One of my photos

Elf n Safety gone mad

December 8th, 2009 · Posted by Skuds in Life · 1 Comment · Life

In the local paper this week there is an article by Francis Maude, complaining about the “burden” of health and safety.  I think most sensible people know that having protection against serious injury or death at work is a good thing – although most employers will recognise that it can be expensive, which is why we have the HSE:  without being forced to protect workers, many companies would not bother or would cut corners.But that is not what I want to rant about.  Just out of interest I did some Google searches for phrases that tend to indicate a concerted campaign to discredit the whole concept of health and safety.  They are doing a good job of it too.  How often do you hear something dismissed as “just health and safety”?   Anybody who has worked in a truly dangerous environment will know that is as stupid as dismissing something as “just child protection”.

Anyway, one of my searches was for the phrase “Elf n Safety”.   This came up with about 814,000 hits on UK domains alone.  A full 24% of those hits (198,070) were from three Associated Newspaper websites – the Daily Mail, Metro and Thisislondon sites.  It seems like something of an obsession with them, especially Metro with 108,000 hits.

In comparison, the Guardian, Telegraph, Times, Express, Star, Sun and Mirror combined only yielded 16,763 hits.

Actually I would have expected the Daily Mail percentage to be a lot higher.  I still can’t work out where the other 70+ per cent of all the hits come from, although if you could put wildcards in the domain filter on Google searches I reckon the sundry thisis* domains belonging to all those local papers would account for a fair chunk, and then there are all the sites (like here in this post) which use the quote while beating up on the Mail and its stablemates.  Hell of a long tail though.

No conclusion or blinding insight; I just thought it was an interesting search result.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Danivon

    Ach, you know that Maude is just following his Leader who made a similar speech last week. Frank isn’t really into originality in politics.