The hidden perils of tea making


You might have to read this one twice...

Some e-mails sent around an organisation are pretty important, sharing vital information about policy changes, procedural issues or internal news to be shared.  Some are more practical, detailing things to be aware of, or less important goings on in the council

Then some are simply madder than a snakes armpit.

When this glorious missive was forwarded on to us by three different members of the WLLG press pack we knew it was worth sharing more widely, so here it is in all its anonymised glory.

After receiving your report/photographs of an incident where a colleague fell down some stairs whilst heavily ‘loaded’ with a tray filled with various items of crockery, as Chair of the H&S Committee I took the following steps:

  1. requested confirmation on whether H&S were investigating
  2. requested details of usual practice in conveying cups/drinks/etc
  3. visited the site of the incident to personally inspect all stairways and steps (internal)

With regard to (1), having spoken with H&S myself, they advised that they undertook an investigation whereby they determined no hazards to the stairs, but felt that staff should access hot water at the point nearest to their place of general work to minimise potential risk of injury. I am awaiting the formal incident report. Re point (2), it is believed that people at work should exercise good judgement, being cognisant of the HaSaW Act, noting that H&S is everyone’s responsibility. Where more than one trip for beverages is needed, this is what should happen. No one should, or is expected to carry a loaded tray of cups/hot liquid at any time. Equally, staff should exercise sensible judgement in accessing the nearest refreshment point.

My personal visit yesterday revealed no hazards which would directly present a trip/slip/fall hazard.

However, on the basis of the evidence found and provided, it may appear that by exercising poor judgement themselves (in the amount they chose to carry and the distance/stairs involved), the employee did contribute towards their own situation, possibly significantly.

To try to minimise the possibility of any recurrence for this or any other colleague, I should be grateful if you would advise all staff:

  1. No more than 2 cups/drink containers should be carried at any one time. Where more drinks are required, assistance from colleagues should be sought in the first instance. If this is not available, more than one ‘beverage trip’ may be required. Staff should review the method of carriage (trays etc) if they choose to convey more than 2 items as advised to determine the suitability of the object
  2. Staff must access the nearest refreshment point to minimise the need to go up and down stairs with crockery/liquids
  3. Sensible footwear should be worn
  4. Reasonable good judgement must be exercised and self awareness of one’s own health, safety and well-being should be considered

I do hope the individual makes a swift recovery but hope the above demonstrates the immediacy & seriousness with which any incident is dealt with

If you have any residual questions, please do contact me.

Kind regards

Head of Human Resources

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3 Comments on “The hidden perils of tea making”

  1. Tim Turner Says:

    I have worked in this place. Weirdly, I appear to have worked there more than once.

  2. Big K Says:

    The should be a blanket ‘muppet’ clause in all H&S rules. The rule should state – don’t be a muppet. Anyone who is being a muppet therefore has not right to compensation and authorities have to take no further action.


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