The rest was mopped up by parasites like you.

And this has consequences -- chilling effects apply to free economies as much as to free speech.

Edited by huw

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Are you perhaps of the view that employees injured should not be able to seek compensation for workplace injuries / ill health?? Then of course organisations could do what they like and there would be no need for people like me.

In reality much of our regulation effectively ensures responsible companies are not undercut by irresponsible companies that would force dangerous practices on their employees or dangerous products on their consumers. You can argue that you don't have to work for or buy from such companies but you have to work somewhere and without regulation or compensation all companies would have to race for the lowest standards to cut costs and preserve their share price. How can the average man in the street know which potential employer cleans their air conditoning the least often or which restaurant has the most fecal matter in their beef?

If people want to complain about the amount of regulation they need to say what we should get rid of or we cannot have a reasonable debate. My preference would be to place import restrictions on companies with below-UK standards rather than to set our own standards as low as in the worst countries. That is, unless someone can demonstrate that removing a regulation would be beneficial to shareholders, employees and customers.

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Hmm, but how many companies save that £1500 and don't have the accident? Sometimes, the cost benefit analysis means its "worth the risk"...though not if you are the sucker the accident happens to.

I thought in that particular case I had already explained that one.

The safer system was less labour intensive - as such paid for itself within 1 year as it reduced labour costs by £1500-£2000 per annum per site. The investment of £1500 per site was conservatively assumed to depreciate at 10% straightline.

Now Im no accountant - but my observations are proficient enough to see that that is a pretty good investment - accident or no accidents.

Even if there were no cost savings from labour the cost across the organisation of similar accidents justified the expenditure alone. Additionally there appeared to a genuine desire to improve the conditions for workers out of a general outbreak of niceness.

I agree entirely that risk assessment applies a cost benefit analysis and sometimes the hazard / risk is retained rather than eliminated, mitigated, reduced. That is what risk assessment is all about.

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The deregulators among us may not need to worry. The VIs are already on the case (but I thought we don't like Vested Interests on this site?)

http://www.johannhari.com/archive/article.php?id=1183

For over a decade now, the right has inventing stories that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is a gang of “clip-board wielding nannies”, imposing absurd rules like banning children from playing conkers. The BBC’s John Humphries has joined in this parade, attacking the “’Elf and Safety Nazis.” In reality, far from faffing about with conkers, the HSE is unable to investigate even instances where workers have their legs amputated following chronic negligence. A shortage of resources was the reason for not investigating a major injury – a lost leg, a smashed face, a paralysed father – in 188 cases in 2004/5, 255 cases in 2005/6, and 307 cases in 2006/7.

Yet the government bought into the lies, and saw the HSE as an easy service to swingeingly cut. The HSE has already lost 250 jobs, and they will have to cut a further 300 jobs by 2008. After her husband Kieran died, Jennifer decided to go and work for the HSE herself, to prevent more deaths like his. She was shocked to find “there just aren’t enough inspectors to do the jobs. There are huge abuses going on that they can’t look into. It’s not their fault, it’s the government’s.”

The plummeting number of HSE inspectors has led to a plummeting number of prosecutions for workplace negligence. In 1998, 42 percent of builder’s deaths ended in a conviction for the company. Today, it is just 11 percent. This means the risk of getting caught and punished has fallen for companies – so they are, entirely predictably, taking more risks.

Did you see that: Taking More Risks. That's the key to prosperity and happiness for those who still have their legs. So it's all good then :-)

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We have become a country burdened by high taxes, high transport costs, high living expenses and high house prices. Added to this, regulation has grown like topsy. Manufacturing cannot survive in this climate.

Boehringer UK plant 'couldn't compete'

In Ireland, manufacturing investment is still steaming ahead and Boehringer are investing heavily elsewhere in Europe.

The last 10 years have been a paradox. Quality jobs have been outsourced, tax burdens have been raised, red tape has suffocated business and resources are stretched beyond reason by mass immigration. The government hasn't reinvested the monies into private business initiatives, structured training or any future prosperity programmes. Instead the monies have been squandered on public sector pay schemes. The government has wasted taxes on ineffective quangos to ensure regulation comes thick and fast. Cheap money and high house prices enabled this paradox to exist until now (right now!). Without the consumers' readiness to spend unearned income (home equity) the outcome is inevitable.

Any sensible government would have tempered the public spending, restricted lending by law, restricted immigration with draconian law, created a surplus during the boom times and protected the British people. Labour have acted like a lottery winner on a spending spree when they should have acted more like a conservative grandmother living on a pension.

It's no longer a question of 'can manufacturing survive?', it's more a question of whether the wider economy can continue to function. Personally I see the UK being in recession for a long time. I also see the immigration issue turning into civil disturbances............................ what is it 'they' say about a stitch in time?

I wouldn't count on Ireland taking all of Britain's business. They have their own unique set of problems.

Edited by Xurbia

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This country is over-regulated in all manner of industrial and "health and safety" areas, but pathetically under-regulated in areas such as banking and finance. Hmmm, I wonder why that might be?

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I wouldn't count on Ireland taking all of Britain's business. They have their own unique set of problems.

The funny part is that the company I used to work for moved their manufacturing out of Ireland several years ago because it was too expensive; I'd imagine these days it's only really of interest to people who sell most of their products in the EU and want to avoid tariffs, or make products that aren't economical to ship from China... but Eastern Europe must be a better choice to many of those companies these days.

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