'Health and Safety' wants to wrap everyone in cotton wool and take all the risk – and fun – out of life. Myth number one ........
'Risk' is part of life. It is what makes life fun, exciting and dynamic. Health and Safety does not, and never has, attempted to remove all risk from a situation. Acceptable risk is good risk. Health and Safety is a tool to help you find a level of acceptable risk and remove elements of unnecessary danger from a situation. FACT
'Health and Safety' is trying to do away with common sense. There is no need for Health and Safety when we have common sense. Myth number two ........
Health and Safety has common sense at it's heart. Learning about Health and Safety can really help your ability and skill to use common sense. However, sometimes common sense is not enough, for example when excitable young people are involved. In this case Health and Safety can help you find alternative solutions to keep people safe. FACT
You may have common sense but do all the people around you and whose actions affect you? Health and Safety can suggest a system of rules to supplement common sense and help people understand their duty of care toward others. FACT
Health and Safety is closing events and other activities. Myth number three ........
No. People close events. Usually people who are panicking and confused about Health and Safety as a result of inaccuracies spread in the press. Health and Safety is a fantastic event management tool which can be used to plan and deliver safe, well run and wide ranging events. FACT
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is turning our Country into a 'nanny' state. Myth number four ........
This myth springs from all the others. It's nothing more than a sound bite from a press that wants to sell its papers. The HSE has neither the time or the inclination to be your or anybody else's nanny. They are concerned with monitoring real risks in real situations – don't believe the hype! FACT
The world has gone mad!!!!! Myth number five ........
Next time you hear a 'world gone mad' story about supposedly excessive Health and Safety try this exercise .....
Put yourself or a loved one in the place of a potential victim that the Health and Safety measure is attempting to protect. Does it still seem so over the top? Is the Health and Safety at fault or is it something else at fault such as excessive admin?
Is it actually anything to do with Health and Safety or is it a Company or individual using Health and Safety as an excuse for their own ends? Health and Safety is generally a risk based system rather than a prescriptive set of rules. Is someone applying it too stringently and if so why? Are they feeling threatened by the compensation culture and its implications?
The Health and Safety Executive is NOT..... • Banning hanging baskets
The Health and Safety Executive is NOT..... • Insisting all park benches are raised / lowered
The Health and Safety Executive is NOT..... • Banning games of conkers
The Health and Safety Executive is NOT..... • Not allowing adults to put plasters on children
The Health and Safety Executive is NOT..... • Insisting that trapeze artists wear hard hats
The Health and Safety Executive is NOT..... • Stopping Companies putting up Christmas decorations
The Health and Safety Executive DOES ..... • Advocate a risk based approach where individuals are trusted to make risk assessments based on the specifics of their particular case • Offer lots of support in the risk assessment process • NOT prosecute except in cases of extreme negligence or dangerous behaviour
Health and Safety Law developed directly from the Factory Acts of the last Century. Their aim was, and is, to protect common people from exploitation and from danger.
A recent study showed that 95% of stories about Health and Safety in the popular press were either untrue or contained a substantial element of untruth.
PS: Stories about the European Commission insisting that all cucumbers must be straight are a myth too :-)