Monday, April 16, 2007

Mythbusters

A key strategy of those that love the EU is to create a paper tiger, and burn it. The HSE's myth of the month for April isHealth and Safety Executive has targeted, "HSE have banned Step Ladders!"

I googled the phrase and all I could find was a few comments in the press about Fire Brigades being barred from using stepladders.

It appears that there is nothing in the regulations that explicitly bans the use of stepladders, rather they should be used carefully. What they mean by carefully however is that each time a stepladder issued a "risk assessment under regulation 3 of the Management Regulations has demonstrated that the use of a stepladder is justified".

So given that the Fire Brigade in question, which was advised by an HSE chappy to refrain from using ladders is installing 15,000 smoke detectors a year using said ladders this is simply bananas. 15,000 risk assessments would be crippling in time management. Far better not to use them.

So the HSE did not "ban" stepladders at all rather made it impossible to legally use them. Can you see the damages trial for Fireman Sam who slipping on a stepladder discovers that he can sue because no 'risk assessment' was carried out.

Of course the most egregious myth at all is that the HSE have anything to do with it. This is a transposition of EU law in the first place. The HSE banned nothing, they only implement the rules they receive straight from Brussels, and added the requirement for risk assessment to gold plate the blasted thing.

2 comments:

Aunty Marianne said...

Being short of trouser, I have one in my kitchen to reach cupboards. Do I have to fill the form in for each use too? Or can I (and here is the civil servant thinking outside the box) file a general one for each cupboard?

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