January 2017

Lapland Sunset - by Finlay Rock

Many thanks to the many readers for their Season’s Greetings.

I’m writing this Dominews in the lull between Christmas and New Year (and between doing a little office tidying, a little paperwork and a lot of eating chocolate biscuits or Xmas cake while reading several novels).

May I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Best wishes for a Happy New Year

A Year of Safety Myths, 2016
  • Jan – Council refuse collectors not allowed to wear Santa hats
  • Feb – Nightclub not allowed to serve salt and lemon with Tequila
  • Mar – Deceased not allowed to wear shoes for funeral
  • Apr – Customer not allowed to take folded bike into a supermarket
  • May – Cafe not allowed to sell slice of fruit loaf unless it had been toasted
  • July – GP Surgery not allowed to take requests for repeat prescriptions by phone
  • Aug – Babies not allowed to suck dummies in a cafe
  • Sept – Children not allowed into a recycling centre even when inside their parent’s car
  • Nov – Council house tenants not allowed to use extension leads

All of the above are genuine examples of ‘rules’ incorrectly attributed to health & safety law during 2016.

Recent Cases

16 weeks suspended prison sentence, 150 hours community service and a month’s curfew for the tattooist who failed to take basic hygiene precautions when tattooing or inserting body jewellery. The local council also terminated his registration as a tattooist. Nine customers needed at least 3 days stay in hospital for surgery to deal with infections and the total cost to the NHS was calculated at £240,000.

£10,000 fine, £3,905 costs and £500 compensation charge to the caravan site owner who tried to cheat an infirm caravan owner by blocking the sale of a static caravan but offering to purchase it himself at a greatly reduced price.

EHN online, December 2016

£86,666 fine for the company with inadequate risk assessments, training, supervision or communications. A teenager was crushed (receiving head injuries and a fractured pelvis) when a panel he had been asked to steady toppled over; it was his first day of work experience.

£900,000 fine and £5,820 costs for the multi-national company where depot management were unaware of the companies generic risk assessments or monitoring policies for working at height. An employee suffered severe injuries when he fell from a poorly maintained step ladder; staff were not trained in the selection, checking or use of the various steps, ladders and platforms available. The Judge refused an application to pay in 28 days stating the fine was a criminal penalty and not an inconvenient invoice!

£166,600 fine and £12,000 costs for the restaurant where an employee was scalded when carrying hot waste oil from the fryer. The oil splashed from the bucket resulting in over a month off work and causing permanent scarring to his feet.

IOSH Magazine Online, December 2016

An Excellent Year for Excuses

In recent years it has become increasingly important to keep accurate records that demonstrate compliance with health & safety and food safety standards. 2016 has been an excellent year for the excuses given when audits show great gaps in the records. These are all genuine excuses; my comments are in italics.

  • The person that completes the form was away that week. So why did no-one else complete the form?
  • The printer was not working. So no-one was capable of taking the master forms to a local photocopier or keeping the records on a blank piece of paper?
  • The printer broke. So why weren’t the forms printed when the new printer arrived?
  • The Head Chef was away. So the other chefs (who keep the records when the Head Chef is present) cannot manage without supervision?
  • We didn’t have the key to test the emergency lights. So why did that stop you checking the fire alarm, the emergency exits and the fire extinguishers?
Readers Comments from December Dominews

A couple of regular readers responded to last month’s Dominews. Just to remind you, there is no automatic way to comment on the posts but readers are welcome to respond via the website contact form or by email.

Click on the Sense Africa and Inge Dowden Coaching logos below for the excellent blogs written by Jenny and Inge.


Good for you on winding down, enjoy life! 

Best wishes, Jenny





Just so you know, I always enjoy reading your newsletters, so you’re not just writing them into the ether

Warm regards, Inge