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When Health and Safety Gets in the Way of Common Sense
Posted by David Cant on April 27, 2011
1 Comment

There have been a few of cases of health and safety in the media this week.  For a change the public are not quite behind these newly imposed regulation measures which is raising the issue of when health and safety over steps the mark.

The first case involves the Royal Mail and the employees working in the small village of Goodworth Clatford in Hampshire.  Due to concerns over health and safety the postmen are no longer permitted to cross over one of the roads when they are on the rounds.  The new regulations have been brought in to minimise risks to their employees but local people and the Royal Mail workers have complained.

Bizarre Health and Safety Rule Angers Residents

As part of the new regulation the employees now must work on one side of the road and then change over and go down the opposite side.  The road in question is a quiet road with barely any traffic and locals are happy to let their children cross over without any supervision.  If they have not managed to complete the route in time the mail is to be taken back to the depot.  Residents have been receiving their mail several hours later than usual and some of the houses have even had no deliveries made.

The local council have commented on the situation and one councillor, David Drew, stated that the health and safety regulation was bizarre. The chairman of Abbotts Ann Parish Council, Bernard Griffiths said that he was outraged by the changes and is hoping that someone’s head rolls as a direct result of mail not being delivered. A resident told the press that the new rule was a case of health and safety fears were getting in the way of common sense, the employees are fully grown adults who should be able to be responsible for crossing a quiet road.

When Fun Stops Being Fun

Another part of the country has seen the banning of model steam boats being used in case they explode.  The new health and safety regulation has banished hobby enthusiasts using their model boats on a stretch of the New Brighton Boating Lake which is very close to the River Mersey.  The rule has been imposed despite there being no record of injury being caused by the handmade boats.

The popular holiday resort, Butlins, have also been accused of ruining fun this week after they have decided to stop allowing people to bump each other when on the traditionally named bumper cars.  They have stated that adults and children can still use the cars for fun by carefully trying to overtake the other bumper cars.

This regulation is now in place for three of their holiday resorts and has left the holiday makers feeling disappointed and bored.   The company stated the regulation was there to protect their visitors from injury but an ironic twist is the bumper car was first introduced to Britain’s fairgrounds by Sir Billy Butlin himself back in the twenties.

When Health and Safety Really Counts

Many people have complained about the above measures and are left with a feeling that health and safety has gone too far.  Although these are extreme cases, it is worth considering all the possible risks within your company.  As an employer you do have certain laws and regulations which you must follow to protect your workers and the public from harm.  For a comprehensive and realistic health and safety audit contact us directly on 0800 1488 677 for immediate assistance.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Workplace Safety

One Comment

  1. Paul jones
    April 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Does not sound like health and safety. Sounds more like an over zealous employee who heard about it somewhere and has decided to implement it. Contact the HSE for a more down to earth approach. Rather than some underpaid paper pushing pansy with no grasp on the real world.

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