What ridiculous health and safety measures have you come across?

  • Duty holders believed that a qualified electrician needed to test appliances such as kettles and toasters every year, which according to the HSE, is a persistent myth.
  • A customer once visited a show home on a site still under construction where the sales advisor had to contract someone to come in and change a light bulb as the construction site manager had banned all ladders from site for health and safety reasons!
  • One business had written guidelines for walking up stairs. Another had written out risk assessments for everything, including use of a tape measure!
  • An employee had cut her finger in the workplace and a colleague tried to obtain a plaster from the first aid kit but there were none. The employee asked a manager if they could restock them but she replied that due to health and safety reasons i.e. allergies, plasters were no longer supplied for the first aid kit. There is no health and safety regulation which bans the provision of plasters, in fact HSE’s own guidance recommends that a first aid box should stock plasters.
  • Sign in a gym says “We do not make up protein shakes under any circumstances in our blender unless you have brought the protein from us for health and safety reasons. However you can purchase a shaker from us to blend your shake for only £4.99!”  Clearly a commercial decision!
  • Enquirer’s five-year old daughter needed to use the toilet when they were in a shop so asked a member of staff if there was a toilet they could use. The shop’s supervisor said this was not possible and that it isn’t allowed for health and safety reasons. The enquirer had better luck in the shop next door.This is not a health and safety issue. It is not unexpected that customers will ask if they can use the toilet in emergency situations especially if children are “caught short”.

If you’ve come across any ludicrous health and safety measures and want to share with us; email to:   andrew.james@qcompliance.co.uk