The 2 examples below are from the HSE Myth Busters Challenge Panel
Case 324 – TV satellite engineers will not install equipment after 5pm
TV satellite engineers will not install TV equipment after 5pm because it unsafe to do so and contravenes Health and Safety regulations.
There is no workplace Health and Safety legislation that prohibits the installation of TV equipment after 5pm. The customer service advisor was wrong to claim that this is a contravention of Health and Safety regulations. The company have confirmed that this is not company policy and will brief staff to ensure they understand what engineers can and can’t do.
Case 310 – Pub bans confetti
A sign at a pub says: “Customers please note: due to confetti being a health and safety issue, unfortunately we are requesting that you do not use any. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
This is not and never was a health and safety issue. It is encouraging to note that after contact from HSE the pub manager has agreed to take the sign down. If the pub wants to ban confetti because of the clean up problems it creates that is their decision but they can’t hide behind the veil of health and safety!
How often do you see these sorts of issues blamed on health and safety? Yet all of these, plus many more, have been shown not to be anything to do with health and safety by the HSE Myth Busters panel.
Someone is making these decisions and using health and safety as a reason. Are they using health and safety as a convenient excuse or they simply don’t know what they are talking about?
The law has to be applied in an appropriate way otherwise we get the law being misused and devalued.
To avoid inappropriate, unnecessary and often costly health and safety you should always seek competent advice. If you are looking for a consultant the HSE advise using a consultant on the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR). The register ensures consultants have the right qualifications and insurance to give you the competent advice you need.
See www.oshcr.org for details of the register.
Bob Chandler MSc, CMIOSH, FIIRSM, FRSPH, AIEMA
OSHCR Registered Consultant