The Latest Health And Safety News Revelations; Why Are They Leaving The Public Reeling In Anger?

The Latest Health And Safety News Revelations; Why Are They Leaving The Public Reeling In Anger?

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The Latest Health And Safety News Revelations; Why Are They Leaving The Public Reeling In Anger?Recently it has come to light that doormats that are positioned in corridors in flats by residents are now being deemed a fire hazard. Yes that’s right, a fire hazard and both Leeds and Leicestershire councils are sending letters to residents ordering them to be removed. On the other hand, there has to be rules and regulations in place in order to keep the public safe from potential hazards.  In my opinion, however, this recent revelation just shows how much health and safety has gone mad in society.

Councils Passing Responsibility or is this a Real Health and Safety Concern?

The story itself is leaving many residents reeling in anger at councils; it does sound like the councils are telling people how to live, but this is over the top, even with today’s health and safety standards.  What about the apartments that are privately owned that also have doormats outside of them; would those tenants become liable if there was a fire and someone tripped outside of their apartment? It’s not very black and white in terms of clarity and responsibility and I feel, just like perhaps many others will feel that this is a complete waste of tax payer’s money and a ludicrous way of ‘shunting’ responsibility of any potential future fires.

I could understand the councils decision to ban doormats from being outside doors on corridors if there have been incidents in the past that have caused fatalities, but there hasn’t. It’s as if the council have got nothing better to do with both their time or resources that they receive from tax payers. I simply can’t understand why all of a sudden councils have been sending letters for tenants to remove their doormats; is it really a fire hazard? Or are the council scared of being sued in the event of a fire; there are many people that would claim negligence on a ‘no win no fee’ basis if there was a fire within a council flat. Maybe the councils are looking at this as a way of giving residents the responsibility if there ever is a health and safety issue due to the doormats being in the corridor.

This way, the councils can say ‘we did warn you to remove the mats from the corridor and because you didn’t, we can not be held responsible’. This makes sense to me and is a cunning way of shunting any potential blame. In a way, I can’t fault the council for doing so as there is such an increase in the number of people that claim against the council for even the silliest of things and in some cases even if it’s the fault of the person who is claiming against the council.

Health and Safety Protection

The doormats themselves, I can’t see as being a hazard as such, I think it is more likely that councils are protecting themselves from potential claims in the future and is purely down to the attitudes of people in today’s society; claim for everything and anything even if it is their own fault. Some people claim against the council for example if they trip over in the road and the road is completely fine to walk on.

Who’s Right?

I have sympathy for both sides of the coin; councils are protecting themselves from outrageous claims and people living in the flats are being told they can’t have a doormat outside where they live.  This is where sometimes health and safety goes too far, but there’s always a reason behind actions and sometimes we have to look at both sides.

Councils Passing Responsibility or is this a Real Health and Safety Concern?

The story itself is leaving many residents reeling in anger at councils; it does sound like the councils are telling people how to live, but this is over the top, even in today’s health and safety standards.  What about the apartments that are privately owned that also have doormats outside of them; would those tenants become liable if there was a fire and someone tripped outside of their apartment? It’s not very black and white in terms of clarity and responsibility and I feel, just like perhaps many others will feel that this is a complete waste of tax payer’s money and a ludicrous way of ‘shunting’ responsibility of any potential future fires.

I could understand the councils decision to ban doormats from being outside doors on corridors if there have been incidents in the past that have caused fatalities, but there hasn’t. It’s as if the council have got nothing better to do with both their time or resources that they receive from tax payers. I simply can’t understand why all of a sudden councils have been sending letters for tenants to remove their doormats; is it really a fire hazard? Or are the council scared of being sued in the event of a fire; there are many people that would claim negligence on a ‘no win no fee’ basis if there was a fire within a council flat. Maybe the councils are looking at this as a way of giving residents the responsibility if there ever is a health and safety issue due to the doormats being in the corridor.

This way, the councils can say ‘we did warn you to remove the mats from the corridor and because you didn’t, we can not be held responsible’. This makes sense to me and is a cunning way of shunting any potential blame. In a way, I can’t fault the council for doing so as there is such an increase in the number of people that claim against the council for even the silliest of things and in some cases even if it’s the fault of the person who is claiming against the council.

Health and Safety Protection

The doormats themselves, I can’t see as being a hazard as such, I think it is more likely that councils are protecting themselves from potential claims in the future and is purely down to the attitudes of people in today’s society; claim for everything and anything even if it is their own fault. Some people claim against the council for example if they trip over in the road and the road is completely fine to walk on.

Who’s Right?

I have sympathy for both sides; councils are protecting themselves from outrageous claims and people living in the flats are being told they can’t have a doormat outside where they live.  This is where sometimes health and safety goes too far, but there’s always a reason behind actions and sometimes we have to look at both sides.

Steve of RSC Health and Safety Consultants has worked within the industry for over 2 decades.

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