> Crimping ‘eck….

Crimping ‘eck….

Posted on Saturday, March 14, 2009 | No Comments

Right or wrong, love him or hate him, if there’s one thing we can all agree with Jeremy Clarkson on is that “health and safety” has gone mad in this country. No one in the UK seems to know why we are so health and safety conscious – perhaps we have been looking at the States too long and their “sue for anything” culture, putting in place endless H&S procedures to counteract the same culture happening here to the same degree.

But alas, the H&S events also bring with them some classic stories, most of them involving someone going completely over the top with protection beyond the level of protection. I know I’ve blogged before on over-protection for no apparent reason, and writing about it again does make me sad, knowing I have more than one story on the same subject.

But do not fear, this one is comical and I believe should be shared – for precisely the reason of over-protection and the point where you have to see it in order to actually believe it. I even breached the “no photography” rule on site at work in order to get this photo to post with this blog, but I felt it was worth it: evidence, exhibit A if you will to show how far things have gone.

When I first heard about this, I laughed, when I saw the evidence I laughed harder and longer and recoiled when it hit me just how ridiculous things have gotten. For anyone who works in IT, will know that occasionally ‘home-made’ network cables need to be made, whether this is because they should be ‘cut-to-length’ or because pre-ended, factory moulded cables are in short supply. In order to make said ‘home-made’ cables, you need to have in your possession a “crimping” tool. A crimping tool allows the RJ45 plugs to be attached to the copper cabling (but enough of the techie), and included on most crimpers is a blade which is used to cut the cable from the reel.

If you haven’t guessed the ending yet, here is it – at work, my boss – in his ultimate wisdom – decided that it was unsafe to have these blades on the crimping tool and set about unscrewing and removing the blades from the tools so that no one could possibly hurt themselves…….or now use the tool for its intended purposes!

Instead, our engineers now have to use not only the crimping tool to attach the end to the cable, but also have at hand a pair of scissors sharp enough to cut through copper cables and their plastic coatings. The dangers of using scissors hasn’t be noticed yet….and when that is realised, I fear, we may have them taken away, to be replaced with plastic, blunt scissors incapable of cutting anything – just like those used in most children’s nurseries.

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