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Makin’ bacon – a tail without a twist

Once upon a time and feeling cramped in their modest sty, old Mr and Mrs Bacon decided it was time their three not so little pigs – Kevin, Chris P. and Francis moved out of the family sty and found their own way in life.

Our three pigs, quick to spot an opportunity, decided that solving the housing crisis would make them lots of bacon.

Kevin, a little rash(er) than his brothers, decided to crack on straight away.  He quickly recruited a team of worker piggies and set to, building straw houses.  The project got off to a great start, with straw house after straw house being erected in no time.  However not long into the project work began to slow down due to a lack of piggy power.  The first little piggy hurt his back from carrying bales of straw, the second little piggy had a fall from height when a gust of wind caused the straw building to collapse whilst he was working on the roof and the third little piggy had to go wee wee wee all the way home, due to lack of adequate welfare facilities.

This soon caught the attention of B.B. Wolfe, the local HSE Inspector.  Following a visit to see Kevin, which involved a fair amount of huffing and puffing from both parties, B.B. Wolfe slapped him with a prohibition notice forbidding any further straw house building until adequate arrangements were in place to manage health and safety risks and comply with the law.  This seriously reduced Kevin’s bacon making capability.

Chris P. also liked his bacon and so he too decided to focus on building more robust houses from sticks. However, as he was conscious of wanting to look after his workforce and keen to learn from Kevin’s mistakes, he appointed one of his employees as Health and Safety Manager to give guidance on the risks associated with building stick houses. The business got off to a great start.  B.B. Wolfe visited the building sites often and was pleased to see safety policies and risk assessments in place. The site team were a hard working, happy and healthy team. Things were going great, with stick houses being built across great swathes of the countryside, but unfortunately this resulted in very long work hours for the piggies responsible for cutting and shaping the sticks for building.

As part of a national HSE campaign in relation to the dangers of wood dust exposure B.B. Wolfe decided to pay a visit to Chris P.’s stick production yard.  Thanks to the advice and experience provided by the Health and Safety Manager, B.B. Wolfe was pleased to find that risks associated with chopping, handling and transporting of the sticks was well managed. However, he was less than impressed with the lack of controls in place to protect the worker piggies from risks to their health from noise, vibration and hazardous dusts associated with the work activities.

B.B. Wolfe was, unfortunately, all too familiar with health risks due to dust exposure, his own huff and puff a result of many years working unprotected in a dusty environment.  B.B. Wolfe interviewed the Health and Safety Manager and discovered that the advisor was not aware of these health risks and so B.B. Wolfe decided to give Chris P. an Improvement Notice, requiring him to appoint a source competent health and safety advice, and implement adequate control measures to manage the health risks to his employees.  Whilst Chris P. did take action to comply with the Notice, a number of employees went on to make successful claims for work related ill-health, driving up the cost of Chris P.’s employers liability insurance to the extent it was too prohibitive for him to remain in business.

Francis, being no gammon, was quick to learn from his brother’s mistakes.  He saw how effective health and safety management was as a key component in ensuring the success of a business. From the off he was determined to place health and safety at the fore of every business decision and decided to appoint an external expert as his source of competent health and safety advice.  Following extensive research Francis settled on appointing a consultant with Napthens H&S.

Francis noticed the benefits immediately.  The consultant, with a wealth of experience identified many risks and compliance breaches that had become an accepted part of daily activities and was able to recommend simple cost-effective control measures in areas as diverse as H&S Policies, risk assessments, fire safety, noise control, asbestos management, manual handling and COSHH. Together they developed and implemented clear arrangements for managing the safety risks to the business.  Francis was able to draw on the wider team at Napthens, accessing advice on HR and employment matters too – helping him maintain a safe, happy, healthy and motivated workforce.

B.B. Wolfe, knowing the Bacon family’s’ history pops by occasionally, but respects that Francis has a good handle on all things health and safety.

Francis continues makin’ bacon to this day and is often known to flash his bling on Hamstagram –Good on him, he earned it!


Did you know

As an employer you must appoint a competent person or people to help you meet your health and safety legal duties.

You could appoint yourself or one of your workers – providing you or they have the relevant competence and whilst it is not a legal requirement to have formal qualifications or training, the person appointed should have the skills, knowledge and experience to be able to recognise hazards in your business and help you put sensible controls in place to protect workers and others from harm.

Good health and safety management is always good for business. It’s not just essential for legal compliance but beneficial in reducing costs, reducing risks and a healthier, happier, better motivated workforce.

If your business or organisation doesn’t have the competence to manage health and safety in-house, Napthens Health and Safety are here to help. We understand every business is different. So, we take a different approach by offering a blend of bespoke services to advise, evaluate and support based on your needs.

Contact one of the team at Napthens Health and Safety for further information on how we can help keep the tale of your business on the straight and narrow.

A pig's snout