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Hardy Breed - Printable Version

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Hardy Breed - Ken Denham - 19th December 2011

As we all know, archaeologists are a hardy breed, working outdoors all day in whatever weather conditions are thrown at them. It seems that a more progressive minded company recently working in northern England has recognised this fact and in order to ensure that their staff fully enjoy the bracing winter conditions they're working in; a site cabin would be an uneccessary, indeed obtrusive, feature on a site being excavated for over a month.
A concession has, apparently, been made for those of the team who may be of a less rugged constitution in that they are allowed to share the toilet facilities with the resident team of builders.
Alas, this concession, rumour has it, does not extend to the canteen facilities and the intrepid team don't mind in the least that they have to sit in their cars to eat lunch, in fact it has a positive effect in building team spirit.
I hesitate to name the firm, one wouldn't wish to embarrass them over obvious policy of concern for the welfare of their employees and their tendancy to reward said employees if any such positive reports on their attitude are brought to light. :face-stir:


Hardy Breed - trowelfodder - 19th December 2011

I think these lovely people should be pointed in the direction of http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg244.pdf and http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg293.pdf

And would be very interested to see the risk assessment as it should have mitigation strategies for dangers such as hypothermia

Maybe an anonymous tip off for an unscheduled HSE visit should be made as I would have thought this type of blatant flouting of the law would be of interest to them


Hardy Breed - chiz - 19th December 2011

Well said TF. Adequate welfare is a legal requirement. Oasis cabins are heated, mobile and cost little to hire, the next Tools of the Trade in the DF newsletter is on OASIS/Groundhog units and will cover this issue, sadly still relevant.

And if the unit is an RO, or the head of the unit is a corporate member of the IfA drop us a line at the Diggers' Forum on diggers@archaeologists.net and we can have a look at whether there's a substantive complaint in it and take it forward.


Hardy Breed - Marcus Brody - 20th December 2011

I've never really understood why there should be a problem sharing the main contractor's facilities - after all, they're also working for the developer, so the costs will be passed to the same client regardless. Particularly for things like the canteen, which would be standing empty for the majority of the day, it seems sensible to get as much use from it as possible by also allowing the archaeologists to eat their sandwiches in there. OK, you might have to stagger lunch and break times, so that the builders are in from 12 - 12:30 and the archaeologists from 12:30 to 1, but surely it's no skin off the main contractor's nose if the archaeologists sit in the canteen at a time when it would otherwise be empty.


Hardy Breed - Dinosaur - 20th December 2011

Good to hear that we're all costing in the same things when tendering for jobs..... Sad

Actually Marcus is right, sometimes the other contractors are fine about sharing their facilities, and sometimes they're amazing, particularly liked one job in Barrow working for a big off-shore outfit where all the cabins had colour TVs and hot pies kept turning up, should be made standard :face-approve:


Hardy Breed - angi - 20th December 2011

I thought Ken's description was pretty standard, jobs do tend to have to go on for weeks on end before cabins or even toilets are justified. Although when it comes to sharing builder's facilities, the builders I have worked on site with have usually let us in their cabins, even if we get a few weird looks and comments (it's worth the warmth). I also like the way that the men's toilets get four different types of hand treatments and the ladies is unusually well equipped if you get soap! :face-huh:


Hardy Breed - Wax - 20th December 2011

angi Wrote:I thought Ken's description was pretty standard, jobs do tend to have to go on for weeks on end before cabins or even toilets are justified

????? I thought they were required by law under health and safety, and porta loos are cheap. Don't put up with it.


Hardy Breed - BAJR - 21st December 2011

Sharing facilities does reduce costs, and if agreed with main contractor is fine by me... staggered lunch and breaks is all that you need. plus keeping it clean Smile

I would be happy to contact the company and suggest they consider the welfare of the staff and the legal implications. The DF I am sure would also be happy to raise a complaint with the IfA if the company is an RO. If ROs are doing this, then they are not exactly giving the IfA a good name, and I am sure they would pretty soon find the accommodation required by law!


Hardy Breed - kevin wooldridge - 21st December 2011

I think before anyone runs to the HSE they should actually read the law....the provision of site 'facilities' is not necessarily a cut and dried matter and there are circumstances where the provision is dependent upon the number of person s on site, the type of site and the duration of the project....to quote the HSE advice: 'If you employ anyone (however short the period) you must ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’, provide adequate and appropriate welfare facilities for them while they are at work. This means you must provide such facilities unless it is clearly unreasonable in terms of time, trouble, cost and physical difficulty' ....I think the use of the word unless is the universal get out in this instance...


PS Before anyone suggests otherwise I am not defending the lack of facilities, I am just pointing out that there may be no case for the HSE to investigate. http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/cis59.pdf


Hardy Breed - Oxbeast - 21st December 2011

I take your point Kevin, but the fact that other contractors on site have these facilities would suggest that providing them is 'reasonably practical'. Mind you, I wouldn't fancy having to helicopter in a site cabin if I were surveying the Exmoor mires or three miles out in the Severn estuary or something...