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Thread: New NAN form with requirement for written risk assessment

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard T View Post
    With scouting effectively stopped during the covid19 pandemic, how many members will see this as this as an opportunity to leave?
    How many leaders will drop out, as the habit of the weekly meeting is no more?
    Very many I suspect - members and leaders. In both cases because they realise that Scouting isn't that important in their lives - and this may seem disloyal but most of our young members join, leave a few years later and gain a little from it, but not life changeing development. For a small number it's massive of course.

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  3. #32
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    At least we in this forum seem to read the emails sent out and check policy and then have a reasoned debate

    I can see a flamewar on 1st FB over this, if and its a big if, anyone even bothers to read their email and then discovers the links to updated policy.

    I can see quite a few leaders carrying on as before, taking no notice, submitting old NAN forms blissfully unaware of any changes.
    Dave Ralphs
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  5. #33
    GSL/ESL(YL)/TA Mark W's Avatar
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    I suspect that what we are seeing is the softening up in preparation for greater things to follow. If you look at the coroner's comments and compare them with what we've seen from HQ, you might conclude that there is still a gap to fill. Remember that HQ are trying to reduce further what could be considered to be edge cases where a set of unfortunate events align with fatal consequences. The majority of us will never realise how close we came to tragedy, others will come perilously close, go home and (thanking their lucky souls) have a stiff drink and mutter "that was close". Very infrequently, someone will find themselves at an inquest. But if you look around, can you say with certainty who will be lucky and get away with it, and who won't? What HQ are trying to do is to reduce the element of luck needed to reduce those edge cases. "Controlling work" is tricky enough to do in a high hazard industry, add in the element of "volunteering" where many people think they know better or don't care anyway and it adds an order of magnitude of difficulty to HQ's challenge. The spelling and grammar might be a bit wonky but the sentiment of everything I've seen isn't unreasonable. Most of what's come out is common sense and just reinforces what sensible precautions should be going on anyway. Nothing I've seen worries me yet. Not involved with HQ, just a satisfied customer who thinks that they have a challenge on their hands).
    If it was easy, it wouldn't be so much fun...
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  6. #34
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    I agree many of us will have had near misses. Often not our fault. I suspect most who drive scout minibuses will be able to think of a near miss... possibly one where their own actions actually saved the lives of their passengers. Or maybe one where their own mistake nearly made for a disaster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    I agree many of us will have had near misses. Often not our fault. I suspect most who drive scout minibuses will be able to think of a near miss... possibly one where their own actions actually saved the lives of their passengers. Or maybe one where their own mistake nearly made for a disaster.
    I think as long as road transport exists that'll happen...it's the riskiest thing nearly all of us do on a daily basis.

  8. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    I think as long as road transport exists that'll happen...it's the riskiest thing nearly all of us do on a daily basis.
    It was an example, but yes you are probably right.

    I used to drive 30000+ miles per year... It's now down to around 10000, most of which are on rural roads (statistically dangerous roads admittedly). My Facebook memories often contain rants from a few years ago about idiotic drivers.... I don't come across many of them now.

    (What I do come across is Arthur and Mildred out for a day in the country driving our 60mph roads at 25mph. One plus side of lockdown is they're not on the roads)

    I think there's many things we used to do in scouting that we wouldn't do now. Either we are more risk aware, or more scared of the litigious consequences. E.g. I remember as a scout the ventures would always get the chainsaw out to prep the campfire, while the leaders would enjoy an afternoon pint in the pub while we were out in a hike

    These days even the leaders wouldn't use a chainsaw unless they were qualified and had all the kit and everyone else was kept well away, and a coffee at the pub is probably the limit.

    Alcohol and chainsaws haven't got more dangerous... have we become more safety conscious, or just more conscious of the litigation risks.

    In a work role I suspect the latter. If I use the chainsaw to don a job at work, I'm conscious that I don't have a chainsaw qualification, so I do it when there's no staff on site. Which means I'm lone working with a chainsaw. Which is more dangerous. But if I had a staff member around and something happened to them the court would have a field day. If I just hurt myself, that's my own fault.

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    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    I agree many of us will have had near misses. Often not our fault. I suspect most who drive scout minibuses will be able to think of a near miss... possibly one where their own actions actually saved the lives of their passengers. Or maybe one where their own mistake nearly made for a disaster.
    And often higher risk in a minibus with kids mucking about and a key reason why you need a leader riding shotgun. I've mentioned before the crew seating (no safety belt) land rover which one of our AESL's tried to use to take explorers to an event and resulted in parental rebellion - one of those occasions where although the law was being followed and a couple of parents gave lifts (so no harm done), the perception was that this leader was playing fast and lose with the safety of his charges and lost trust.

  10. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    In a work role I suspect the latter. If I use the chainsaw to don a job at work, I'm conscious that I don't have a chainsaw qualification, so I do it when there's no staff on site. Which means I'm lone working with a chainsaw. Which is more dangerous. But if I had a staff member around and something happened to them the court would have a field day. If I just hurt myself, that's my own fault.
    Chainsaws put the jitters up me. Hate the things. A tiny slip means serious disability or death. I'd use something else before going near one, even if hugely more effort.

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    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    Which means I'm lone working with a chainsaw. Which is more dangerous.
    Please, get a chainsaw licence, and have someone else there when you do it. Please? For me?
    Ian Wilkins
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  14. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    I assume that you do an RA for all activities at present and share the relevant mitigations and fallbacks with everyone on the activity? If not why not? This is no more onerous, you'll brief the written RA not ask them to read it and test them on it.
    We've been over this before and had the heated debate about it.

    We don't do RA's.

    What we do, is spend that time, instead, on actually making sure everyone knows what they're supposed to be doing. Making sure the kids (as best as we can anyway) don't just listen, but actually take on board the ground rules. I don't sit down in front of a computer and type it all out then give it to leaders - I get all the leaders together, and between us (accepting that they have knowledge and experience that I don't), we all make sure what we're doing is actually going to be safe in practice, not on paper.

    If someone sought to convince us that their activities were safer than ours because they typed up their risk assessment down and put it in a folder, it would be a short conversation.


    (And also what Neil said...)
    Last edited by pa_broon74; 09-04-2020 at 10:03 AM.

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  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark W View Post
    I suspect that what we are seeing is the softening up in preparation for greater things to follow. If you look at the coroner's comments and compare them with what we've seen from HQ, you might conclude that there is still a gap to fill. Remember that HQ are trying to reduce further what could be considered to be edge cases where a set of unfortunate events align with fatal consequences. The majority of us will never realise how close we came to tragedy, others will come perilously close, go home and (thanking their lucky souls) have a stiff drink and mutter "that was close". Very infrequently, someone will find themselves at an inquest. But if you look around, can you say with certainty who will be lucky and get away with it, and who won't? What HQ are trying to do is to reduce the element of luck needed to reduce those edge cases. "Controlling work" is tricky enough to do in a high hazard industry, add in the element of "volunteering" where many people think they know better or don't care anyway and it adds an order of magnitude of difficulty to HQ's challenge. The spelling and grammar might be a bit wonky but the sentiment of everything I've seen isn't unreasonable. Most of what's come out is common sense and just reinforces what sensible precautions should be going on anyway. Nothing I've seen worries me yet. Not involved with HQ, just a satisfied customer who thinks that they have a challenge on their hands).
    Hmmm.

    So far, they've done nothing to address the substantive problems, all they've done is fiddled round the edges.

    Why not look at the training and identify why leaders aren't doing it? Why not look at the structure and figure out why so many roles are unfilled? Why not look at the NAP system and tighten up how it operates, who watches the watchers? Why not look at the permit scheme and make it fit for purpose?

    (I'm not aiming any of this at you Mark W, they are questions I've had for years now. )

    All they've done is fussed around a bit with paperwork and (maybe) covered their backs a bit.

    At best, (maybe) by formalising RA's in NAN's, that might focus the minds of inexperienced leaders on identifying risks. As for the rest? I take the view (and I appreciate this is entirely subjective) that the problems we have are more systemic than that.

    Someone mentioned before about volunteer advisors - presumably experienced leaders, in place to advise on policy at HQ. Currently, there is (I think) an atmosphere, that if you make even the mildest claim at being an 'experienced leader', you are accused of hubris and complacency and labelled dangerous. It is as if, leaders who have decades of experience (all of it accident-free) scouting under their belts, managed it purely and only by chance.

    I have no clue what experience the people who make policy have in front line scouting, I don't know what experience that have in terms of mitigating risk. I'm prepared to accept they may have a lot of both, but are mired in a feedback loop of committee groupthink.

    Every time they do this though, I move that little bit closer to the door.

  17. #42
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    In reality what many Groups will do here is write a standard camp RA, and once it's been approved they'll just use it each time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    It is as if, leaders who have decades of experience (all of it accident-free) scouting under their belts, managed it purely and only by chance.
    I have decades of experience. It has not been accident free. A couple of incidents still give me the cold sweats and a sick feeling. I still consider myself a safe leader. In fact, sometimes I wonder if I've lost my bottle.
    Ian Wilkins
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    I think the biggest problem HQ & County/District face is getting the message out to everyone at the sharp end.

    We on here are probably better than most at reading HQ emails & POR and acting on them. New Leaders and those undergoing training will at least get pointed towards it and hopefully given the correct information. The biggest challenge is the older hands who often don't get or don't read the emails or have GSL's who don't pass them on, or just don't bother.
    How do we reach them?

    Mandatory ongoing training you would think would catch them, but how many can honestly say that they haven't (when done online) clicked through to the "test/quiz" and not actually read through the actual content and understood it?

    I think training is going to have to change with more ongoing mandatory training. I can see a need for refresher training for certain key areas every few years for everyone and it will have to be mandatory and not a skip to the quiz online module.
    Dave Ralphs
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    I work for O2, any posts are my own personal views & do not represent O2

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    We don't do RA's.

    What we do, is spend that time, instead, on actually making sure everyone knows what they're supposed to be doing. Making sure the kids (as best as we can anyway) don't just listen, but actually take on board the ground rules. I don't sit down in front of a computer and type it all out then give it to leaders - I get all the leaders together, and between us (accepting that they have knowledge and experience that I don't), we all make sure what we're doing is actually going to be safe in practice, not on paper.
    So you do actually do risk assessments. You just don't write them down.
    James

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