Saturday, February 02, 2008

Health and Saftey Policy - Risk Assessments

...You are required to carry out a Health & Safety risk assessment for every situation where students, employees of the University, contractors and visitors may be exposed to University property, or are required to carry out an activity in the university confines. Additionally field trips and visits involving....

"Hello HR Admin"
"Hi it's platothefish here"
"Oh dear, please wait a minute whilst I contact my supervisor"
"What for?"
"It's just that...."
"I only want to ask a question"
"er - ok I suppose that will be ok"
"do you mean safe?"
"Never mind. Now this health and safety policy you sent out this morning. Can I just check something?"
"Of course" (sounds relieved)
"I just want to check something. The way this is worded it seems to be saying that a risk assessment needs to be carried out if any human being does anything that is in anyway attached or connected university business or property."
"Oh no I am sure that's not the case"
"OK have you got the policy there?
"Of course" (sound of frantic paper sorting)
"So if I teach in a lecture theater do I have to carry out a risk assessment for example, according to the policy that is"
"I think so yes"
"OK and going by the policy if I am in my office I need to carry out a risk assessment?"
"ER yes I suppose so"
"Ok and if I have to file some paper in my filing cabinate I also have to carry out a risk assessment"
"Er well, I suppose if you follow the policy, strictly speaking, yes, but..."
"Ok so what about me. as an employee of the university of course using a piece of equipment at the university for example?"
"Oh yes that would defiantly be included. No doubt about that" (sounding more confident)
"So a piece of equipment like this telephone for example?"
"ER Oh dear"
"And if I happen, just going by this of course, to go to the toilet, a university provided toilet of course, then I would also have to carry out a risk assessment?"
"Oh dear, if you go by this then yes it does look like it doesn't it?"
"It certainly does"
"Indeed every act now appears to need a risk assessment."
"I see what you mean. I hadn't quite seen it like that."
"Ok can you tell your boss that I will have to cancel all my research and teaching for the rest of the term."
"To fill in all the risk assessments needed. I wouldn't want to breach university policy. I might get suspended or something."
"I will let her know your concerns. I think that there has been a mistake with the wording of the policy"
"I look forward to hearing from her. I am sorry I need to dash as I need to fill in a risk assessment so that I can open the three doors I need get through to get out of my office and go home for the weekend. I will email you the 5 or 6 I will need to get into work on Monday."
"Oh dear"

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