Given the number of articles that appear in newspapers and magazines, dripping with a ‘health and safety gone mad’ theme on a seemingly daily basis, it’s little wonder that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) spend considerable time trying to put the record straight.
One of the most frustrating elements of this is that bizarre tales can seriously detract from the important issue of health and safety in public places.
From slips, trips and falls, to falling objects, the threats to safety whilst out and about are both varied and numerous. What certainly doesn’t help the HSE’s cause, then, is stories that elicit a roll of the eyes and a tut of the tongue, rather than genuine sympathy.
HSE case example – Doggy bag
A prime example of one such instance was a situation whereby a waiter in a restaurant refused to provide a doggy bag to enable a guest to take the leftovers of their meal home.
When pressed as to why, the staff member could only provide a generic excuse concerning ‘health and safety.’
This liberal use of an umbrella term can be problematic, as people hear it and often immediately assume the ruling is based on nation-wide law.
In fact, it is far more likely that an individual company or setting has made a decision with regards to their own policies and procedures. This is undoubtedly the case here.
The lack of a threat of a public accident, posed by a doggy bag, prompted this strange story to take a place in a HSE report into what it called ‘crackpot cases’, which was released in early 2013.
The HSE panel derided the decision and encouraged the restaurant to try and explain the real reasons behind it being made.
Accidents in public places can be extremely unnerving and damaging, in both a mental and physical sense, and the last thing anybody wants is victims to feel as though they cannot come forward because the field of public injuries and accidents has become saturated by peculiar stories such as this.
Fortunately, help is at hand for those who are genuinely injured in a public place. Accident Advice Helpline have been assisting people for over 13 years with personal injury claims, including public trips and falls.
Their freephone advice line will enable you to have an initial consultation, after which your public accident claim will be taken on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. Call now on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone.
Date Published: December 11, 2013
Author: David Brown