Health and Safety requirements, Fact or Fiction?Category: Fact or Fiction | Bryan Richards | Published on: May 17, 2012 | Updated: Dec 12, 2016 Read more: Fact or Fiction
As an employer, how do you separate fact from fiction with respect to health and safety requirements?
Employment Minister Chris Grayling narrowly avoided this difficulty recently. He was about to quote a proposed EU Ban on high heels in hairdressers at a Policy Exchange Conference on 18th May. However, on establishing the facts, high heels were not mentioned, just that `appropriate footwear’ should be worn. It was the media that had developed the fictional high heel story.
A recent survey by IOSH Safety in numbers? survey, found that 75% of SMEs said that they would benefit from better access to high-quality health and safety guidance.
So how do you separate fact from fiction? The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) ran a long-running H&S `Myth of the Month’ campaign and there never seemed to be shortage of material. The true facts in these media generated myths often become blurred.
If you read a “hard to believe” health and safety story in the newspapers, then the chances are it is a media myth and you need to establish the real facts. The first port of call should always be the HSE website and a search for the relevant topic.
The Government recently asked the HSE to set up a health and safety challenge panel to intervene where inaccurate health and safety information and advice is provided. In its first case, in response to a request from the Daily Mail, it ruled that the reasons a fire authority did not rescue a seagull from a pond was not due to health and safety.
The HSE have just issued a revised version of its guidance on portable electrical appliance testing (PAT) INDG 236 highlighting that much of the £30 million a year spent on testing is unnecessary.
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Bryan Richards 17th May 2012