HSE calls for New Year resolution on health and security blame game

The Health and Safety Executive needs businesses that offer customer service to turn on a new leaf and quit attributing health and safety for over the top or poor conclusions.

The regulator established its 40th anniversary year using a call to cease the culture of blaming anything and everything on non-existent ‘health and safety’ rules.

Leisure and retail businesses feature prominently in new research (released now) by the University of Exeter, which shows half of all cases put to HSE’s Myth Busters Challenge Panel came from leisure centres, cafes and stores.

January is a time when folks wish to get fitter, healthier, or make the most of the sales. Yet, customers are being left frustrated by ridiculous decisions made in the name of health and safety to cover up what’s simply inferior customer support.

These are just a number of the numerous examples submitted by bemused customers to the challenge panel, which was set up to refute over-the-top or erroneous choices made for ‘health and security reasons’.

The research which also looks at perceptions and understanding of health and safety regulation in society, found the anxiety about being sued, cost avoidance and dearth of training were other key reasons behind using the health and safety myth.

Department for Work and Pensions Minister Mark Harper said:
“The Health and security Executive has done fantastic work over the previous 40 years to keep working people safe.

“No company or worker should hide behind the health and security reasons, if they act in a sensible way. If you hear of a bogus health and safety myth, report it to our panel.”
Judith Hackitt, Chair of HSE along with the Myth Busters Challenge Panel said:
“HSE would like to motivate everyone, particularly those working in leisure and retail, to make a resolution to stop using the health and safety catch-all excuse.

“Give the actual motive for the conclusion you take. We need people to be honest – giving health and safety the blame is lazy and unhelpful.

“Customers are in the heart any company. Getting rid of over the top decisions attributed on health and safety will enhance the service customers receive and empower the company to prosper.”