Has health and safety gone too far?
September 4, 2014
Zoo keepers have been banned by Health and Safety officials from climbing ladders to put food out for tigers. Barrow Borough Council, in Cumbria, says the practice is too dangerous because the keepers could fall off the ladders and injure themselves. The inspectors served the South Lakes Safari Zoo, in Dalton, with a notice under section 21 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Maintaining a safe workplace doesn’t mean banning any task with an element of risk. This has been the position since the health and safety legislation was introduced. The Work at Height Regulations has been in place since 2005. They talk about every employer taking suitable and sufficient measures to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.
It seems a zookeeper had been blown off a ladder when there was a freak gust of wind but steps were then introduced to make the zookeeper’s work safer and to our mind, that should be the end of it. The risks were reassessed to prevent further injuries so we can see no reason for the ban which is entirely to the detriment of the animal.
Sadly the solicitors who act for the people who have been injured are the ones who get the bad press for pursuing claims for compensation but a claim will not succeed unless the employer was in the wrong!
In this case the zoo may have got it wrong once but to our mind the Council have taken matters to the extreme and are not even applying the law.
Accidents do and can happen involving ladders. If you have had an injury because your employer did not do enough to protect you then please contact Beth King at Marsons Solicitors on 0208 313 1200 and we will see if we have help you pursue a claim for personal injury but in the meantime leave the tigers alone!
The information contained in this article is intended for general guidance only. It provides useful information but it is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice as the articles do not take into account specific circumstances. So do please Contact US for legal advice on the issues raised.