One of my photos

You Build Me Up (To Bring Me Down)

August 1st, 2008 · Posted by Skuds in Life/Work · No Comments · Life, Work

I couldn’t believe it today.  Only a couple of weeks ago we saw the end of a whole week of chaos while the road outside our workplace was dug up and resurfaced. ((Just one side of it))   Today it was down to a single lane while another lot of blokes were digging holes in the two-week-old surface…

I don’t envy these workmen in this weather though.  The other day I went on a visit to our new premises and because it is still a building site – apparently there are about 300 builders on site working round the clock on the fit-out – we had to wear all the PPE: steel toecapped boots, hard hat, safety goggles, gloves and the inevitable high-visibility jacket.  I wasn’t quick enough to get one of the yellow waistcoats and had to wear a full jacket. Padded. With elasticated cuffs. Just walking around the buildings had me overheating.

When I was in my teens I used to work on a building site.  Back then there was no site induction, no requirement to wear any sort of special footwear (I think I just wore my normal Doctor Martens), I can’t remember anybody wearing a hard hat and I don’t think I had ever seen a high-vis jacket.   Even when carting a hod full of bricks up a ladder in the sunshine it was not too unpleasant when wearing only jeans and a t-shirt.  Or maybe it was bare chests.  Back then you could tell a labourer because they all had suntans.  Now they are in so many layers of protective clothing they stand more chance of suffering de-hydration than injury.

Of course I was lucky.  Had a load of bricks spilled onto my head or a joist been dropped on my foot back then I would not be so nostalgic for the freedom from health & safety.  It is strange to look back on though. It was not really that long ago, but its easy to forget how much has changed from then, when everybody smoked at their desks and builders had less protection than litter-pickers have now.

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