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Dave_P

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Everything posted by Dave_P

  1. At the risk of repeating what others have already said: 1. Because the owner is far better placed to assess the risk. 2. Because the law is very clear on this (it has nothing to do with any 'mentality') and a good owner/employer would have at least some grasp of what is required under the law (which has been in place for nearly 40 years!). If anyone is playing the 'someone else is to blame' card it's those people who would seek to pass the blame from the owner to the customer. This is what unscrupulous employers have tried to do over many, many years and it is exactly what our Health and Safety legislation has largely stopped. The correctness of this approach is clearly proven by the continuing decline in workplace accidents over the last few hundred years. When I go onto someone else's business premises, they have responsibilty for my safety, it's as simple as that. This doesn't mean that I don't also have to play my part but I simply can't be expected to do a site risk assessment each time I enter a premises. In the same way, Richard Ferris would not have been as well placed as the owner to judge the suitability of the access platform. It's pretty normal that a customer would trust the owner that the equipment provided was suitable. If you read Steilsteven's previous post you can see that it wasn't suitable and that: 1. The owner should have known that. 2. It could have easily been made suitable. The law is so clear on this, I'm amazed that it's caused this amount of debate.
  2. I have to say I'm really shocked about some of the responses on this thread, trotting out the tired 'elfinsafety gone mad' rubbish. Please don't forget that a man died! This is a terrible tragedy and made worse by the fact that it could have been easily prevented by some simple common sense and consideration on the part of the person responsible for safety on the site. This is why we have legislation (in the case the Health and Safety at Work act 1974) and why risk assessments are required. Any fool can see that what was going on at this boatyard was dangerous and therefore posed a risk. It is up to the boatyard to take reasonable steps to mitigate that risk. If they decide that the best way to do this is to require the customers to provide their own access equipment then good luck to them but I can't see that standing up in court for one minute! Lets be clear who is responsible for health and safety on the site - the owner! It is up to them to deal with it, not to sidestep it. As previous posters have pointed out, it is the owner who is in the best position to assess the risks and find the best solutions, not the customers. Don't be fooled by silly tabloid storied about over-zealous individuals banning kids from playing conkers. The real story is that without adquate legislation we would still have tens of thousands of people killed in the workplace every year as used to happen in the past. Last year 173 people died in the workplace, each one of these is a tragedy but we should all be celebrating how low this figure is. If a fine of £50,000 sends a message to other boatyards to look at all their practices and look for ways to make things safer, then it's entirely justified. Most of the time, improving H&S is much more a case of applying common sense than spending lots of money. After all, how much does a secured platform with a rail actually cost? A lot less than £50,000!!! The HSE didn't cause a business to close, the owners did that for themselves, when they let a man die through negligence. Rant over.
  3. This is so right and so important. I'd say at least 2 ways for each as a minimum. Things break on boats more often than you'd want, and you always need back up. Solid fuel stoves are by far the most reliable way of heating your boat if you don't have mains hook-up. For the last month I've had mains electric (which is something of a novelty for me) so I now have: 3 ways to heat water (immersion, alde, engine) 3 ways to charge the batteries (hook-up, genny, engine) 4 ways to heat the interior (electric, squirrel, alde, engine) and when I finally get round to fitting a back-boiler to my Squirrel, I'll have 4 ways to heat water! When the Zombie-apocalypse comes, I'll be better prepared than most!
  4. It's all gorgeous, enjoy it! My 'must see' would be that you must go on the river. I just don't understand people who get all the way down there and then don't go past the basin. Much fun to be had dodging round the rowing boats and (my boat anyway) goes so well with a decent bit of water under the prop!
  5. that's not my experience but maybe it varies from place to place. there's quite a few good marinas on the shroppy so maybe that has an influence.
  6. I was advised that my ideal sample size would be between 60 and 100. Less than sixty and it's pretty difficult to derive statistical significance from the data. More than 100 and the complexity of analysing the data would increase to a point where it would become difficult to do it justice in the time-frame I have available. In the end my sample size was 91. Even with that, I'm struggling somewhat to fully analyse the data and keep my write up to the 15,000 word limit I am allowed. I'm not sure what you mean by percentage of the total? Do you mean the total number of residential boaters in the uk? The RBOA suggest a figure of 15,000 but this includes coastal waters. CRT are reluctant to make a guess. The reality is that nobody really knows. The figure is likely to be between 5,000 and 15,000 but defining a residential boater is not clear-cut. Many people keep a land address where they spend varying amounts of time, are they residential or not? To my mind, the problem is that the laws regarding housing and residential status were not written with boaters in mind so we, as a group, are an imperfect fit. I suspect you're right on that Chertsey but it doesn't mean that they aren't vulnerable people who need support and help from the authorities. The difference is that if they were living in a house, it's much more likely that vulnerable people would be flagged up somewhere and get the help they need. Similar boaters can more easily 'fall off the grid'. I'm sure that in many cases, that's exactly what people want. But, what people want and what they need are often two different things. For example, my survey has shown pretty high rates of depression amongst single occupancy continuous cruisers. These people may feel they just want to be left alone, due to their depression, but, perhaps with some more help, they could tackle their depression... Perhaps it's a vicious circle? It's really hard to separate cause and effect - are they depressed because they're isolated, or are they isolated because they're depressed? Again, I suppose I'm playing devil's advocate here... and I'm starting to ramble... must get back to data-crunching...
  7. Aren't BW/CRT the largest owner of moorings in the UK?
  8. Thanks for the thoughts Tuscan. I agree with what you say about the 'can of worms', but... On the other hand, a land-living friend of mine came to me for advice recently as she was looking to buy a boat to live on. She had already contacted various boat-yards, marinas and the like and told them she would be residential. All of them told her she could not moor with them. Some of the places she contacted have people I know of who already do live there but keep their heads down and get away with this. I told my friend that she would have been better not to tell prospective mooring sites that she would be residential. I know I wouldn't if it was me! My results so far, indicate that moorers with an authorised residential mooring have better outcomes in terms of health, security and employment than those who don't, so are those boaters who 'keep their heads down' actually harming themselves by doing so? I'm one of them, so this matters to me too! On the issue of council tax, at my mooring site, to my knowledge, there are about 10 residential moorings of which I think only one pays council tax. This came about as a result of being hounded by the local authority. There is at least one other moorer who has tried to pay council tax but failed as the same local authority have been unable to set him up to do it! Other people with residential moorings, don't officially live there, but again, how is this defined? I have a land-based address where I do spend plenty of time and BW have told me that up to 4 nights out of 7 is acceptable to them on a leisure mooring although it's not clear where this figure comes from or whether it has any enforceable legal basis. A good question for this forum would be: Does anyone know of any prosecutions or sanctions against people living permanently on a leisure mooring? I'm aware of this happening to continuous cruisers who don't cruise very far but that's all. Finally, do you have any evidence that boaters with internet access represents only a small proportion? That's not my general experience, although I haven't properly investigated levels of internet access. I'd be more inclined to take the view that the people I've contacted through web-forum represent a narrow sample mostly due to being the types of people who like to get involved with web-forums. Either way, I am able to compare the data I have for the online respondents with the data I have for people I met face-to-face and I haven't been able to find any statistical differences between the two groups. The only difference I have found is that the online respondents were more likely to misunderstand the questions (partly a fault on my part), and this has forced me to discount some small portions of the data. For example there was one question which was about illegal drug taking and this was obviously not clear to everyone, leading to some people including prescribed drugs in their answer.
  9. and effect can also be a verb. Thanks for the proof-reading chertsey. I have discussed the difference between residential and leisure moorings. They are both 'permanent' unless you know different. Trying to get BW/ CaRT to define the difference is somewhat tricky. They actually told me that it's not for them to define and that I should ask my local authority, which kind of begs the question - why do BW even distinguish between leisure and residential? If were them I would say that all BW moorings were potentially residential and leave it to the moorer to obtain consent from the local authority to live there. Surely this would save BW / CaRT from spending money enforcing something which isn't really their problem. I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts on this as it directly relates to my dissertation.
  10. Hello again! I did promise to give updates and not just run away like previous questionnairing (sic?) types have done. I'm in the brain-melting data analysis section doing lots of exciting statistical tests including one-way-anova, wilcoxon, chi-square and kruskal-wallis for the mathematicians here. I've a little way to go but this is the last thing I wrote: "The analysis of the data so far shows that the lack of a permanent or residential mooring has a significant affect on health outcomes and on the individuals’ ability to access treatment, with elderly boaters at particular risk." I'm sure some of you will point out that this is stating the obvious but I'm just happy that I've got some valid results which stand up to scrutiny, not just a 'hunch'. Thanks again to those who contributed. Dave
  11. Oh dear! As an early bit of feedback on results, I can confirm that whilst most people haven't had any issues with theft, vandalism etc., those that do, often report repeated occurrences. Perhaps due to cruising patterns, location or perhaps to do with security issues on the boat. As always, one survey begats another... I'll probably be stopping taking any more questionnaire responses in another day or two as I really need to start the data analysis.
  12. Absolutely right. This is something I will discuss in my write-up. On a general note, any survey of this type is likely to exclude, to some extent, the most negatively affected and vulnerable people. This doesn't just apply to boater surveys but consider a boater who suffers from serious mental health issues, has learning difficulties, is illiterate, has difficulties with social interactions, is depressed, is a continuous cruiser, has a scruffy and unappealing looking boat, is shunned by other boaters, who tends to moor up in isolated locations and doesn't answer when his door is knocked. I was recently chatting with a RBOA representative about these sort of people (who do exist on the canals). It would be reasonable to expect that their health is at a greater risk than most but are also likely to be be unrepresented in any general study of boaters. Of course it would be possible to specifically seek out these sorts of people, but how hard should you try? If you try too hard, then they will be over-represented. A survey such as this should be as random as possible, but, in practise this is impossible. The best you can do is to be aware of the shortcomings and discuss the possible effects of those shortcomings.
  13. I hate to ruin your day, but I'll be moored in Huddersfield this winter.
  14. Good question. I haven't yet, because it doesn't feel right.
  15. Tea is fine by me. I do have a weakness for gin though. Specifically this right now http://www.bruichladdich.com/the-botanist-islay-dry-gin/the-botanist
  16. I'm not sure what form your results took, but I certainly won't be publishing the specific answers given by each person. What I will do is report back on my general findings. For example, I might find that 15% of people below 30 have had a fire on their boat recently while only 5% of people over 65 have. This is the sort of things which I would be happy to share on this forum. For me, this side-steps any concerns over client confidentiality. I'm not sure what kind of study would only produce results which might compromise client confidentiality. Dave.
  17. Thank you to everyone who has completed this questionnaire so far. I've had loads of good responses. I promise I will share my findings with you guys on here. Looking at the data, I have collected so far, I can see some clear differences between the experiences of continuous cruisers and those with permanent moorings. Fire safety and accident rates also look interesting but of course I need to do some statistical analysis before I can be sure of anything. Interestingly, in the light of the discussion on this thread, I can't see much in the way of obvious differences in the responses I have collected online when compared to face-to-face. This might change as I get more responses. Dave. p.s. please make it clear on the questionnaire if you aren't answering seriously. There are some I have received which obviously fall into this category.
  18. David - although you are right in what you say, there are still issues with 'tramping the towpath' as people could still pretend to be liveaboarders when they weren't, just as they could online. Or are you saying that people are inherently dishonest online? Equally, when face-to-face with people, they may be more reticent to be honest about their health issues or lifestyle choices which would actually make the online results more accurate. There may be a few people who seek to subvert the results but I will discuss that in my analysis. Ultimately a questionnaire is a game of trust because in either situation I am relying on people to be truthful. Hopefully that explains my position. Dave
  19. David - And tramping the towpath is what i've been doing for the last three months, from Birmingham to Llangollen. However, it does no harm to look for data in more than one way, so I came on here. Interestingly, lots of 'serious academic researchers' (of whom i'm not one) collect data online. It's fine, provided you recognise the potential limitations when writing up. I'm not sure why you're repeatedly making assumptions that I haven't done things which I have done? You could have asked about the various other ways in which I have been collecting data rather than making unfounded accusations that I'm taking the easy way out? I don't want to start an argument though, I was simply asking if people could take part in this survey, I had no idea it would be so controversial! Dave.
  20. Well said Chertsey - thanks. I'm slightly surprised that people are assuming that there's no control group but obviously I wouldn't be asking for contributors for the control amongst liveaboarders. In this case the questions have often been chosen to mirror data which is already available for the general public. Having said that, there are numerous limitations with this study, as with every study. If I wanted to drill down into every aspect of the subject, the questionnaire would take 6 hours to complete and I would get no responses apart from a very, very skewed sample of people who really, really love doing questionnaires. Not very useful! However, if others wish the investigate factors which I have chosen to ignore, go for it! It's a woefully under researched subject and I'm sure there's plenty of room for others to get involved. I could have posted up my initial proposal but it's around 3500 words long and various aspects of the dissertation have been modified somewhat since then. I also think it might be counter-productive to have 100s of different critical analyses of it at this stage since I have been getting responses for some time now from other sources and again, everyone has their own ideas of what I should be asking. I should be able to put the abstract up when I've finished. Dave
  21. Thanks for the suggestions but there are good reasons why the questions are worded as they are and leading questions such as you have suggested would go down very poorly with the academic staff who will be marking it.
  22. Knock on my door in Gas Street Basin (nb Beau), say "I did your survey". I promise a beer (tasty home-brew) to anyone who does this. Wear a mask though, if you wish to preserve your anonymity! If I'm out, try again later. I can't say fairer than that, can I? Right now, I need to get back to revising - I have an exam tomorrow morning. eeek! Dave.
  23. Thanks for the feedback so far, and massive thanks to those who have done the survey - I owe all of you a beer! Yes, health and safety issues are a big part of the survey because that was the original intention. However, my university supervisor (who is not a boater) insisted I included some other issues too. As far as confidentiality goes, I can assure everyone that it is impossible for me to know who you are, unless you tell me. It asks for a first name to give me a bit of help in organising the responses. I'm not sure how a first name would tell me much anyway (unless you have a very unusual first name!) Feel free to make up a wacky first name if you want. Don't worry too much if you can't remember details from years ago, just put what you think is best. I'm looking for general trends and these sorts of surveys are not an exact science by any stretch. If anyone wants to have a nose through the whole survey out of interest, just make it clear somewhere that you're not answering for real or i'll end up using your data! Tam & Di - Don't worry that some of the questions didn't seem to apply to you. For example - the fact that you don't drink is just as relevant as any other answer. Say there was an unfounded perception that all boaters were drunks? Your data would help to dispel that myth! Starcoaster - My study is in response to a government commissioned review called 'Fair Society, Healthy Lives'. This review proposed a number of markers for determining health inequalities. I am looking at certain aspects of that review and finding out whether the needs of boaters were appropriately considered and whether the experiences of boaters differ significantly from the experiences of land-lubbers. I hope this makes sense of some aspects of the survey. Each question was carefully developed and tested before I was happy enough with it. I still have some reservations about some aspects of it and inevitably there are some compromises on length and wording but nothing which will prevent any significant outcomes from emerging - I hope. Thanks again, Dave.
  24. If you're starting from alvechurch then it's 110 locks there and back to stratford. I would say that that's a fair bit for a novice boater but if you're up for that why not consider doing the whole avon ring which is 129 locks? it's a bit further but you tend (in my experience) to make quicker time on the rivers anyway. i would agree with some previous comments about mooring issues. in particular when heading north from alvechurch, watch out for unruly kids just north of the wast hills tunnel (a notorious problem spot) and i wouldn't moor up anywhere along the stratford canal until you at least get as far as the shirley lift-bridge, or better still, earlswood boat club. after that, the journey down to stratford is lovely all the way. plenty of locks, if you like that, nice pubs at lowsonford, wootten wawen and wilmcote, a couple of good sized aqueducts and safe moorings everywhere. i know you have to get a licence for the avon but i really can't see the point of getting to stratford and not going onto the river - it's brilliant fun! adam's option would take you to the black country museum but you'll lose a lot of rural cruising. in particular going down farmer's bridge and out through east birmingham also presents mooring issues until you get to catherine de barnes. Also i've heard recent reports of shallow water and slow going in this area, along with parts of the worcester and birmingham around bournville and selly oak, although I guess holiday boats have pretty shallow drafts. if i were you, i'd head to stratford and see how you do for time. if you get to stratford in 3 days or less, go for the whole ring. if by 3.5 days you still haven't got to stratford - turn round and head back or you'll end up over-running.
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