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  HSE strikes back at jobsworths!

HSE strikes back at jobsworths!

29 April 2013 Email this article

A panel set up by the HSE to help the public fight back against bogus health and safety excuses has clocked up a huge 150 cases in its first year.

HSE Executive Chair Judith Hackitt, who  heads a team of experts that rules on cases when ‘health and safety’ is suspected of being cited for spurious  reasons, has called for those making daft decisions to own up to their real motives and stopped giving health and safety a bad name.

Crackpot cases considered by the panel in 2013 alone include:

  • The bars that refuse to pull pints in glasses with handles
  • The burger that could not be cooked rare
  • The toothpicks removed from the table of a restaurant
  • The shredded paper banned from a school fete’s lucky dip stall
  • The cot bed that could not be made up by a hotel chamber maid

Judith Hackitt said:"We never cease to be amazed by the cases we consider.

"Why on earth do people think that they can get away with banning pint glasses with handles, bubbles at a birthday party, or burgers served anything other than well done, claiming they are a health and safety hazard? The reality is that people hide behind ‘health and safety’ when there are other reasons for what they’re doing – fear of being sued perhaps, or bad customer service. It’s time for them to own up to their real motives.

"The sad fact is that while all this nonsense is being spouted, it overshadows what health and safety is really about – ensuring people return home without injury from their day’s work, every day.

"We’re helping people to fight back – and I’m delighted to hear of cases of our panel making jobsworths back down and admit they’re wrong."

Employment Minister Mark Hoban, who has the Government portfolio for health and safety, said:

"I despair when I read cases like these. Health and safety is there to protect people from serious risks, not to be abused by jobsworths who stop people getting on with their lives.

"Thanks to the panel we've already exposed 150 myths and we'll carry on holding people to account when they give health and safety a bad name."