There's no denying that health and safety precautions go a long way to reducing the number of work accidents suffered by employees all over the UK, however sometimes things get taken a little bit too far.
For example I read a news report a week or so ago about parents who had been told that their toddler, who was above average height for his age, was not allowed to play on the toys at his nursery group because since he was taller he would wear them out quicker. This little boy was branded a health and safety risk by overzealous nursery workers in my opinion.
This week I have read another story of overzealous health and safety precautions, which if they were practiced nationwide would have us all staying in our houses while we had necessities delivered to us by robot aids.
Four roads in Penkridge, Staffordshire are no longer receiving post from the Royal Mail because a loose paving stone caused a postman to sustain serious personal injuries.
Now, I hope that the employee is recovering and won't suffer any long-term effects due to this slip trip and fall incident, but stopping four roads from getting their mail because of one incident caused by one loose paving stone is a bit excessive in my eyes.
The residents, ironically, received two letters from the Royal Mail explaining that they would no longer be getting their post at their address. Strange that the Royal Mail staff should be allowed to re-enter this very dangerous area to put letters through doors – maybe the problem isn't as bad as the reaction seems to suggest.
One of the Royal Mail's letters apparently states, "Further to my letter dated 9th March notifying you of immediate suspension of your daily delivery following injuries sustained by our delivery officer whilst delivering to your property on Monday 5th March.
"The purpose of this letter, as promised, is to confirm that I have now fully investigated the circumstances surrounding the incident, and following a further Health and Safety assessment of the area and the condition of the access to your property, to inform you that unfortunately the suspension will remain in place until access has improved sufficiently for us to safely reinstate deliveries.
"I have no alternative but to continue with the suspension in order the safeguard the welfare of my staff."
As a result of this, all the people living in these hazardous roads have to travel seven miles to their nearest post depot to pick up their mail, and then another seven miles back to their homes.
A lady who lives down one of the problem streets says, "It's ridiculous for Royal Mail to say it's too dangerous to deliver to our houses.
"I have managed to walk down the street with three kids and a buggy without injuring myself. As long as you've got eyes you should be fine.
"Over the years a tree uprooted causing cracks to appear in some of the paving slabs but nothing which should cause a major problem.
"'I feel sorry for the elderly residents who now face a 14 mile round-trip to get their letters."
Hopefully the residents will contact their council and have the paving slabs repaired so that their post can resume.
It's understandable that the Royal Mail want to protect its staff, but employees should have simply been warned to take care walking along certain roads due to wonky paving, instead of being told of an overarching ban on delivering to front doors in a specific area.
Perhaps if all of the paving stones were a hazard along every one of the four roads, then the actions taken would have been equal to the risks posed to staff. As circumstances stand however, I think there has been an overreaction.
Published on 1970-01-01 22:51:00
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