Health and safety is everywhere, and whilst some people feel it can be more of a hindrance than a help when it comes to doing their jobs, it’s important to remember the reason it’s there – to keep you and others around you safe and healthy.
These health and safety laws and regulations can lead to some rather unusual cases and incidents occurring. So we’re taking a look at some of the strangest health and safety cases around, to demonstrate the importance of implementing health and safety legislation and ensuring your business is compliant, from first aid kits to pest control.
Earlier this month, South Lakes Safari Zoo pleaded guilty to contravening health and safety, and received a fine for £300,000 after they failed to ensure safety in the big cat enclosures, which tragically resulted in the death of one of their zoo keepers back in 2013.
Whilst feeding the tigers in the keeper’s corridor, a door-closing mechanism failed, which meant a tiger was able to get into the feeding area and fatally attack the zoo-keeper. With the sole-director of the zoo pleading guilty, he openly admitted that the tragic events that lead to the young zoo keeper’s death, were foreseeable and avoidable.
It’s these types of unusual cases that really show how important health and safety is at all times. A small lapse of attention, judgement or an equipment failure can easily cause serious injury or worse.
A Royal Mess Up
Another interesting case relating to health and safety is a blunder by Prince Charles’ food brand, Duchy Organic, sold by Waitrose. The company have had to withdraw batches of their vegetarian Spiced Carrot and Parsnip soup due to a potential health and safety risk. Having been filled with the wrong soup, which was in fact a chicken and spelt broth, the pots were seen as a risk to the general public as they could cause a possible allergic reaction, as well as give any vegetarians a meaty surprise.
It seems that the batches have now been safely removed, but it just goes to show what potential harm an honest mistake like this can make.
Hospital Blunder with an unusual promise
To round off the strange cases, this one has got to be a rather unprecedented reaction to a very tragic failure in health and safety at a hospital in the US. Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Washington has agreed a $20 million dollar settlement with a former patient who was left paralysed after doctors failed to treat a back fracture appropriately. In an unusual twist to this story, August de los Reyes, the patient left paralysed has begun to put together a case study, working with the hospital to identify where the failings were and to find a possible solution to prevent any future incidents.
It’s incredible that someone can see beyond the injury and life-changing condition he’s now living with, to look to help and improve the system for the future.