Health and Safety often gets blamed by people for stopping things happening; people can receive bad advice from their Employer, their Insurance Company or indeed from a Health and Safety Consultant. They can also use Health and Safety as an excuse for not doing something or for people who can’t be bothered or have a ‘killjoy’ attitude.
The Health and Safety Executive have responded to concerns by setting up a Myth Buster panel; this is chaired by Judith Hackett- a formidable character – she has 11 co panellists who are drawn from all walks of life.
So far this year they have commented on 47 cases; the first about a swing on an allotment that a Parish Council wanted removing; the swing was provided for use by the hirer’s children to keep them occupied. The latest that a landlord of a block of flats was asked to replace metal framed windows; that fitted & opened safely.
There is a form on the HSE’s website for anyone to report any ‘Health and Safety gone mad’ occurrences.
Health and Safety as I have said is all about Common Sense; but Common Sense is not always that common- it is about awareness, knowledge, attitude & perception.
Health and Safety is about protecting people with sensible controls; not about blanketly saying people cannot do things
I have chosen some ‘favourite’ myths to highlight that Health and Safety has not gone mad – but some peoples interpretation of it has:
Health and Safety is siimply about protecting people; unfortunately 173 people were killed at work last year- this fiqure does not include those who are killed whilst driving on our roads; or ask the 300 000 plus people who are injured at work
It is about sensible Risk Management - about putting in place some proportionate controls.
We all need to accept personal responsibility- whether we are an Employer, an Employee or a member of the public