TheHealth and Safety Executive (HSE) is hard at work exposing misuse of the ‘health and safety’ tagline.
Its Myth Busters Challenge Panel – created by the Government to challenge seemingly ridiculous rules that are believed to be disproportionate or inaccurate – has dealt with around 300 complaints to date.
These include laws to ban donkey rides on beaches and prevent workers wearing open-toed shoes in the summer.
Health and safety laws are used to prevent accidents at work or in the public domain.
But a number of councils and businesses nationwide are using them to prevent previously normal activities taking place because they are worrying about people getting hurt.
Staff at a cafe in Bedfordshire, for instance, refused to put strawberry sauce on a customer’s ice cream for supposed health and safety reasons, while a dog show in Cumbria dropped Frisbee catching because it was too anxious about what could go wrong.
Such rules serve no purpose. The Government hopes that by listing them it will deter organisations from using them in the first place, or embarrass them into removing existing ones for fear of being ridiculed.
Duty of care
Employers have a duty of care to protect staff at all times. This includes having a health and safety policy in place.
HSE chairwoman Judith Hackitt says real health and safety is about protecting people in the workplace from life and health threatening risks, not fobbing people off with an easy excuse as a way out.
She is urging all bosses and workers alike to familiarise themselves with health and safety law and stay safe.
Accidents at work are unfortunately commonplace, no matter what the industry. If you’ve suffered an injury in an accident that wasn’t your fault, then you could be entitled to personal injury compensation.
Accident Advice Helpline deals with a wide range of personal injury claims on a daily basis, so it is well equipped to guide you through the process of making a claim to ensure you get the maximum payout possible.