Examples Of Health And Safety Stupidity

The Caption Says It All

The Caption Says It All

Health and Safety, implemented to improve safety standards and working practices, has ended up a sordid mess. Rules were introduced arbitrarily by  over-zealous individuals, who thought they were doing the right thing, but were in reality making a mockery of the rules, and turning people’s lives into hell.

A power company, supplying large areas of Scotland, introduced a couple of years ago a new ‘H&S’ regulation for its staff. All car drivers must reverse into parking spaces, and all people using the stairs must use the handrail. Disciplinary action would be taken against violators! Typical of someone’s idea that they can implement regulations in the name of H&S for their idea of the ‘common good’.

Among the more ridiculous interpretations of the rules comes the case of an Old Age Pensioner George Pretty (72). He made a weekly run to the local fish and chip shop to get meals for the OAP’s in the home he was in. He had been doing it for years, until some erstwhile Housing Warden told him he must stop because he did not have an insulated box to carry the meals in, and this was against H&S rules.

You will love this!

The Midlothian Council, again in Scotland, left all the lights on at night in an abandoned high school. The reason, vandals entering the property might injure themselves. According to a spokesman at the time, they had a duty to do this because as owners of the property they could be sued if someone hurt themselves after entering the premises illegally.

Compensation Lawyers Just Love Guys Like These

Compensation Lawyers Just Love Guys Like These

Two regional BBC Show presenters wanted to do a trial on their programme to see who could change the wheel of a car the quickest. To satisfy H&S, a mechanic was called in to do a risk assessment, and eventually the producer decided the trial could not go ahead unless a paramedic was standing by. Does this mean that should you ever suffer a puncture at any time, you must call an ambulance before you can change the wheel?

It would seem that even bar staff are allowed to interpret the H&S laws as they see fit. In March 2009 a woman, 26 weeks pregnant, was having a rare pint of lager with friends in a pub when she was asked if she would like another half. Having already decided that would be her limit, she was shocked to hear the bar-woman refuse to give the friend her drink because she was pregnant. She let it go without a fuss, but a little later, took a sip from a friends glass at which point the assistant manageress marched over and told her and her friends to leave the premises immediately because as a pregnant woman she should not be drinking alcohol. A blatant display of her using her limited powers to force her opinion of pregnant women and alcohol onto the unfortunate woman. To their credit, the brewery did offer the woman and her friends a full apology. As to the ‘SS’ managerial assistant, who knows, but I hope she never gets to be a manager.

For 43 years, 63 year-old Graham Alexander has cut the grass of the large roadside verge outside his house, until recently that is. In 2010 he was told by Wiltshire Council that he must leave it for the contractors, because he is “endangering himself and others and could be hurt by the mower or flying debris.” Should he continue he would be prosecuted.

This sort of insanity is not solely restricted to private individuals, it can affect government institutions too. The British Coast-Guard Service have done valuable work around the shores of Britain for hundreds of years, rescuing sailors and civilians alike when they get into trouble. Ever since the First World War they have been using flares fired from a flare pistol to illuminate large areas during a search for people or ships. Now they are forbidden for H&S reasons. The official view is that infra-red cameras, night vision goggles and spotlights have made the flares redundant. The Coast-guard did not agree, and still use them when necessary.

Isn’t it amazing how people and times change, and how pathetic some people can be? To be fair, part of the reason for institutions taking the stance they do, is the rampant ‘compensation culture’ rife in Britain for the past twenty years. You can be sued by someone who breaks a nail while typing on your computer for example, or even by a burglar who gets hurt while breaking into your house. Crazy Huh!

As just about everyone knows, over the past couple of years people have died because, for example, the rescue services have not been able to do their job because of these stupid regulation, so it is really about time they were given a good going over and all the trash removed.

It makes me wonder who the insane ones really are, those in the rubber rooms looking out, or those on the outside looking in!

Keep smiling – it ain’t over yet!

Roy.

4 Responses to “Examples Of Health And Safety Stupidity”

  1. To add to the list are health assessments by health insurance companies, health care organizations and sites like WebMD that perpetuate narrow research findings. If a condition or illness is controlled by medication, one is dinged. Likewise, if one does not exercise as a separate activity, one’s score is downgraded even if one is active, whether removing stumps or cleaning house. The BMI is considered sacred despite significant variations in body conformation. The assumption is that everybody is sedentary and must go to the gym. Absurd, stupid and totally assumptive.

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    • Hi La9rsemar and welcome.
      Thanks for your comment, and its true. All I can say is “Life ain’t what it used to be” that’s for sure.
      Best Regards,
      Roy.

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  2. Dave Harney Says:

    I think the basic principals of H & S are good, however it seems to have become more invassive, controlling and rediculas. What it made me believe is part of the H & S agend is ” we’ll remove the opportunity for people to assess situations by using their own common sense “, as wouldn’t this be the way of how to develop and keep one’s common sense alive is by using it ? In some schools they use these blanking plates which mask the gap that appears once you open a door, through fear that somone would put their fingers in the gap, then sue the school. There has to be some level of common sense and personal responsibility where you pay some attention to potentially putting one’s self in danger. It’s like when you say to the kid 2 don’t put your fingers in the fire as it will really hurt, of course they ignore you shove their fingers in the fire, but never repeat this again. Surely part of being at school is not just someones academic future, but it is also about preparing kids for the future, and this would include giving them the skills to be able to risk assess for themselv’s ….. !!! Did you ever see the human planet when it was on? Where out in Papa New Guinea a local tribe were building a massive tree house 40 meters up in an iron wood tree. Their were no health & safety officers, no paperwork, no risk assessments. But no one was injured or hurt, no one died ….. this is because the relevant skills had been passed on from generation to generation, and I imagine those skills had also been refined, rather than those skills being removed from the public having the opportunity to use and cultivate such skills on how to assess situations for them self’s by some external source ( control freak ) department who are trying to deplete the opportunity for one to manage and decision make for themself’s. Beside’s ….. it is because of sueing culture that such stupid repercussions occure, and it is just about money. Forgive my crap spelling ….. !!!

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    • Hi Dave,
      Nice to hear from you. I agree 100% with what you say. While Health and Safety started out a good thing, it has now been taken to ridiculous lengths by interfering busybodies who have nothing better to do than to foul up the system. It is good for people to learn from their mistakes, but when the idiots take charge everything goes crazy.
      The problem is, I can’t see things getting better, just a whole lot worse.
      Best Regards,
      Roy.

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