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Thread: HQ Job Cuts

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    What? You don't take grip force measurers to the start of every bike ride? Absolute cavalier disregard for safety there. Cavalier.

    We've had experienced mountain bikers end up in bushes. Long time ago there were consecutive entries in an accident log, the second one being "as above, but right wrist" after a corner turned out to be sharper than expected for the front two. Then there was the pair that insisted they wanted to hire the tandem on the tarka trail, all was well after they had a bit of practice round the car park, but after lunch they swapped over, went 200m, and punted another explorer off into a ditch full of stingers. Accidents happen, experience gained.
    I sometimes think the point of mountain bikes is to end up in a bush.

    It was an ideal activity however. Boat from Loch Katrine pier over to Stronachlacher, then cycle back round the northern shore. It's eminently doable for Scouts. The road is tarmac and not open to vehicles (except for access).

    I recommend it. Look out for the tasteful plaque at mile five, it's just next to a bush with a dent in it.


  2. #92
    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    And I would lay money on people not bothering to read them. Cynical me.

    Do I read the RA every time we do archery? or Shooting? or Kayaking or... nope, and I bet hardly anyone does.

    I loathe the term risk assessment - it is a backside covering excercise that hardly anyone pays any real attention to. I really, really loathe it. It breeds complacency. Everywhere it is flaunted, it is by those who want to tick management boxes. Teachers turn up at campsites and ask for the RA for pitching a tent... Nope, if you want one, get your own.

    On the ground, in what we do, in how people work, the far more important criteria is the Method of Operation - THIS is what we do and THIS is how we do it. A review might be useful from time to time, but the MoO is critical to how we do things safely.

    If you were to take a bunch of volunteers and say, okay, I want you to establish a risk assessment for X, there would be a varied response from the detailed and considered assessment to a vague, it looks dangerous so we won't do it type of approach. If, on the other hand, you take those same volunteers and say, okay, this is how you lay out activity X, and this is how you do it, this time, the next time, every time. Then they learn that THIS is how to be safe.
    The Method of Operation should come out of a Risk Assessment (it should be made up of the methods of mitigating the risk idenitfied in the Risk Assesment). I entirely agree though that is the safe method of operation which is the important part and there is an activity that yuo do regularly then you can and probably should just use the same method of operation time and again but it should be reviewed from periodically especially if any incidents occur to check something hasn't been missed in the risk assessment or something new developed that could help with safety (e.g. we use LED lamps in patrol areas now whereas we used to issue gas lamps if it got dark and they were still washing up, no risk of burns and the same light provided but we still use gas lamps in the marquee as it provides heat as well and we can ensure they are placed safely).

    I generally don't risk assess every aspect of a camp I am running from scratch as we work to a standard method of operation so no use of axes till marked up chopping areas (at last one arm and axe length in radius) have been errected, fires situated at least x distance from any tents, patrol tents erected safely by the whole patrol working together etc etc. If we have an incident then I will review wehther there is a risk that has not been adequatly controlled and if so change our method of operation (for example we no longer allow Scouts to bring their own sharp knives on camp after an inciedent they get issued with Troop owned knives to use when they need them)

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
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    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

  3. #93
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    The Method of Operation should come out of a Risk Assessment (it should be made up of the methods of mitigating the risk idenitfied in the Risk Assesment). I entirely agree though that is the safe method of operation which is the important part and there is an activity that yuo do regularly then you can and probably should just use the same method of operation time and again but it should be reviewed from periodically especially if any incidents occur to check something hasn't been missed in the risk assessment or something new developed that could help with safety (e.g. we use LED lamps in patrol areas now whereas we used to issue gas lamps if it got dark and they were still washing up, no risk of burns and the same light provided but we still use gas lamps in the marquee as it provides heat as well and we can ensure they are placed safely).

    I generally don't risk assess every aspect of a camp I am running from scratch as we work to a standard method of operation so no use of axes till marked up chopping areas (at last one arm and axe length in radius) have been errected, fires situated at least x distance from any tents, patrol tents erected safely by the whole patrol working together etc etc. If we have an incident then I will review wehther there is a risk that has not been adequatly controlled and if so change our method of operation (for example we no longer allow Scouts to bring their own sharp knives on camp after an inciedent they get issued with Troop owned knives to use when they need them)
    If you are being analytical about things, yes the RA might come first, but ... I believe that in the majority of cases the MoO is the prime act in being safe. The RA supports that MoO. It is not the other way around.

    We are doing archery, shooting, climbing, kayaking - the MoO is what is critical. The newcomer to these activities could easily be introduced to them as a MoO without looking at the risks themselves.

    We are doing cooking - it again becomes an MoO because we teach kids hygiene, we teach them how to use knives safely (bangs head off brick wall for the umpteenth time), we teach them how to use the gas stoves. ( interesting one that when you are operating indoors... ).

    I guess the RA is implied in the way the activity is conducted.

    But my point is that you can wave sheets of RA at people and they will ignore them, they will not read them, but if we say, THIS is how we do things, we reduce the exposure to risk. (I once had Scouts go and correct Archery instructors - I was so pleased with them for A/ following the MoO, and B/ On seeing someone teaching not just poor but dangerous practice, they had the guts to go and correct an adult, saying THIS is how it should be done. (The adult in that case was not a happy bunny.))
    Ewan Scott

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  5. #94
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    (I once had Scouts go and correct Archery instructors - I was so pleased with them for A/ following the MoO, and B/ On seeing someone teaching not just poor but dangerous practice, they had the guts to go and correct an adult, saying THIS is how it should be done. (The adult in that case was not a happy bunny.))
    Tell us more! We need a laugh.
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  6. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    If you are being analytical about things, yes the RA might come first, but ... I believe that in the majority of cases the MoO is the prime act in being safe. The RA supports that MoO. It is not the other way around.

    We are doing archery, shooting, climbing, kayaking - the MoO is what is critical. The newcomer to these activities could easily be introduced to them as a MoO without looking at the risks themselves.

    We are doing cooking - it again becomes an MoO because we teach kids hygiene, we teach them how to use knives safely (bangs head off brick wall for the umpteenth time), we teach them how to use the gas stoves. ( interesting one that when you are operating indoors... ).

    I guess the RA is implied in the way the activity is conducted.

    But my point is that you can wave sheets of RA at people and they will ignore them, they will not read them, but if we say, THIS is how we do things, we reduce the exposure to risk. (I once had Scouts go and correct Archery instructors - I was so pleased with them for A/ following the MoO, and B/ On seeing someone teaching not just poor but dangerous practice, they had the guts to go and correct an adult, saying THIS is how it should be done. (The adult in that case was not a happy bunny.))
    Agree with this.

    Digressing slightly, but it's a good example.

    Way back in the 1700's, when I was at college studying Electronics... I well remember not being able to do algebra. That in turn meant I could not do analysis or calculus. It was and remains a total blank spot - I never got it. I remember half-jokingly asking a maths lecturer to just pass me on it, I promised I wouldn't get a job using it (not that I could, because I truly didn't have a clue how it worked). He explained that it would undermine any learning going forward. He said, in order to truly understand what I was doing, you need to understand the question before you can properly say you know the answer.

    It's also why he wouldn't accept any answers I gave (which my fancy scientific calculator often supplied) because it didn't show any of the working, and I certainly didn't know what it might look like. (It looked like random numbers and letters scrawled by a five year old.)

    Written RA's I think, are bit like that. It makes it too easy for people to ignore doing any of the thinking for themselves. Fair enough, for lessons learned, they're worth while. But for someone downloading them on to their phone then gallivanting off, thinking they've covered their back and done the right thing... Not so much. If they don't think they have time to write or read them, they're definitely not going to take the time to review them and add any of their concerns to it.

    So for me, it's a box ticking exercise. At the end of the day, we work on trust. So there has to be some trust that leaders will risk assess effectively without resorting to writing it down - because on a human level, that doesn't really prove anything.

    I'm not sure why I'm worried. If a leader isn't capable of effectively risk assessing, our gold standard recruitment process will highlight it and they won't be appointed, because we're not desperate for people or anything...

    Right?



    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    Tell us more! We need a laugh.
    Both times we've shot in the hall. The kids had to remind me to get the safety glasses out.

    I thanked them each time. (And told them I did it deliberately to keep them on their toes...)

  7. #96
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    Downloading other peoples' RAs and using those does indeed do what you say. But done properly it is highly effective (you can then use someone else's to check you've not missed anything) and requires sitting down and thinking about it rather than doing nothing at all and claiming to be doing a dynamic RA.

  8. #97
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    Tell us more! We need a laugh.
    I couldn't possibly... Oh well...

    A campsite not a million miles from us has/had two archery ranges. We were using one with our own kit. It was pre-Explorers, so I had 15-16-year-old Scouts. They had been doing archery for several years and were reasonably confident. We never had to correct hold or stance with the older ones. So, they are shooting and hitting the target, getting reds and golds - and the Scouts on the adjacent range were all over the place, some arrows only making it halfway to the targets.

    Their "instructor" was sitting in a corner having a fag (as in cigarette Chris ASL), ignoring the Scouts.

    I made to go and speak but my SPL had seen me getting annoyed and said, "No!" We'll do it."

    They went over and looked at the kids. One had the bow upside down - I jest not. Another was all cack-handed, God alone knows how he managed anything. They were standing facing the targets, nolding the arrows - everything wrong... Our Scouts showed them how to do it to the method they had been taught and the kids started hitting the target.

    The Instructor finished a fag and ended the session.

    The warden later had a word with me about interfering with other instructors. I could put my hand on my heart and say, I didn't.

    The same campsite kept bows strung and under tension in a damp shed. At least one was delaminating and dangerous (it was until I saw it).

    That batch had the habit of stepping in when they saw something not right. - One became an L3 Kayak coach and we were on the water. Nearby there was a Scout session. It was patently obvious that the Leader had no control and kids were drifting off - after bringing two of them back for the second time, we had a chat with the Leaders about safety and controlling their group. All was good. Until this lad ended up doing recovery for them and they got shirty about an 20-year-old telling them how to run their session ... (He was by then the most experienced and highest qualified person on the water).
    Last edited by Bushfella; 11-02-2020 at 02:26 PM.
    Ewan Scott

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  10. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    Downloading other peoples' RAs and using those does indeed do what you say. But done properly it is highly effective (you can then use someone else's to check you've not missed anything) and requires sitting down and thinking about it rather than doing nothing at all and claiming to be doing a dynamic RA.
    Hmmm...

    So we're trusting people to sit down and do written RA's 'properly', but not to dynamically RA at all?

    As I said... Hmmm...


  11. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    The Instructor finished a fag and ended the session.
    When I were a scout (and everything was sepia tinted) summer camp activities were always run by the same leaders every day. We had a rota of activities throughout the week, climbing one day usually run by the Venture leaders like my big bro, the rickety minibus would pack a bunch of kids in for pony trekking, a bunch would go for a hill walk, another bunch would go canoeing, and the final lot would stay on site and do archery or air rifles, or sometimes both. This was always lead by Bill, a legend*, who'd got too old and tubby for caving (with lamps of naked flames and a reservoir of little black rocks whose name escapes me that let off acetylene gas I think), he'd always correct our posture and form then let us get on with it from his chair. It wasn't unusual on the warmer days for him to nod off and we'd just carry on, or just sit around and chill out.

    * In his final few years in scouting he could only just manage the walk down to the hut he'd "help" at beavers, where he would sit in the corner and watch the fun and games. He became known to them all as The Professor, because if there was a knot or a scouting question he didn't know the answer to, the answer wasn't worth having.
    Ian Wilkins
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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    Downloading other peoples' RAs and using those does indeed do what you say. But done properly it is highly effective (you can then use someone else's to check you've not missed anything) and requires sitting down and thinking about it rather than doing nothing at all and claiming to be doing a dynamic RA.
    There is a line between doing nothing and writing an RA to pass wind.

    I think that not having a written RA for standard risks is silly. I would include the meeting place in that (no offence pa_broon). But many other areas are dynamic, or you end up just kicking them into the long grass and letting the kids play dodge ball with a foam ball. It may come to pass that many people either ignore the RA requirement or, we see a lot more foam dodgeball, or bought in activities. Scouting becomes, by default - a big Youth Club... (Yes, I did say that).

    It is a tad disingenuous of you to suggest that people claiming to be doing dynamic RA are doing nothing at all. I know that you are a bit of a "thinker", but I doubt that even you would write an RA for absolutely every single activity you run in the Scout Hut.
    Ewan Scott

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  13. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Hmmm...

    So we're trusting people to sit down and do written RA's 'properly', but not to dynamically RA at all?
    I suspect we soon won't be trusting people to do them, but instead they will need to be submitted with the NAN form etc.

    To some extent, people will have brought this on themselves. "Using common sense" is not the same thing as "a dynamic risk assessment", but some people are calling it that. The problem with common sense is that it's not, er, very common.

  14. #102
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    I suspect we soon won't be trusting people to do them, but instead they will need to be submitted with the NAN form etc.

    To some extent, people will have brought this on themselves. "Using common sense" is not the same thing as "a dynamic risk assessment", but some people are calling it that. The problem with common sense is that it's not, er, very common.
    When, if, that day comes what do you think the demarcation line will be for RA?
    Ewan Scott

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  15. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    I suspect we soon won't be trusting people to do them, but instead they will need to be submitted with the NAN form etc.

    To some extent, people will have brought this on themselves. "Using common sense" is not the same thing as "a dynamic risk assessment", but some people are calling it that. The problem with common sense is that it's not, er, very common.
    Aye.

    I can't argue with any of that.

    We slowly but inexorably settle toward the lowest common denominator. Or perhaps we end up reacting inappropriately or ineffectively against old fashioned bad luck.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    When, if, that day comes what do you think the demarcation line will be for RA?
    And what will the ramifications be for those charged with collating and presumably okay'ing all the NAN paperwork? Heck, what will their qualifications need to be?

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    I recently was involved with training 25-30 leaders for their archery permit. Part of the assessment was to produce a risk assessment, the variation in them was quite wide. Whilst none of them were “wrong” as such, each had gaps that I personally would want identified and a mitigation put in place.

    If RAs are going to be required will the DC be reviewing and “approving” them? Will they have the knowledge to say if the RAs are “complete”.

  17. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    When, if, that day comes what do you think the demarcation line will be for RA?
    "If you can't evidence that you did it, did you actually do it?"


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