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CptBeaky  
#601 Posted : 02 October 2020 09:14:24(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
CptBeaky

Chris is correct. The excess deaths also don't take into account that we had a particularly mild flu season. It doesn't take into account how many lives have been saved indirectly due to the restrictions. For example, I read an article suggesting that mortailty in the younger generation has been lower this year due to the reduced access to outdoor drinking and dangerous sports.

I feel excess deaths is probably the best of a bad bunch, but it is still far from ideal

Kate  
#602 Posted : 02 October 2020 09:23:43(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

Excess deaths does take into account the lives that have been saved indirectly.  The more lives saved, the lower the excess deaths.  If you care about the overall balance of lives lost and lives saved, then excess deaths is the most useful statistic,

It is the other measures that don't take this into account, as they simply ignore them.  If you don't care about the lives saved, then excess deaths is not such a useful statistic and the others will be more informative.

Excess deaths are used as a measure of how bad known events, such as a bad flu season or a heatwave, have been, although I agree the effects of different causes that happen at the same time are not separable by this measure (you would need other measures to disentangle this).

Kate  
#603 Posted : 02 October 2020 09:29:36(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

It's not correct that a mild flu season last year will mean more excess deaths this year - because excess deaths is not a comparison with last year's figures, but with the figures averaged over the last few years. 

That's done for exactly this reason, to average out the effect of particularly high or low mortality seasons.  So bad flu seasons as well as mild ones are in the comparison.

A Kurdziel  
#604 Posted : 02 October 2020 10:23:03(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

A number of us on this forum, having been moaning about the fact that, in our opinion, the actions that we are supposed to be carrying out in connection with preventing the spread of covid 19 in the workplace do not fall under Health and Safety at Work Act but are Public Health issues.

I have just read an email that says the UK Universities are apparently asking this question, in particular if Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act applies. This section protects people who raise H&S concerns from discrimination etc in the workplace. It even states that if an employee  reasonably “believed to be serious and imminent and which he could not reasonably have been expected to avert, he left (or proposed to leave) or (while the danger persisted) refused to return to his place of work or any dangerous part of his place of work,”  ie if you reasonably believe something is dangerous you don’t have to do it, but that only applies to “health and safety “ danger  not “public health” type danger. UK Universities are apparently taking legal advice which could shed light on whether this section applies in connection with employees who refuse to come into work due to the “danger” posed by Covid 19 in their workplace.  

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A Kurdziel  
#605 Posted : 02 October 2020 10:59:29(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

The Office of National Statistics has a statutory duty to collect and publish unbiased statistics. BoJo don’t like them and has criticized for not following the party line so what they say is true BUT there are issues with what we actually mean by Covid deaths and what to include and what to exclude. First fact we have to establish- human beings have a 100% mortality rate ie we will all die of something at some point or other. Typically, the number of deaths per week is about 5000 to 10 000.

Excess deaths are what we see if people are dying above this level. People can assume, as this is in the middle of covid pandemic, that most of these excess deaths are due in some way or other due to the virus

Second fact: there is no such thing as a “natural” death in statistics. The term “natural death” is essentially a legal term used to distinguish a death caused by human intervention eg murder or accidental death or death by misadventure as oppose to dying.

Question: how do you die of the virus? The virus in some people causes pneumonia, their lungs pack in and they die. Covid 19 is no the only pathogen that does that. In fact, pneumonia is one of the biggest causes of death in older people. This is because older people are more vulnerable to diseases in general and pneumonia in particular. Now if someone dies of pneumonia and they are discovered to be covid 19, they will be counted as some who died of Covid 19. Of course, in the absence of covid 19 there is a chance that in the next few months they would have died from pneumonia caused by something else. Should this death be ascribed to covid 19 or not?

If someone is tested and proved to be covid 19 positive and then the fall down the stairs and break their neck, should that be a covid 19 death? If they hadn’t of fallen down the stairs, they might of recovered, but then again the might not? How do you separate out those people who actually die of Covid 19 and the where the covid 19 was jus co-incidental?

Question: what happens if someone is tested positive and are hale and hearty and it is unlikely that they will die as a direct result of the virus, but if they have to self-isolate and lose their job and become depressed and commit suicide. Is that a covid 19 death? Of course, they could be more psychological vulnerable -not everybody who loses their job commits suicide-and it could be argued that they might be the sort of person who will commit suicide if their favourite football team is relegated. But of course, we don’t give anybody a mental health rating and so nobody can really be sure why anybody commits suicide.

Fact: the statistics the ONS works with are only as good as the data set they provided with. This is not complete and different people have different data sets , so the data available in connection with someone who dies in hospital is different to that for someone who dies in care or dies at home. Are we really comparing like with like?

Fact: everybody wants answers and the truth but all that   ONS provide is statistics which is not the same thing at all.

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Kate on 02/10/2020(UTC)
CptBeaky  
#606 Posted : 02 October 2020 11:24:13(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
CptBeaky

Originally Posted by: Kate Go to Quoted Post

It's not correct that a mild flu season last year will mean more excess deaths this year - because excess deaths is not a comparison with last year's figures, but with the figures averaged over the last few years. 


I think I didn't make myself clear, we had a mild flu season over this winter. Therefore we were already under the expected excess deaths before the pandemic. This means we actually look slightly better than we would have if the deaths had been more in line with the previous 5 years

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Kate on 02/10/2020(UTC)
Kate  
#607 Posted : 02 October 2020 11:25:23(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

Now that's really not clear, because we haven't had this winter yet!

achrn  
#608 Posted : 02 October 2020 11:30:14(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

Originally Posted by: A Kurdziel Go to Quoted Post

The Office of National Statistics has a statutory duty to collect and publish unbiased statistics.

and claims to have done so today, as it happens:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronaviruscovid19infectionsurveypilot/englandwalesandnorthernireland2october2020

biker1  
#609 Posted : 02 October 2020 11:52:11(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

Never has the phrase 'lies, damn lies and statistics' been more appropriate. Looking at the arguments, it seems to me that we don't have any clarity on the actual number of people who have died from COVID. Perhaps we ought to have two categories - COVID, and COVID-related.

Anyway, interesting news today. Donald Trump and his missus have apparently tested positive for COVID. Considering his behaviour, I'm amazed he's avoided it this long. Or, the cynic in me wonders if this is a ruse to win the sympathy vote next month, since his poll ratings have been sliding, he didn't do himself any favours at the debate the other day, and he is being widely panned by the press. I wouldn't put this past him - he couldn't lie straight in bed, as the saying goes.

chris42  
#610 Posted : 02 October 2020 13:54:51(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

Originally Posted by: A Kurdziel Go to Quoted Post

A number of us on this forum, having been moaning about the fact that, in our opinion, the actions that we are supposed to be carrying out in connection with preventing the spread of covid 19 in the workplace do not fall under Health and Safety at Work Act but are Public Health issues.


I agree, but what would we want?

  1. Employers do nothing
  2. Not our job, let HR or …… in company try and keep control

We are probably best placed to deal with this issue for our respective organisations, it is not too dissimilar to our normal jobs. Assessing the situation, putting in / advising controls, monitoring effectiveness, keeping up to date with complex and ever-changing requirements.

H&S legislation is goal setting, where the Gov have attempted to provide hard and fast rules, which was doomed to fail. There will always be the anomaly to any rule, and then the rule falls into disrepute.

Chris

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biker1 on 02/10/2020(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#611 Posted : 02 October 2020 14:46:28(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

The issue is not that people are trying to cover up it the number of covid related deaths; it is the very idea of a simple number saying that this is the number of covid deaths and if that number drops to a certain value we have “won” the war against covid and we can have  a victory parade. That’s what Boris and co are looking for but it does not exist.

At some point someone is going to have to say enough has been done and we live with this disease just like we live with all sorts of other things which can kill us but is political decision not a scientific one.

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chris.packham  
#612 Posted : 02 October 2020 15:09:42(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris.packham

I think it would be interesting if the ONS were to publish the statistics for deaths due to influenza concurrently with those from COVID-19 but, of course, based on the same principles for their calculation. I wonder what these would show us!

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A Kurdziel on 02/10/2020(UTC), chris42 on 02/10/2020(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#613 Posted : 02 October 2020 15:13:25(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

An example of why this is a public health issue not health and safety is this article from the BBC  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-54096883 about Quarry House in Leeds.

First until covid 19 cam along the layout of this building (built about 1990) was acceptable but now the HSE expect to somehow adapt it for a one traffic system. Apparently risk assessment is not a good enough approach: the HSE already know what controls must be applied.

The building was designed to encourage group working so people can interact and work as teams-this is now a major design flaw.

Apparently, the occupancy levels are too high now but against what standard? BoJo has been demanding that civil service staff get back to their offices despite that fact that civil service policy for years has be to WFH if you can. Interestingly this building is Crown Property and as such the DWP and other tenants cannot be prosecuted in court but it also means that they don’t have an opportunity to defend themselves in court either.

Health and Safety people have been dumped on by BoJo in my opinion- we are expected to apply controls which are decided upon centrally and don’t make any sense, so if you visit a shop you MUST wear a face covering but if you go into work its optional. Why?

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chris42 on 02/10/2020(UTC)
John Murray  
#614 Posted : 03 October 2020 07:58:50(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
John Murray

Good question.
But then, the policy has always been to control the infection and not to stop it.
This virus has been in the country since November last year.
The “bad flu” I had over the new year seems to have been countered by my body producing Sars-CoV-2
antibodies; who knew?
Lastly: Not one person has died FROM CV19, they die from a variety of other problems caused by the
presence of the virus.
Another anomaly: Those with COPD are underrepresented in the death statistics. Probably a good thing for me!
Long-tern users of inhaled corticosteroids ditto.
Roundtuit  
#615 Posted : 03 October 2020 11:56:42(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

If we follow the concept of "overcrowding" The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 refer us to the specifics of The Factories Act 1961 for existing workspaces.

At maximum considered height of 4.2 m then the footprint to calculate 11M3 is a paltry 1.61m x 1.61m.

If each employee were, and remained central in their square distancing at 2m is not achievable.

I know the 11M3 is the minimum permissible under law but it is a legitimate value at which the HSE would be unable to prosecute under this particular regulation.

Even if we adjust the height down to "actual" we also need to exclude any volume consumed within the area e.g. desk, chair, etc.

Now I thought when new regulations are issued they repeal/revoke/ammend anything which could contradict the incoming legislation - don't see any changes listed for WHS&WR

Roundtuit  
#616 Posted : 03 October 2020 11:56:42(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

If we follow the concept of "overcrowding" The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 refer us to the specifics of The Factories Act 1961 for existing workspaces.

At maximum considered height of 4.2 m then the footprint to calculate 11M3 is a paltry 1.61m x 1.61m.

If each employee were, and remained central in their square distancing at 2m is not achievable.

I know the 11M3 is the minimum permissible under law but it is a legitimate value at which the HSE would be unable to prosecute under this particular regulation.

Even if we adjust the height down to "actual" we also need to exclude any volume consumed within the area e.g. desk, chair, etc.

Now I thought when new regulations are issued they repeal/revoke/ammend anything which could contradict the incoming legislation - don't see any changes listed for WHS&WR

peter gotch  
#617 Posted : 03 October 2020 13:55:24(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

The Regulations can include furniture and fittings within the 11 m3. 

L24 the Approved Code of Practice and Guidance that supports the Workplace Regs comments 

"A space of 11 m3 per person may be insufficient if much of the space is taken up with furnishing or equipment." [my italics]

As regards new legislation, Section 1(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 indicates that when the Act and the "relevant statutory provisions" such as what was then Factories Act 1961 Section 2[as amended by metrication regulations] are replaced by regulations, the result should be such as to "maintain or improve the standards of health, safety and welfare established by or under those enactments".

The Workplace Regs did that by substituting a maximum height of 3 metres when calculating the 11 m3, whilst retaining the 4.2 m for existing workplaces previously subject to FA 1961.

However, S1(2) of HSWA is not relevant to implementation of a public health legislative requirement for 2 m social distancing"where possible" [or whatever this week's qualification] as that public health law is not a "relevant statutory provision" as defined in Section 53 of HSWA.

P

Edited by user 03 October 2020 13:57:02(UTC)  | Reason: Formatting

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A Kurdziel on 05/10/2020(UTC), aud on 05/10/2020(UTC)
Kate  
#618 Posted : 05 October 2020 07:21:56(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

If you want to be pedantic, John, Covid-19 is not a virus.  It is the sometimes fatal illness caused by the presence of a virus called SARS-COV-2.  So people have died of Covid-19.

Kate  
#619 Posted : 05 October 2020 07:28:01(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

To go back to and try to clarify the confusing discussion of the the mild flu season of 2019-2020.  It didn't significantly overlap with the Covid outbreak in the UK. When the excess deaths corresponding to the Covid outbreak and its consequences are calculated, it is the flu season of 2020-2021 that will be included.  The flu season of 2019-2020 will not be included in the excess deaths, it will just be part of what the excess deaths are an excess over.

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CptBeaky on 05/10/2020(UTC)
CptBeaky  
#620 Posted : 05 October 2020 08:13:27(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
CptBeaky

Originally Posted by: Kate Go to Quoted Post

To go back to and try to clarify the confusing discussion of the the mild flu season of 2019-2020.  It didn't significantly overlap with the Covid outbreak in the UK. When the excess deaths corresponding to the Covid outbreak and its consequences are calculated, it is the flu season of 2020-2021 that will be included.  The flu season of 2019-2020 will not be included in the excess deaths, it will just be part of what the excess deaths are an excess over.

That makes sense. I thought it was a 5 year average comparison to the current calender year.  As I said before, it may not be without flaws, but it is the best method we have. However when I look for examples from before the outbreak I only seem to find "excess winter deaths" which is not the same thing.

On an unrelated note. Could you imagine the fall out if my MD wanted to go for a  chauffered car drive despite knowingly having COVID-19? The more this pandemic goes on the more I feel there should at least be a basic competency test to be a world leader!

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Kate  
#621 Posted : 05 October 2020 08:21:16(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

I'm sure I've also seen examples of data on excess summer deaths, attributed to heat waves (I think the summer of 2019 across Europe was an example, although this seems a very long time ago now).

Mark-W  
#622 Posted : 05 October 2020 08:35:36(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Mark-W

Visiting my clients, most have grasped COVID and acted accordingly. SPacing, screens, handgel etc etc.

My sister is a dinner lady. Or whatever they are called now. She is the head cook in the canteen. There are 3 years of pupils. To stop the canteen becoming overcrowded they have given each year group their own dinner break. So the earliest eat the dinner at 1030, the lastest 1330.

So now my sister has to have in escence 3 cooking sessions. But the main point of my post, the school won't put up a perspex screen at the till like you'd get in a shop. So the kids walk along the counter, receive their meal and then pay at the till.

I told her to ask the school for their COVID RA but she seems a bit reluctant to make waves, but what really annoys me now, they've have several confirmed cases and sent a whole year group home. But still refuse to put screens in place.

biker1  
#623 Posted : 05 October 2020 10:05:06(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

Originally Posted by: CptBeaky Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Kate Go to Quoted Post

To go back to and try to clarify the confusing discussion of the the mild flu season of 2019-2020.  It didn't significantly overlap with the Covid outbreak in the UK. When the excess deaths corresponding to the Covid outbreak and its consequences are calculated, it is the flu season of 2020-2021 that will be included.  The flu season of 2019-2020 will not be included in the excess deaths, it will just be part of what the excess deaths are an excess over.

That makes sense. I thought it was a 5 year average comparison to the current calender year.  As I said before, it may not be without flaws, but it is the best method we have. However when I look for examples from before the outbreak I only seem to find "excess winter deaths" which is not the same thing.

On an unrelated note. Could you imagine the fall out if my MD wanted to go for a  chauffered car drive despite knowingly having COVID-19? The more this pandemic goes on the more I feel there should at least be a basic competency test to be a world leader!


Most of them would fail such a test, I'm afraid, with the possible exception of Jacinda Ardern.

There has been a great deal of debate as to whether we have gone over the top with COVID. Not an easy question to answer. The virus is in the same group as influenza, the difference beng that we have a vaccine for flu, although we do have to try and second guess which strains are likely to hit us every winter. Perhaps we haven't taken flu seriously enough, but the COVID virus does have some unique features. It's also in the same group as the common cold, and we know the difficulties in producing a vaccine for this as it mutates too quickly. Perhaps the whole business of COVID should teach us some lessons about infection control.

Getting an accurate picture of how many deaths are due to COVID was never going to be easy, with too many grey areas about pre-existing conditions etc.

It also has to be said that the behaviour of too many people has meant thst we haven't got on top of the pandemic as quickly as we could have done, especially as we approach winter, a prime time for infection with coronaviruses. Some world leaders have failed to set an example and take the virus seriously (I wonder who I could be thinking of here?). Some other world leaders have allowed themselves to be swayed by other factors than peoples' health, or have demonstrated their lack of leadership skills.

Looking at the amount of traffic on our roads now and the behaviour of many people, it seems to me that we haven't learned what we should have done during the lockdown. Will another lockdown get the message through? We might soon find out.

CptBeaky  
#624 Posted : 05 October 2020 10:42:44(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
CptBeaky

My take on the whole thing is that people spend a lot of time trying to find ways in which the guidelines don't apply to them. The whole "it is very busy on this beach, these other people really shuldn't be here!" mentality has worn me down.

A lot of people seem to spend more time finding ways to point out the rules are stupid (not that it is hard to do) than actually governing themselves in a way that could save lives. Whether you think the rules are stupid or not (and they are stupid) it is still not hard to use your own common sense. I don't understand why the government comes up with their own "heads, shoulders, knees, and toes" type slogans rather than just adopting the "3 c's" WHO reccommends

(and I paraphrase here)

Avoid

  1. Close contact
  2. Confined spaces
  3. Crowds

When unable to follow these rules, wear a mask.

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Roundtuit  
#625 Posted : 05 October 2020 11:25:22(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: CptBeaky Go to Quoted Post
When unable to follow these rules, wear a mask. 

Like the one Lana Del Rey has been sporting?

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Roundtuit  
#626 Posted : 05 October 2020 11:25:22(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: CptBeaky Go to Quoted Post
When unable to follow these rules, wear a mask. 

Like the one Lana Del Rey has been sporting?

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CptBeaky  
#627 Posted : 05 October 2020 11:37:01(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
CptBeaky

Exactly, too busy looking for ways to bend the rules, rather than doing the right thing.

Holliday42333  
#628 Posted : 05 October 2020 14:23:39(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Holliday42333

Originally Posted by: CptBeaky Go to Quoted Post

Exactly, too busy looking for ways to bend the rules, rather than doing the right thing.

Q. How many times have you heard people say variations on "It's only guidance so I don't have to follow it"

A. Too many

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Kate on 06/10/2020(UTC)
biker1  
#629 Posted : 05 October 2020 15:38:50(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

Perhaps this pandemic should be viewed as a wake up call. We have become very complacent, and frankly sloppy, on infection control. Do we take adequate precautions to protect others when we have a cold or the flu? The prevalence of hospital acquired infections has almost become accepted as a way of life, when sound cleaning/disinfection and sterile procedures (as we used to have under the old ward matrons) would prevent the majority of them. How many people cough, sneeze, spit etc without trying to contain this to protect others? How many people use the toilet and don't wash their hands afterwards? The list of sloppiness goes on. With COVID, we have encountered a virus that thrives on such behaviour, with the capacity to kill a lot of people (which of course it already has). The fact that we have to be told to exercise responsible behaviour, and then promptly ignore this in our thousands, says a lot about the selfish mind-set of modern society.  We criticise government (not without cause, I hasten to add) for issuing unclear and often contradictory advice, and not setting an example in many cases, but until we accept personal responsibility across the board, irrespective of what some buffoon in Downing Street says, such pandemics, and worse, will become even more prevalent given the nature of modern society.

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CptBeaky  
#630 Posted : 06 October 2020 08:08:04(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
CptBeaky

Originally Posted by: Holliday42333 Go to Quoted Post

Q. How many times have you heard people say variations on "It's only guidance so I don't have to follow it"

A. Too many


I am sure if H&S started to use that logic people would soon complain

A Kurdziel  
#631 Posted : 06 October 2020 08:45:11(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

So biker let use cast our minds back to those balmy pre-covid days, You phone-in to say “ I have the sniffles,  I am not feeling well, so I won’t come in today because I want to make sure that the rest of the office are ok, in fact I’d like to work from home for now, that ok with you boss?”

Which bosses would say,” Of course take as much time as you want off; work from home; I trust you and the organisation does not require you to be at your desks with your heads down 9-5”?

That’s where the diseases come from and that’s how the are spread; the presentism culture.  

We need to think how we organise our work. At the beginning of the outbreak there was a lot of talk of doing just that, but now its all about get people back to office to support you local Greggs and to justify the investment of all of our pension funds into office property portfolios.

In recent week the government have stated blaming the ill people ie us just as they are blaming us fior  buying take ways in disposable packaging and using plastics, when of course this was foisted on us by businesses trying to make more money.  

Edited by user 06 October 2020 10:52:51(UTC)  | Reason: words and thgings

biker1  
#632 Posted : 06 October 2020 16:09:15(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

Yes, the balmy days of pre-COVID indeed. And yes, presenteeism has a lot to answer for, although with increased homeworking this should now be less of a problem. Government advice, some of which seems to be guided by business interests (it is a Conservative government, after all), although it is easy to try and dismiss economic concerns when we are not the ones trying to look after the economy.

Interesting pictures I found from the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, some of which show people wearing face masks. If they could manage to do this over a hundred years ago, just what is our problem now?

Roundtuit  
#633 Posted : 06 October 2020 21:11:21(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

POTUS is back in the big house in a crass example of presenteeism
Roundtuit  
#634 Posted : 06 October 2020 21:11:21(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

POTUS is back in the big house in a crass example of presenteeism
biker1  
#635 Posted : 07 October 2020 13:29:15(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

And that's after a drive around outside the medical centre, with two others in the car with him, probably secret service agents, so presumably they will be self-isolating for two weeks?

To top it all, he removes his mask for a photo call, brilliant! Since it would appear that the virus is running rampant in the White House, can we look forward to this being locked down soon?

CptBeaky  
#636 Posted : 07 October 2020 13:47:41(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
CptBeaky

Research shows that 9 days into the infection is the critical period at which point those that develop serious complications start to rapidly go downhill. Trump tested postive early Friday morning. That means that this weekend is the critical time for him. Given how awful he looked, and his breathing was, during his speech, it could be that he is not out of danger yet.

If you take the more believable timeline of him being infected on Wednesday/Thursday (doctors reported him 72 hours into illness after 1 day, the drugs he was on are normally only given when someone is receiving oxygen, which is not normally needed that early into the illness etc.) It would seem Friday could be the danger day.

Either way this development has destroyed him in the polls, and it now looks extremely likely that the USA will have Biden for the next 4 years. Shame he is nearly as bad. Still there is no chance that Biden will run for a second term.

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Brian Hagyard  
#637 Posted : 07 October 2020 14:47:08(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Brian Hagyard

Quote.

Perhaps this pandemic should be viewed as a wake up call. We have become very complacent,

I look at it another way - in the last major pandemic (Spanish Flu i1918 i think) was pre NHS, Pre Social Media, Pre H&SAW etc act - pre when majority of people thought it was someone elses problem and the government must save them!

Thats not to say i dont think we should be takeing precautions - but i dont belive its a workplace hazard (care sector exculded) as i have said before.

I have also read statements along the line as "why are we takeing precautions for something which only has 1 2% mortality rate" my question would have been what would the mortality rate have been if we had done nothing world population is about 7.8 billion - if everyone had contracted Covid thats 0.156 Billion - so lets just continue to "try and do our best"

biker1  
#638 Posted : 07 October 2020 15:14:01(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

Anybody around Trump is not out of danger yet either.

Have to disagree on a couple of things from Brian. I think people tended to take more personal responsibility back in the early twentieth century, since there weren't so many institutions to help them, and access to medical help pre-NHS was sketchy, to say the least.

I also think that COVID is a workplace hazard, for the simple reason that it is likely to be present in any workplace, much as other viruses, infections etc are. It is illogical to declare it a workplace hazard in the care sector, but not elsewhere, since it is spread throughout society. It is not confined to the care sector, therefore it is legitimate to consider it a hazard in most workplaces.

I do agree that citing a 1-2% mortality rate still means that an awful lot of people would die if we took no precautions.

Holliday42333  
#639 Posted : 07 October 2020 16:13:05(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Holliday42333

I think both Brian and Biker have valid but oposite points.  This is one of the issues the present Pandemic is bringing to the fore.

On the one hand it is really a public health issue that is not defined by employers as you cant opt out of having that as an element of your business (ie chosing not to reprocess nulear waste as an extreme example). However, employers/workplaces can do much to effect transmission.

On the one hand there is obviously an occupational risk, as people can catch it through their connection with their work, but should employers be responsible for defining and maintaining the mitigation.  After all staff canteens dont stop selling bacon butties despite the clear links of processed red meat to heart disease and bowel cancer etc.

thanks 1 user thanked Holliday42333 for this useful post.
CptBeaky on 08/10/2020(UTC)
Kate  
#640 Posted : 08 October 2020 07:36:26(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

The difference with the bacon example is that employers do not make it compulsory for employees to eat the bacon and there are no adverse consequences if they choose not to.  Employees are contractually required to go to their workplace and do their work and the consequence of choosing not to is that they lose their job.

thanks 1 user thanked Kate for this useful post.
biker1 on 08/10/2020(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#641 Posted : 08 October 2020 08:20:43(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

This is my take why it's not a H&S issue. Its taken from the current COSHH regs and  the ACop-COSHH

Reg 2(2)

In these Regulations, a reference to an employee being exposed to a substance hazardous to health is a reference to the exposure of that employee to a substance hazardous to health arising out of or in connection with work at the workplace.

 Para 16 COSHH ACop and Guidance-

“18 The general duties of COSHH apply to incidental exposure to, and deliberate

work with, biological agents. However, COSHH does not cover a situation where,

for example, one employee catches a respiratory infection from another. This is

because regulation 2(2) specifies that COSHH only applies in those circumstances

where risks of exposure are work related, and not those where they have no direct

connection with the work being done. 

Can't see how HSWA applies here.
thanks 5 users thanked A Kurdziel for this useful post.
RVThompson on 08/10/2020(UTC), CptBeaky on 08/10/2020(UTC), Brian Hagyard on 08/10/2020(UTC), Roundtuit on 08/10/2020(UTC), aud on 12/10/2020(UTC)
biker1  
#642 Posted : 08 October 2020 08:56:29(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

COVID continues to be a grey area in respect of being a workplace hazard. Even the quote from COSHH guidance leaves some wiggle room - if the work brings people into contact with contaminated surfaces, airborne particles etc, then is is surely connected to the work being done. In any case, there seems to be a lot of time being spent on arguing the toss as to whether it is an OSH issue, where arguments can be made for and against. The fact is that OSH professionals are in a good position because of our knowledge and training to take COVID issues on board, and I would think there would be an expectation on the part of employers for us to do this.

thanks 1 user thanked biker1 for this useful post.
Kate on 09/10/2020(UTC)
Brian Hagyard  
#643 Posted : 08 October 2020 09:26:39(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Brian Hagyard

Great quote A Kurdziel - and i think it clearly shows why i say  Work place Hazard in Health Sector - where you are knowingly exposing staff, and not the rest of the workplace.

However as i have also said before I will continue to apply the law and government guidance, social distancing, face coverings, screen, extra cleaning etc - as part of our Public Health Responsibility - i just dont see it as HASAW .

thanks 2 users thanked Brian Hagyard for this useful post.
Kate on 09/10/2020(UTC), aud on 12/10/2020(UTC)
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