Usually, you think nothing of having a daily coffee during the morning commute. One passenger however, was shocked they were denied access onto the bus for the most innocent of reasons – having a cup of coffee. The explanation given, for their refusal onto the public transport, was simply ‘health and safety’ rules.
Not an opportunity to blame ‘health and safety’
Whilst there is no specific health and safety law in taking your favourite hot drink onto the bus during your morning commute for your daily caffeine intake, the Health and Safety Executive state that individual companies are free to determine their own policies.
In the case of hot drinks, this may involve guidelines regarding spilling drinks or littering. However, the Health and Safety Executive add that this should not be an opportunity to enforce a rule such as ‘no hot drinks on the bus,’ and then blame it on health and safety.
Recent watchdog challenging unreasonable bans
This is a further case that the Health and Safety Executive have exposed in a recent watchdog. As of December 2012, the Myth Busters Panel had responded to a hundred cases in order to help the public challenge unreasonable bans, and force organisations to honestly explain the actions behind their decisions and not blame it all on health and safety.
Judith Hackitt, Chair of HSE and the Myth Busters panel, commented, “It’s really important that we are all ready to challenge stupid decisions made in the name of health and safety, and that we as the regulator give the public the confidence to do so.
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Date Published: November 19, 2013
Author: David Brown