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 Alan Gandy

Health and Safety in Spain

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One thing that can take some adjustment when you move to Spain, is getting used to the laissez faire approach to health and safety. Over recent decades it’s become something of an obsession in the UK to the point of silliness. This isn’t the case in Spain!

Health and Safety in SpainA couple of hours ago I spotted a couple of guys from the local Ayuntamiento had arrived outside our place to replace the lamps in one of the street lights. In the UK they’d have turned up in a truck with a lift designed for the job. The truck would then anchor itself with its feet, and the council workers would be sporting hard hats, safety goggles and high visibility vests. These guys turned up in a small van with a couple of ladders and a bit of rope.

I found it quite amusing to watch them juggle the ladders around, roping them appropriately, well sort of, and then proceeding to change the lamp. What I did find hilarious is – do you see the harness in the picture? It wasn’t attached to anything throughout.

Is this the worst example we’ve seen since moving here? No it isn’t, these guys were perhaps one of the closest we’ve seen to best practice! At least they had the good sense to tie the ladder – unlike the Indian chap we saw fixing a shop front in Lanzarote who hit the ground with an almighty thump (we were at least 100 metres away and heard it) when his ladder slipped away whilst working on the shop sign.

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