As an engineer in the construction industry, I recognise the value of health and safety and the huge contribution the HSE has made to improving our safety record, but surely the time has now come to stop looking for risks that aren't really there.

 

A classic example of HSE micromanagement is the outlawing of step ladders on site. This is not because step ladders are necessarily unsafe but because the HSE is insistent on a method statement on how to use a step ladder and most contractors don't have the time or staff levels to provide repeated paperwork for the numerous items like this.

 

Another example is manual lifting. At a company I worked for, they had to produce a method statement on how to lift and carry a box of photocopier paper.

Why is this idea important?

In eliminating the over zealous approach of the HSE, more focus can be placed on real hazards, such as use of dangerous tools (hand and power), industrial hazards etc. instead of trying to tell us how to sit on a chair safely.

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