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Flats now classified as work places – restore their residential status

Comment 19th July 2010

Reverse the classification of common areas (such as stairways and landings) as 'work places' and restore their status as residential properties like houses and maisonettes.

Why does this matter?

People living in flats now have to pay for a survey of the common areas to meet the Health & Safety (HSE) rules applying to business premises with regard to asbestos and fire safety.


A) this is irrational. These areas are not the factories, offices or shops that HSE legislation was intended to cover. The only work carried out in them is when the carpets are cleaned each week. If the regulations are intended to protect the cleaners, wouldn't it be logical to extend them to those working inside individual flats? 

B) it takes no account of the residents' views. Even if none of us desire a survey we are forced to have one – and to pay for it.

C) the Health & Safety Executive appear to interpret the regulations as intended to protect 

D) no cost-benefit justification has been offered for imposing this measure. How many people have been shown to have died/suffered illness? If the numbers are so impressive, why haven't we been told of them?

E) everyone directly involved (residents, managing agents, estate agents, etc.) I have consulted agree these are  'box ticking' exercise that achieve nothing useful

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