We see health & safety used as an excuse far too often and just wish people would stop taking the easy option to blame health & safety as the reason things can`t be done.
It seems that every week there are examples cited in the papers or on TV where health & safety is being blamed for things that are not being allowed to continue. The press just feed off this stuff and use it to ridicule our profession without thought for how many injuries and deaths are being prevented where health & safety is properly applied.
It’s just frustrating when you receive an email as I did this weekend, stating that because of health & safety gone mad, my sons rugby practice was called off. In reality the truth was that it was to protect the pitch after all of the rain that had come down. So why not just say this rather than hide behind health & safety?
We realise there are some professionals out there that fail to properly understand risk and decide to avoid the risks by stopping a process or activity. This is often the easy route as it means they don t have to look at what controls would help to reduce risk to an acceptable level; why take a chance rather than have to think our way around this!
Other times it seems that it’s just about avoiding having to do a job; as appeared the case when sitting on a plane last winter waiting to take a flight to Austria. Because of the bad weather the airport was arranging for each plane to be sprayed with de-icer fluid and the maintenance team were out in their cherry pickers spraying each plane. When a sensor on our plane became blocked by the de-icer fluid we were all informed it was too dangerous to use the cherry picker to take a closer look; yet they were still in them spraying other planes. It had to beg the question “so what’s the difference?!”.
Clearly, there are numerous other examples across the UK that continue to be used and these are often berated by the press; yet, on closer review, the real reasons normally have very little or nothing to do with health & safety. So our question is: “does this happen in your business and if so why?”. We would love to hear your views on this.