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Health & Safety Myth Busters


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Seems the fire fighters are in the news again re wading into water of 3 feet deep. This time 25 of them were sent to rescue a seagull in trouble in a pond in Carshalton but just stood and watched for an hour as the bird struggled to free itself from a plastic bag. In the end someone else waded in and rescued the bird.

Big question why waste resources sending 25 firefighters to rescue one bird in trouble? Why send any at all if they are not allowed to wade in and do the business?

The newly formed Health & Safety Myth Busters, a panel of 2 H&S top people and 11 independent support members with a wide range of experience, when contacted for clarification on if the 3 feet of water rule relating to the firefighters was a misinterpretation or not, said they would provide an answer - in 5 days time.

Five cases have been presented to them since the setting up of the panel and not one has so far been resolved.

Someone is paying for this panel of so called Myth Busters - probably you the tax payers.

A waste of space and money or what?

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When I read the title I thought you were on about the show. Those two guys don't seem to worry tooo much about Heath and Safety.


As People who work in Heath and Safety are "advisers" whatever they say is "advisory" only so the person who has to deal with the problem has the ultimate responsibility off what action they take.


In the case stated whether or not to wade in and save the bird or not. Whatever action they take in this case would be the wrong one. Do agree though that the time of 25 fire-fighters could be better spent if only polishing the engine. :wink:

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A panel of 13 people will always take a long time to resolve individual cases. I heard someone representing the "Myth busters" interviewed and he was asked about a number of cases which have been reported in the past - bans on conkers, ice rinks that are too slippy, etc - and made it quite clear they were all a load of nonsense. This is where "myth busters" could be useful - not in giving knee-jerk reactions to every new incident that is reported.

Let's face it, we all know that most "elf and safety" (and also data protection issues) are excuses arising from someone's unwillingness to do something.

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The Myth Busters Challenge Panel was setup to advise anyone who had been stopped from carrying out "sensible activities" on the grounds of health and safety by local authorities, insurance companies or employers.


Perhaps we need another committee to advise the Myth Busters Challenge Panel to get a move on.

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People who work in Health and Safety may only be "advisers" and their pronouncements may only have the legal force of advice, but picture the scene at an inquest following an accident.


Coroner, "So, Mr Employer (Event Organiser/Service Provider/Community Volunteer/etc.), you received advice from a Health & Safety professional, that advice was that there were potential risks in carrying out this job (event/service/rescue/fund raiser/etc.). However, you chose to ignore this advice and proceed regardless. This tragedy then ensued (which may or may not have anything at all to do with the risks identified prior to the event - but that's become irrelevent). This was your decision personally. To the charge of Manslaughter, how do you plead?"


On top of that, there's no way Public Liability insurance would pay out once it was known that a H&S bod had raised any kind of question marks - again, even if the accident had absolutely nothing to do with any risks identified. So any responsible person is facing financial ruin in the event of even a minor accident (there aren't many no win, no fee parasites who'll defend a claim for compensation!)


It may only be "advice", but in practice any spoutings from a H&S womble in a high viz have all the force of a edict from on high.

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