IOSH says health and safety is common sense

While people working in Britain and Northern Ireland deserve to be protected at work, the president elect of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) says that health and safety restrictions should be a matter of common sense.

Ray Hurst told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that a recent report of a children's party entertainer being told he could not use balloons during his performance due the risk of a child having a latex allergy was ridiculous. "To say that you cannot use balloons simply because there may be a possibility of latex allergy, I think is probably not sensible advice," he said.

Mr Hurst added: "As practitioners we hear these sorts of things from time to time. We are beginning to call them the 'bonkers conkers' effect and it seems to be becoming more prevalent. Health and safety advisors do get a little bit weary of hearing these stories and being blamed for it.

If employers would simply obtain advice from an expert such as a solicitor, they would get a much better idea of appropriate measures.

Mr Hurst concluded: "I think the decisions are probably being made by managers based on limited information and if they go to a professionally competent health and safety advisor, a member of the institute, for instance, who is a chartered member, they will get good advice.

"Nobody should be going to work, for instance, and then being injured or at worst being killed. What we are looking at is making sure that we give that sensible advice and we try to stop some of these ridiculous stories that do appear from time to time."

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