The Health and Safety Executive have taken huge abuse from the Mail (and others, often following their lead) over the last few years. They, or the Elf 'n Saftey Brigade, have been blamed for the banning of conkers, lack of Christmas decorations in offices, children not climbing trees and now a seagull in distress. Sombrely, 'they' have also been blamed for firefighters leaving people to die in drains, ditches and ponds. It's become a well-embedded paradigm, that of a nanny state which prevents its members from taking any risks at all. David Cameron has used it, cynically, in his assault on the state and on workers' security.
As discriminating people like us know it just isn't true. In fact, the HSE is responsible for taking actions which save lives by forcing employers and others to take the safety of workers seriously. People in responsibility have become risk-averse to a ridiculous degree, in the face of rapacious insurance companies and ludicrous no-win no-fee compensation claims.
Now the HSE are fighting back - I didn't know this and came across it in the follow-up to the seagull story. They have created a 'Mythbuster Challenge Panel'. This aims to debunk spurious 'elf 'n saftey' stories within 24 hours (though that doesn't seem to be fast enough for some people - lazy local paper reporters I think).
The Health and Safety Executive has set up an official body with the remit of stamping out the inappropriate and overzealous use of health and safety legislation.
The mythbusters challenge panel, which will be led by HSE chair Judith Hackitt, will provide advice to those who find themselves on the wrong end of disproportionate health and safety regulations from insurance companies, local authorities and employers.
from http://www.lawontheweb.co.uk/News/2012/ ... afety_laws
See also http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2012/apr/ ... sfeed=true
as well ashttp://www.suttonguardian.co.uk/news/96 ... r/?ref=rss
where the reporter has already got the Challenge Panel story so garbled as to be unrecognisable...
This is a very useful idea. I wonder how Dickie Littlebrain et al will report it. If at all.