Google is my Competent Person

11/11/2019

The other day I took a camera into a shop in Leeds to get a quote for repair to a screen which was broken. The quote was £230 plus VAT. I went home, bought the screen from Amazon for £27.50, Googled it, then watched a video on you tube. When it arrived the day after I fixed it myself.

So, Google is great for some things like that. Practical, factual advice. The freedom of information empowers everyone who can afford to connect to it.

A couple of days after I was thinking about next years holiday and whether Turkey was a viable destination. After an hour of reading I gave up, more confused than when I started. Google is not as good for sorting out opinion and interpretation. Freedom of information also means freedom to post any view regardless how biased or factually incorrect. There is no arbiter of opinion in that respect. According to my research Turkey is either a peaceful, cheap, serene holiday or a dangerous hellhole.

When it comes to using Google as your ‘Competent Person’ for health and safety it really is a non-starter. Its good for factual rules and regulations but not so good for interpretation of those rules and regulations to real life situations. The HSE web-site is an excellent source of information, but information only. They will always place the emphasis back onto you, the employer, to apply it to your own situation. Invariably this leaves you still not understanding what has to be done.

The other source of advice is forums and discussion groups where you can find plenty of subject matter. The problem remains the same as I had with my Turkey enquiries, the range of opinions and interpretations are staggering. Most often than not your question remains unanswered.

When it comes down to it you invariably need it explained there and then, in plain English, and tailored to your actual problem. Something which, in my experience Google cannot do.

Here at O J Health and Safety Solutions we aim to provide our retained client base with straight forward, accurate and honest advice which cuts to the heart of the matter. We have over 10 years of experience of doing just that. Look at our retained services packages on the web-site for the best one to suit your needs.

Don’t trust your health and safety to the internet Contact OJ Safety

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