Getting stuff done….

Author: Mike Clough

Date Posted: Wednesday 26th April 2017

Is it just me or does anybody else notice a definite leaning towards things never actually getting ‘done’ – job never quite finished, job never complete? What I’m getting at here is the number of ‘hoops’ that we have to jump through before a job actually gets started let alone finished.

Safe driving, safe surveying, lone working, health and safety, ecology, bats, badgers, newts, neighbors, highways, rights of way, human rights, Brexit ….etc etc

In the past one of my favorite comments that was made about our company was …’bloody hell you don’t f**k about do you…’ – this being a comment made by a client that arrived home after a day’s work had been undertaken by our teams and he was blown away by what had been achieved in a day’s work.

Nowadays I would suggest that most clients who arrived at the end of the first day of modern projects would be lucky if they saw that everyone had been fully inducted for site safety….

The lads that used to work for us were masters at getting the job done – they worked quickly, efficiently ….and with the minimum of fuss and cost. They seemed to know inherently that time was money and that time spent standing around with your proverbial ‘finger up your ass’ meant that money was being lost and the company would suffer. They also knew that the longer they took… the more likely they were to get a b*****king from ‘the management’.

Nowadays, we are super health and safety conscious. We all now see lots of pictures on LinkedIn of people doing really stupid things – which are incredibly dangerous and contravene every health and safety instruction going. We all laugh and feel so superior to these people and hundreds of comments are posted showing how far we have advanced in the realms of safe working….

Yet – in the back of my mind – part of me has a sneaking suspicion that some of these people are actually just trying to get the job done. That guy leaning his ladder on the nearby skip to get the extra height needed – was pretty stupid – yet in his head he was probably thinking…’how am I hoping to paint that top piece that’s just out of reach’ ….’I could stop work and go and get a cherry picker …or I could just use that skip’….

Don’t all shout at me at once – I know, I know – I’m not suggesting we all abandon common sense and all go back to the days of dangerous working …but I am asking for a little common sense on the job. Maybe you don’t have the correct tool for the job – do you use an alternative method on the basis that you will lose several hours of productive work time by sourcing the correct gadget for the exact purpose…. or do you improvise?

What happens if you get on site – the works have been signed off by an ecologist… all is good to go …then one of your team finds something that looks suspiciously like a Great Crested Newt…? Do you call a halt to all proceedings? Do you call the ecologist back to site? Do you stop all site works until clarification has been received ….and who pays for all the lost time on site?

The client wont thank you, your boss won’t be happy …and the newt certainly won’t thank you (well he won’t thank you in person, though he might be a happier newt for not being bulldozed…) …

Would you turn a blind eye then run the risk of a fine if you are damaging the habitat of a protected species??

Our teams at JKSL are thoroughly briefed to be aware of environmental issues and to always put health and safety at the forefront of their thinking. They are told about bird nesting season and advised about badgers and told about bats and told about discrimination at work and bullying and sexual harassment and have trackers on vehicles to make them drive aware….and are all wrapped in cotton wool …. just in case….

We will now veer to the side of caution – which is a really great thing in the terms of Health and safety and protecting the environment…. but…just once in a while I think we have become a nanny state whereby the needs of the odd frog or newt take precedence over the needs of a small business trying to get the job done…

I do like frogs though.

Mike C

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Mike Clough

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