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Kate  
#1 Posted : 29 July 2020 09:30:35(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

How should we interpret "where possible", which is now such a feature of guidance?

For example, how does it compare with our old favourite, "where reasonably practicable"?

Brian Hagyard  
#2 Posted : 29 July 2020 10:37:07(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Brian Hagyard

Difficult to say fro sure - if it was in legislation i would say no - "where possible" means if you can do it you must regardless of cost and benifit. I would  think of it in the same way as fixed guarding in PUWER  - but then as we know the covid is guidance. (And stuck record - its a puiblic health issue not H&S at Work!)

We could have kept everyone in lookdown until it went away - thats possible - but the world would have been bankrupt at the end of it so we did not do it!

thanks 2 users thanked Brian Hagyard for this useful post.
Kate on 29/07/2020(UTC), A Kurdziel on 29/07/2020(UTC)
stevedm  
#3 Posted : 29 July 2020 11:36:38(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stevedm

think you may also be forgetting it is also a reportable disease :)

peter gotch  
#4 Posted : 29 July 2020 11:54:45(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

Kate - I think you know the answer - you read the definition in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Ministers in HM Government do not mean "possible" when they say "possible".

Whether they mean "reasonably practicable", "practical", "convenient", "politic" who knows?

Not even sure that they know.

Exactly the same problem arises each time they use the word "safe" without any qualification.

Not helped by those who say that Zero Harm is Achievable.

P

thanks 3 users thanked peter gotch for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 29/07/2020(UTC), Kate on 29/07/2020(UTC), nic168 on 04/08/2020(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#5 Posted : 29 July 2020 12:01:23(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

I think were the phrase "where possible" is used in guidance it indicates that the person drafting the guidance is one of the newbie civil servants that have been brought in to help out and have no experience of legal matters and especially Health and Safety law. SFARP has been chewed over for about 80 years by the courts and is so fundamental to the way we manage H&S in this country that the government even went to the European Court of Justice( in 2007) to defend it against the European Commission who took a dislike to the phrase. By contrast as far as I am aware, "where possibleā€ has no specific legal meaning just its every day meaning which can mean different things to different people. As it is only included in guidance it should not matter except that the current government does not seem to understand the difference between guidance and actually legally binding regulations.

  

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Kate on 29/07/2020(UTC)
Brian Hagyard  
#6 Posted : 30 July 2020 09:58:32(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Brian Hagyard

Was thinking about this again last night (yes I know im sad) While there has been lots of regulations produced which close certain types of buisness, restrict travel, rec=quire face coverings etc - unless i have missed it the "guidance" on Covid Secure companies etc is just that - there are no specific regulations. So if Enforceing authority were toi bring actioin it would be under HASAW for which the test is "resoanbly practicable" - se we are required to follow the guidance - so far as is reasoanble parcticable where possible! Is it Friday yet!

thanks 2 users thanked Brian Hagyard for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 30/07/2020(UTC), Kate on 30/07/2020(UTC)
achrn  
#7 Posted : 30 July 2020 10:20:13(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

Originally Posted by: Brian Hagyard Go to Quoted Post

While there has been lots of regulations produced which close certain types of buisness, restrict travel, rec=quire face coverings etc - unless i have missed it the "guidance" on Covid Secure companies etc is just that - there are no specific regulations.

Exactly - that was (relatively long ago) the clanging great give-away that the politicians at the lectern were talking out of orifices not intended for that purpose - when they said they'd take enforcement action against rogue employers that didn't follow the guidance.  You can't take enforcement action against guidance. (Or rathre, shouldn't be able to, notwithstanding FFI horror-stories.)

At the time I was slightly concerned they might escalate their full-of-holes guidance to something with more standing (or worse, try and inreoduce some reg that said that covid guidance was enforceable), but it seems now unlikely that's going to happen.  Therfore, I think it's safe to say the soundbite was just that - meaningless twaffle to sound good on the evening news and assure the proletariat that the masterful politicos were doing something.  That the 'something' was not even re-arrnaging deckchairs, merely promising to re-arrange deckchairs they didn't actually have, should not concern us, obv.

thanks 4 users thanked achrn for this useful post.
CptBeaky on 30/07/2020(UTC), chris.packham on 30/07/2020(UTC), A Kurdziel on 30/07/2020(UTC), Kate on 30/07/2020(UTC)
Brian Hagyard  
#8 Posted : 30 July 2020 13:15:12(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Brian Hagyard

taken from IOSH magazine  a few weeks ago.

Between 9 March and 29 June, the HSE received 23,569 COVID-related contacts, of which 7784 were COVID-related concerns, 9944 were COVID-related calls and 5871 were COVID-related advice requests.

Of the 3856 businesses contacted between 26 May and 2 July, 2386 spot checks were carried out by a mixture of phone checks and site visits. 

Out of nearly 4000 spot checks, 295 were follow ups to check on issues with cleaning regimes, social distancing as well as failure to engage with the regulator. All but 41 of these were deemed compliant after the second check. The remaining 41 are currently subject to inspector visits and further investigation.

Will be interesting to see what happens to the 41. The only actual action taken i am aware of is by Local Authority Licencing teams where Pubs/Restaurants etc broke the "take away" rules. One example below but i have seen at least 3 such cases in press

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-53500829

But as we say - specific regulations for that - not just guidance

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