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Author Topic: Health and Safety at Chatham Dockyard, 1945 to 1984  (Read 1225 times)

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Offline Signals99

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Re: Health and Safety at Chatham Dockyard, 1945 to 1984
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2018, 17:33:11 »
I. Have just spent a day reading the full publication, first let me say I was a health physics monitor during most of the nuclear refitting programme in the yard, many of the names mentioned in that report were and are known to me, also the fact that I helped in the making of it. I am listed in the index.
First let me say, basically the report is fairly representative of what occurred during that period and up to the closure of the yard, but there is much left unsaid, and may never come to light.
There were faults on both sides, management and workers, mostly faults of omission and not faults of faluer. Every HP monitor I knew did his best to matain a safe working environment, after all we worked in and around the reactor system more than any other trade. There was good management and bad management, good workers and bad workers, the only difference between them was, the workers got the dose, the management, mostly stayed away.
I feel sad that there appears to be a blame culture directed at the Health Physics section, I can only say, in all honesty, no one I ever covered "in the pot" or during refueling was ever sold short, I did my best at all times. Most of my original HP team have long departed this world, I think maybe I'm the last one left of team two HP I think the sword of Damocles has fallen. Sorry for the doom and gloom but I owe it to my mates to try and square things, it's all past history now, but it matters to me.

Offline Lyn L

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Re: Health and Safety at Chatham Dockyard, 1945 to 1984
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2018, 15:00:02 »
Thanks DTT, maybe I won't read to the end then. So many people affected locally, two more I know of who died really painful deaths with Mesothelioma (a friend and ex B-in-L) and both in their 50s . Thanks for the heads up !  Such a shame that more help wasn't given, not just in the Yard or MOD either. The last two instances DID get compensation but it doesn't make up for loss of life.
 Very sad reading.
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Offline DaveTheTrain

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Re: Health and Safety at Chatham Dockyard, 1945 to 1984
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2018, 13:36:11 »
Lyn,

You may not want to read to the end, I have just finished (over lunch time), the radation section and it makes upsetting reading the casualness with the yard dealt with matters. 

Its a sobering and well written document, but perhaps a little close to home for some.
DTT

Offline Lyn L

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Re: Health and Safety at Chatham Dockyard, 1945 to 1984
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2018, 13:23:45 »
I haven't read it all yet, but the number of people suffering Asbestos  and Mesothelioma related illnesses is a bit startling. My late Bob was in the RN for 9 years, at a time when RN ships were using hammocks strung over asbestos covered pipes etc. He was found to have asbestos plaques on one lung , but did end up with COPD and a rare TB, years of smoking didn't help but they nearly all did smoke in those days. He left the RN in 1969  no pension at all either, things changed in 1975 for pensions. Too late for him and others . I also had a cousin who sadly died from Mesothelioma ALSO RN. Bob was really pleased when proper bunks were installed in each mess on board the various ships he was on.
I'll carry on reading the rest later.
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Offline DaveTheTrain

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Health and Safety at Chatham Dockyard, 1945 to 1984
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2018, 11:49:00 »
‘We suffered in silence’: Health and Safety at Chatham Dockyard, 1945 to 1984.
Evaluating the causes and management of occupational hazards relating especially to asbestos, ionising radiation and masculinity
by Emma Taaffe, BA (Hons), MA  April 2013

An excellent thesis which covers H&S in Chatham Dockyard.  It poses the question (among others) as to what part masculinity and peer pressure drove poor working practices.    It has detailed reports of the Caisson disaster, the Slip 2 fire and many other events, often with photos or drawings.

A recommended read if you are interested in the dockyard at Chatham.

https://hydra.hull.ac.uk/assets/hull:10524a/content

 

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