Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Good old days - 5 -

THOUSANDS of farmers and other workers are to be banned from driving tractors, lorries and dumper trucks for much of the working day under an EU directive on vibrating machinery. The restrictive limits of the EU Physical Agents (Vibration) Directive were agreed in Brussels yesterday and will be published this summer. The directive was immediately condemned by the National Farmers' Union as a "masterpiece in madness". The NFU led opposition to the directive because it meant farmers would have been forbidden from driving a tractor for more than three to four hours a day. That limit was roughly doubled yesterday and farmers were given a five-year extension to convert existing tractors and machinery to comply with the directive. Any restriction on the time farmers can spend at the wheel of their tractors will have big cost implications, particularly at harvest time. However, the impact of the law will be even heavier on other industries. The Health and Safety Executive said yesterday that it would cost £3 billion to £4.8 billion to implement. Ben Gill, the NFU president, said: "This directive has been driven through without any scientific justification. This is the European nanny state gone mad." Using an arcane formula to measure the "whole body vibration", the time limit for using a chainsaw would be one and a half hours. Lorry drivers would be restricted to working for only six hours and dumper truck drivers to two hours. The time limits for using a road drill would be 47 minutes. Road haulage companies say the directive could triple operating costs. The Tories say that the limits, which are designed to prevent lower back pain, will ruin the building industry and hamper farming. They are urging the Government to block the legislation. The directive now has to be rubber-stamped by the European Parliament and the EU's Council of Ministers. The Government will have three years to implement the regulations. (Daily Telegraph 14/03/2002(Again))
safety photos
Safety photos and a few safety jokes - Original jokes are copyright

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