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Health and Archaeology
#61
Dinosaur Wrote:Shall be mulling all this over during the next few weeks while working in what is, during the summer at least, a rather pleasant quiet, tucked away bit of heathland with butterflies and stuff and a river flowing past and no vehicle access or known hazards of any sort, while wearing full Class III yellow PPE, gloves, helmet, safety glasses etc etc...errrr... Sad

Oh, and weekly safety meetings 12 miles away to slow the job down...

Class III PPE - doesn't that automatically need technical documentation and probably a risk assessment and/or a specific task-based methodology?
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#62
kevin wooldridge Wrote:Its not as if archaeology has a particularly high profile for deaths at work (I can only think of 7 persons to my knowledge in 30+ years at the section face)..

By 'deaths at work' I guess you mean those who expire in harness. I'm only aware of a single death on site in this country, Jeff Radley who was killed on an excavation in York in 1970.

I agree with the other points on health though. Heavy manual labour, exposure to all kinds of weather, heavy drinking and a high proportion of smokers isn't an ideal combination for a long an healthy life. Especially when combined with masssive job insecurity and poor pay and conditions.
D. Vader
Senior Consultant

Vader Maull & Palpatine
Archaeological Consultants

A tremor in the Force. The last time I felt it was in the presence of Tony Robinson.
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#63
Sith Wrote:By 'deaths at work' I guess you mean those who expire in harness. I'm only aware of a single death on site in this country, Jeff Radley who was killed on an excavation in York in 1970.

I was (sadly) recalling colleagues who during my working career have died whilst working in other countries as well as the UK.....
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#64
Ian Smith fell off a cliff somewhere while looking at a site I believe many moons ago [i.e. at work], pretty certain that counts
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#65
Jack Wrote:Hi dirty boy.....I know your more of an expert in this than me.....I'm glad you took the bait }Smile

What of the Human rights issues?

I'll bite then Wink

And I'm not an expert in these matters, I just have a very out-of-date law qualification!

In my view, I fail to see any human rights issues. I would more than accept that an employer should not know what goes on in your private life, but this I feel should come down to unchangeable factors: sexual orientation for example. While I have few issues with whatever people wish to snort/inhale/inject, it is currently illegal to do so in this country (I am aware the illegality is possession!) it is illegal, and a large part of the debate is nullified by the fact that it is voluntary use, and currently illegal.

That said, I am more concerned about false positive testing - as you say it is not illegal to have it in your bloodstream, so what about second-hand inhalation, for example? (PS: I'm told you can't get opiates in throat spray). I don't think instant dismissal is suitable in many cases, and agree that employers helping with addiction issues would be more constructive).

As to removal of subcontractors from a client's site - it's more difficult as your archaeological employer may have no further sites/work to give you.

I'm very much with Kevin here - it's becoming a fact of the job that clients are using testing, and that if you're going to sign a contract to work, it's a fairly simple decision on people's parts to agree or disagree with it. I would suggest changing the law first would be a more effective starting point.

Just my tuppence Wink:o)
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#66
At the end of the day its a Health and Safety issue. If a 'responsible person' considers that being under the influence (drugs or alcohol) is a H&S risk they have the responsibility to remove the risk.That's very simple and the essence of H&S legislation. I don't think other considerations such as ethics or the moral high ground outweigh the sensibility of a risk assessment....
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#67
But if someone indulged in something illicit days before the D + A test then they're not actually under any influence by the time of it but could still fail. That's the point.

I don't take anything illegal myself but I believe that what people do in their own time outside work is entirely their own business.
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#68
Mike.T. Wrote:But if someone indulged in something illicit days before the D + A test then they're not actually under any influence by the time of it but could still fail. That's the point.

I don't take anything illegal myself but I believe that what people do in their own time outside work is entirely their own business.

Nail on the head Mike. Hence testing positive (depending on the type of test) does not automatically equate to 'under the influence'.
I absolutely agree that anyone on site taking drugs or having alcohol should be sent home until they are fit for work. Equally anyone still steaming from the night before shouldn't be allowed to work as they are under the influence and probably not safe to work.

However, someone who took something two or three days ago, or even a week or so ago should not.....and employers have no right to pry into whether they did so.

This is not a safety issue. Current evidence points towards short-term effects on safety for narcotics/alcohol....

http://www.talktofrank.com/drug/cocaine

http://www.talktofrank.com/drug/cannabis

http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/resea...cocain.htm

http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/resea...nnabis.htm




Unless your talking about addiction.........then its a different kettle of fish.
But I feel you can't sack someone for being an alcoholic..........they need steering towards professional help.

Equally, to bring the discussion back to safety, tiredness has been comprehensively proved to caused accidents. Why don't construction companies screen their workforce for tiredness? It should be fairly easy to monitor workers evening/ night-time activities to weed out those who regularly don't get enough sleep and sack them accordingly. Seems fair enough to me using the arguments presented.

It is after all illegal to carry out a task if you think you are not safe to do so. Getting enough sleep is a choice so it can be monitored. Sacking people who are tired will improve safety.
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