Thursday, October 20

Let there be light

From the department of 'you couldn't make it up', (and the pages of yesterday's Daily Mail,) comes a remarkable tale of a Norfolk church, which has fallen foul of EU regulations.
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St. Benet's Roman Catholic church, in Beccles, Norfolk, is over 100 years old, and the nave is quite high.
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Until recently, changing the light bulbs used to involve the local electrician and some very long ladders.
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The Priest in charge, Father Sutch was forced to look for a new electrician, as the firm he had previously used had gone out of business.
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The work usually took a couple of hours and the bill came in at around £200.
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However, thanks to new European Union (EU) Directive, which is automaticaly incorporated into UK law, regading light bulbs and the changing of, Father sutch is now looking at the prospect of paying out somewhere in the region of £1,300 for the same job.
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Thanks to Schedule Six of the EU Working At Height Directive ( which states: 'every employer shall ensure that a ladder is used for work at height only if a risk assessment has demonstrated that the use of more suitable work equipment is not justified because of the low risk') a risk assessment had to be undertaken, which ruled out using a ladder. Instead, scaffolding with a platform on top had to be erected to reach the bulbs which are 40ft above the ground. As a result, the job now takes at least two men two days, at a cost of £260 per bulb.
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The bewildered Priest went on to say "The cost is six times what it was and my collections are not growing that fast. I'm trying to concentrate on the things of God, but it's difficult with all these worries about money. People are dying from MRSA in hospitals - where is their health and safety?"
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Indeed.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

My heart goes out to you Father. I wish you good luck with this issue. However, I have a friend who fell and broke his leg in several places. This caused him to have to be in Hospital over in the UK for about 6 days. During this time, the light bulb over his sink in his bathroom that lit the whole room wasn't functioning. It just had to be replaced. When this situation was brought to the attention of the nurses, he was informed that he would just have to prop the door open for a while as a work order had been issued but not filled as yet. This work order, it was later found out, had to go through about 12 peoples hands, several to just okay the idea in the first place. Once this was done and it was approved then it had to be sent out to fill the order, which meant that an electrician had to go to the room to see what type of light bulb was needed then request buying the light bulb from supplies and then when that order was filled to get a certified electrician to replace the bulb. The nurse apologized for this total inconvience as they were able to replace bulbs before just not now since the EU and new UK laws. My friends wife went to Woolworths bought a bulb and replaced it for him. We have never heard if anyone ever noticed or not.