Companies in the UK are creating scores of bogus bans to fulfil their own interests, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). From offices to schools and from pubs to hotels, businesses are creating these fake bans as an excuse to stop undesirable activity, or through worries about being sued or providing poor customer service.
Amongst the scores of bogus bans include a school that banned shredded paper and a ban of bubbles at a children’s party. The HSE are concerned that these fabricated bans are masking the real reason that health and safety measures are in place – to protect employees from accidents and injuries in the workplace.
Health and safety has a vital role to play in the workplace. Whilst it has long gained a bad press for overly cautious measures, this is not helped by these bans created under the guise of as health and safety and being used by companies across the UK for their own convenience. 150 such cases were identified in the HSE’s first annual report.
Why is health and safety so important?
Whilst some measures may seem excessive, all genuine health and safety measures exist for good reason and should always be observed by employers. If an employer fails in this duty and an employee becomes injured as a result, the employer will be to blame and the employee likely entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation. Work injuries can vary between working environments – perhaps including risk of construction accidents, repetitive strain injury or industrial deafness – but by following health and safety guidelines, these can largely be avoided.
These recently identified scores of bogus bans in the workplace are not conducive to achieving safety in the workplace. Instead, they are being used as an excuse for laziness or otherwise by employers and public places. For example, a hotel told a couple that they could not make the cot bed for them, as it was a hazard for health and safety. A case was also reported in a restaurant, where a diner was refused a toothpick, again due to ‘health and safety.’
Scores of bogus bans and their impact on making a claim
If you have been involved in an accident at work and are unsure if it was caused by a genuine health and safety breach, please call Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 for further information on scores of bogus bans in the workplace.
Date Published: 19th September 2013
Author: David Brown