Friday, 11 June 2010

Health and Safety

A friend of mine who teaches music to young adults gives a lecture on safety once a year as part of the course. He stresses the importance of having the electrician's sticker (pictured) on each piece of kit. The week following one of these lectures a student came in with a sheet of the labels, carefully recreated in Photoshop and printed onto sticky paper. These he was gaily distributing these to his classmates. While his ingenuity is admirable I suspect he may have rather missed the point. (I should stress that all Eastern Straynotes stickers are genuine and up to date.)

My own belief is that the UK's attitude to health and safety, largely driven by a blame culture and an increasingly litigious population, is stifling. This is especially so with regard to children who seem destined to suffocate in cotton wool.

However, I must admit that life as a performing musician is far safer than it once was. On-stage electrocutions are now extremely rare. This is partly because of more reliable equipment designed with better safety features, and partly due to regular safety checks. The band I play in has all it's electrical equipment checked by a qualified electrician once a year. This was initially because some venues insist on seeing the paperwork but now, for my own peace of mind, I wouldn't be without it.

1 comment:

  1. The phrase "on-stage electrocutions are now extremely rare" says it all for me. I remember I was told as a youngster never to hold two microphones at once, to avoid possible electrocution.

    Generally I think that elfin safety has gone too far, but for electrical gear, I like safety.