Have you thought of... January 2010

11 January 2010

... using Homer Simpson as a role model in a safety induction?

As the most accident-prone nuclear safety inspector of all time, maybe not. But the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is using Homer to highlight the biggest causes of injury and ill health in the workplace in a new poster campaign.

In a series of six posters, which also feature other characters from the popular cartoon, Homer is pictured asleep during a safety talk, tumbling down the stairs, and suffering a marshmallow burn courtesy of son Bart. Rospa hopes that Homer’s misfortunes will get others to think about how to avoid the common accidents that affect thousands of workers in real life.

The posters can be purchased at

… barcoding your building?

Westminster City Council has kicked off a six-month project to barcode the mechanical and electrical components of every bridge, underpass, pedestrian subway and tunnel in the borough.

When scanned using a handheld device, each of the 20,000 barcodes gives maintenance workers access to a database holding the maintenance record of the component, including pictures and repair logs as well as information on who worked on it and when.

The system is designed to improve the efficiency of repairs and help identify problem sites. After barcodes, we’re just waiting for the conveyor belts and bored checkout staff to make an appearance.

... building a neo-classical fire and police station?

No, but Prince Charles has. This is Dorset’s new Fire and Rescue Service building for the Prince’s pet model development at Poundbury, Dorchester, as built by contractor Morgan Ashurst.

It’s a fascinating essay in salmon pink neo-classicism, with debts owed to Greek temples and distribution sheds.

The project is part of an £80m PFI package of facilities for the county.

Looking at the barred windows, one might assume that the building may contain holding cells for the town’s delinquents. But don’t be fooled – any crimes here are defi nitely occurring on the outside. Locals have evidently expressed their dissatisfaction by leaving graffiti on some of the walls.

… managing the relief efforts after a natural disaster?

You can get an idea of how you’d cope by visiting the British Red Cross website and taking part in the interactive challenge “Decisions for Recovery”, which is designed to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Asian tsunami.

Participants are put in the shoes of the Red Cross staff who led the recovery efforts and draws from the real-life issues they faced. Playing the part of a disaster recovery manager, you will have to direct and co-ordinate the tsunami response and allocate resources between temporary measures and long-term rebuilding.

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