Hackerspace Architect: Don't Salt the Car Park
As a facilities manager back in my civil services days I recall being surprised that no provision was made to remove the slippery ice from the walkways and car parks at the facility I managed. Beyond staff and visitors getting from their cars to work, there were outbuildings where members of staff had to traverse with wide heavy trolleys filled with glass bottles and other heavy loads.
I asked one of the other managers (the one who at that time was responsible for safety) and he explained to it to me like this. “We don’t grit the car park, if we did and someone was to slip over, we could be sued, as by gritting the car part we are taking the responsibility for safety away from the individual.” (or at least an idea to that effect). What he was saying was, by making an effort to make the car park safer, we couldn’t simply wash out hands of the car park and put the onus on the “daredevils” who used it in spite of the ice. Of course this was patently ridiculous. Workers had no choice but to use the car park and as such we had a duty of care as an employer to do what we could to make it safe.
But beyond our legal responsibilities as employers, we have a duty as human beings to look out for each other and try to keep each other safe. I fail to have any empathy for those who would rather see another person hurt than take small steps to do what they can to keep people safe. Of course “health & safety” is sometimes used as a bit of a weapon. The endless appeals for more safety that women who make things on YouTube get in their comments for instance, is I believe a form of control from the patriarchy over women daring to venture into domains where some men (consciously or otherwise) need to assert their ownership and dominance. If you (a man) are ever in doubt about calling out a health and safety “issue” yu spy online, think first, if this was Jimmy DiResta/AvE/Dave Jones/The Rock/Nick Offerman/Colin Furze would I call this out?
Today’s thumb is a pair of Wadkin’s mills from Mike Nelson’s “the Asset Strippers” at Tate Britain