Rampant Health and Safety Myths Drain Time, Waste Resources

A new HSE survey uncovered the bizarre measures some small organisations have taken when trying to comply with health and safety laws. For example, one business completed a risk assessment detailing the correct procedure for using a tape measure; another provided written guidance for the best way to walk up stairs.

In response to these silly, unnecessary and wasteful measures adopted in the name of health and safety, Bollington Risk Management is urging small- and medium-sized employers to seek its guidance in taking the guesswork out of risk management.

The HSE survey illuminated the consequences of health and safety law confusion—workplaces end up draining significant amounts of time and wasting valuable resources. For example, 11 per cent of respondents to the HSE’s survey believe that a qualified electrician must test very basic electrical appliances, such as kettles and toasters, every year. But this is not a requirement, and testing basic appliances uses time and money that could be better spent on things like inspecting electrical systems for faulty wiring.

Health and safety law is not meant to place unnecessary obstacles on the path to compliant workplaces—the HSE wants every workplace to understand and follow the applicable health and safety guidelines. Ignorance and miseducation are two substantial obstacles standing between workplaces and compliance. Nearly one-third of all surveyed small businesses said that when it comes to health and safety, they know they have to take some action, but are unsure where to start or whether what they have done so far is correct. Clearly, trustworthy guidance is needed.

To clarify the issue, the HSE’s small business lead Kate Haire said, ‘Health and safety is all about taking reasonable steps to manage serious risks of ill health and injury in the workplace. If something sounds completely unreasonable, more often than not it will be totally unnecessary too.’

Rely on Bollington Risk Management to help you cut through the bogus health and safety myths bogging down your organisation and guide you through to compliance. Call us today on 01625 854300.