Health and Safety

A while back a friend of mine mailed us all with this classic of overweening health-and-safety bureaucrats gone wild:

The company are now installing wallpaper on our PCs with their 5 golden safety rules:

  1. Always hold the handrail

  2. Always reverse park

  3. Assess Risks

  4. Accept Challenges

  5. Wear PPE [Personal Protective Equipment] gear

We also have to drink from metal cups with plastic lids on them.

The thing that really got me was #2 — ‘always reverse park’. Apparently, someone decided that reversing into the parking space was safer than going in head-first, and to such a significant degree that it was worth mandating it across a medium-sized company. On the other hand, another friend noted:

The college i went to [in the US] would ticket you if you backed into a parking space — they said it was a “fire hazard”.

so we’ve got “fire hazard” in one direction and “unsafe” in the other. Parse that.

Another friend was told that she couldn’t bring her folding bike in the lift because “what would happen if the president was in the lift going to the board room?”. She says “I could not work out the health and safety implications.”

What health and safety insanity have you encountered recently?

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  1. Anon
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 12:19 | Permalink

    I know a dev shop where H&S rules say no drinks at desks (hot or cold): yep, no coffee for programmers.

  2. Nix
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 14:19 | Permalink

    When we moved to our high-flying current office there was a security troll there to tell us that no personal electronic equipment of any kind was to be connected to anything anywhere in the building because it was a fire hazard, and that security would throw you out of the building if you did (whether we’d get to use the lifts or just be turfed out of the 50th floor window is less clear).

    Then we got to our desks and found that each desk had two plugs specifically labelled as being somewhere where you could plug in personal electronic equipment.

    I remain confused.