It may come as a surprise to many, that the authority which undertakes to reduce accidents at work by introducing moderate and proportionate measures, has itself been accused of over-zealous health and safety measures.
Moving furniture in offices
In most offices, it is simple enough to move a piece of furniture such as a chair or stool, but at the headquarters of the HSE, employees have allegedly been banned from moving furniture in the office, to reduce the chances of a work related injury.
Employees at the HSE are allegedly requested to book a porter to complete the task of moving furniture, and should allow up to two days for it to happen. The new rule could prove particularly problematic for staff planning a last-minute meeting.
If a porter cannot be summoned urgently, staff would be left with the awkward choice of disobeying a direct order from the management, or asking some of their guests to stand.
Allegedly, signs have been erected in the HSE offices which read “Do not lift tables or chairs without giving 48 hours’ notice to HSE management!”, and have been plastered across the walls in several meeting rooms.
The ruling was discovered by Labour peer Lord Berkeley. He noticed the signs when he attended a meeting at the London headquarters of the HSE, whose responsibilities include workers at nuclear plants, oil rigs and huge factories.
Incensed by what he considered to be “health and safety gone mad“, Lord Berkeley raised the matter in the House of Lords, demanding in a parliamentary question to know why the HSE had put up the notices.
The HSE plays a pivotal role in reducing accidents in the workplace. Manual handling is still a serious cause of workplace accidents. The HSE itself estimates that manual handling was responsible for 22 per cent of major workplace accidents in 2012.
If you’ve suffered an injury at work as a result of manual handling then you may be entitled to compensation. Compensation may not rectify the situation, but it can help with the subsequent bills that arise as a result of being injured at work. Contact Accident Advice Helpline today for more information. Our freephone helpline is open 24/7 on 0800 689 0500 where a friendly adviser is waiting to take your call.
Date Published: December 9, 2013
Author: David Brown