Health and Safety Myths
The Health and Safety Executive regularly publishes answers from its health and safety Myth Busting Challenge Panel. We take a look at a recent issues considered.
Can you stock plasters in a first aid box?
After supplies of plasters in a first aid box ran out, an employee asked a manager if they could restock them but was told that due to health and safety reasons i.e. allergies, plasters were no longer supplied for the first aid kit.
There is no health and safety regulation which bans the provision of plasters. In fact HSE’s own guidance recommends that a first aid box should stock plasters. If the concern is about the small risk of allergic reaction to some types of plaster, then this can be easily managed by stocking the hypoallergenic variety or simply asking the person being treated if they are allergic to plasters before they are applied.
Is a Separate 'Young persons risk assessment' required for work experience placements?
Is it true that for all work experience placements the school should be provided with a ‘Young Persons Risk Assessment’ detailing the processes the employer has in place to mitigate risk to young people?
This is not in fact true but is a commonly held view. HSE has recently issued new guidance which makes it clear what is required and explains how to take a proportionate approach. There is no requirement for an employer to complete a separate risk assessment specifically for a young person.
Employers are required to manage risks in their workplaces and organisers of placements should not be second-guessing this or adding unnecessary bureaucracy. The organisers should simply ask sensible questions to satisfy themselves that arrangements are in place, and ensure that the employer knows of any specific issues for the student.
More details can be found in the HSE’s guidance.
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