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HEALTH AND SAFETY ISSUE – OR IS IT?

‘HEALTH & Safety’ is often used as a convenient excuse to prevent what are essentially sensible activities going ahead. 

The Island’s MP, Andrew Turner, is encouraging Islanders to challenge any advice given or decisions made, in the name of ‘Health & Safety’ if they appear to be incorrect or disproportionate.

The Health and Safety Executive has set up an independent panel – the Myth Busters Challenge Panel.  This is supported by a pool of independent people who represent a wide range of interests, such as small businesses and many other outside interests where common sense decisions are made on the levels of risk.

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The Panel will consider complaints against Health and Safety regulations to see if sensible, proportionate decisions have been made, and aims to get advice to complainants within 48 hours.

Mr Turner commented: “This is a very good move.  If Islanders are given what they feel to be incorrect or disproportionate advice in the name of ‘Health & Safety’, they can now challenge this through the Myth Busters Challenge Panel.  Health & Safety should be about managing real risks properly in order to reduce work related accidents and foreseeable dangers, not preventing people from going about their daily lives.

“For instance a Housing Association told residents of a block of flats that their letterboxes needed to be sealed up in case of a firebomb attack – after looking at the circumstances the Myth Busters Panel found no health and safety justification at all for the decision!”

All cases considered will be published on the HSE’s website, complete with the Panel’s opinion, building a portfolio of real-life examples of incorrect or disproportionate advice given, or decisions taken in the name of ‘Health & Safety’.  Since the Panel was launched in April 2012, 35 cases have already been received for consideration.  Details can be found at : www.hse.gov.uk/contact/myth-busting.htm.

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