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Case 242 – Store not allowed to test light bulbs


Enquirer acquired a set of light bulbs from a store but once home discovered that one of them was not working. On returning the defective bulb they asked if the store could test the replacement light bulb, however, they were informed that was not possible because, due to health and safety reasons, they were not allowed to test light bulbs in the shop.

Panel decision

Health and Safety at Work legislation does not prohibit shops from testing light bulbs prior to sale. It is difficult to think of any valid reason for refusing to provide this simple service. Instead of keeping the customer in the dark it would help if the company provided some illumination for the real reason instead of hiding behind health and safety as an excuse.

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Case 238 – University office bicycle ban


The enquirer was told that, for health and safety reasons they were not allowed to keep their bicycle in their office at a university. The university provides some external cycle parking but not enough for everyone and the enquirer says bicycle theft is common on campus.

Panel decision

The university have confirmed that they are aware there is no health and safety regulation which prevents bicycles being stored in buildings. They have also made it clear that their policy of not allowing bicycles into buildings is in order to keep all accessways clear for fire safety reasons. It is not clear to the panel when this policy was put in place or why the enquirer was only recently informed of the policy.

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Keep up! Making sense and staying compliant – Manchester, 26 February 2014

The health and safety challenge

Date and location

Wednesday 26 February, The Midland Hotel, Peter St, Manchester, M60 2DS

Event overview

The aim of the conference is to help attendees keep abreast of key health and safety developments. Expert speakers include Paul Cook from the HSE with an update on HSE’s review of guidance and regulatory lawyer Lee Hughes discussing leading cases. Peter Savage, COO from St John Ambulance will cover changes to first aid at work.

Booking and further information

To view the full speaker list and for more information visit the Britsafe ‘Keep up! Making sense and staying compliant‘ event page, alternatively email or tel: +44 (0)20 8741 1231

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L143 – Managing and working with asbestos: Approved Code of Practice and guidance

Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. Approved Code of Practice and guidance

Date of publication:
Series code:
L143 (Second edition)
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This publication contains the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) and guidance text for employers about work which disturbs, or is likely to disturb, asbestos, asbestos sampling and laboratory analysis. The Regulations set out your legal duties and the ACOP and guidance give practical advice on how to comply with those requirements. The Regulations give minimum standards for protecting employees from risks associated with exposure to asbestos.

The Regulations came into force on 6 April 2012, updating and replacing the previous 2006 law. They contain new requirements for certain types of non-licensable work with asbestos on notification of work; designating areas where you are working on asbestos; medical surveillance and record keeping.

Two ACOPs, L127 (The management of asbestos in non-domestic premises) and L143 (Work with materials containing asbestos) have been consolidated into this single revised ACOP. The ACOP has been revised to make legal compliance clearer to dutyholders and to reflect the changes introduced in The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. The presentation and language have been updated wherever possible.

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Case 239 – Indoor Christmas lights banned in retirement village


Previously a retirement village had been allowed to put up Christmas lights in the corridor outside their apartments, but this year they are no longer permitted on health and safety grounds and because of a fire risk. However, management are allowed to display decorated and lit Christmas trees in the Village Street (an indoor area) and other public rooms.

Panel decision

There are no health and safety regulations which prevent Christmas lights being used in a public area, but in this case we understand that the local Fire Service had expressed concerns in relation to emergency escape routes and the potential for plug sockets to be overloaded. This should have been properly explained to residents rather than simply using a catch-all “health and safety” excuse. Christmas lights do not need a portable appliance test so this argument is also misleading.

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Case 240 – No hot drink trolley service allowed for dog event staff


Serving hot drinks to staff at a dog show has been banned on the grounds of health and safety, because passing them from the drinks trolley attendant to the staff might be dangerous.

Panel decision

There should be no health or safety reason for banning trolley attendants from serving hot drinks to ring stewards and judges at a dog show, the risk is unlikely to be any different from many other locations where hot drinks trolleys are used (including moving trains). This is an over-reaction to an easily manageable risk and seeking a solution that allows staff to have a hot drink would be preferable to using ‘health and safety’ as an excuse.

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HSE jobs – Project Manager, HSL

The post

The purpose of the Band 3 Project Manager (PM) position is to project manage the safe execution of a portfolio of engineering and scientific projects, encompassing the lifetime of a project from negotiation with the customer through to successful delivery, closure and review. The successful candidate will be responsible for delivering a portfolio of projects safely, to agreed time, cost and quality.

The portfolio of projects will be compiled to reflect the higher level of the expertise expected of a Band 3 Project Manager (PM). A Band 3 PM will be expected to manage a challenging portfolio of several projects in terms of complexity, risk and scale.

Job responsibilities

  • Working closely with technical specialists, resource managers and business managers to develop, plan, cost and successfully deliver on several projects simultaneously;
  • Providing strong leadership for each project team and also to take the lead when dealing with large external clients;
  • Ensuring that all appropriate risk assessments are conducted and maintained to reflect any changes in project activity;
  • Monitoring and reporting on project progress against the project plan providing timely project management information to both internal and/or external key stakeholders;
  • Forecasting delivery throughout the life of the project;
  • Maintaining regular communication with customers and providing reports on project progress as agreed;
  • Ensuring corporate project management practices and methodologies are adopted and followed;
  • Using the Health Safety Laboratory (HSL) project management system to profile projects and plan resources;
  • Helping to ensure consistency and best practice in the use of HSL’s project management software.
  • Using their knowledge and expertise to proactively contribute to leadership of project management across HSL and to the continual improvement of project management capability and approaches at HSL.

Please see the HSL website for further information on the type of work that we do.

Personal requirements

Desirable (optional):

Nationally recognised project management qualification (e.g., APMP or PRINCE2 equivalent qualification; Engineering or science qualification (e.g., BSc) or similar.

You must be able to demonstrate;

  1. Experience of managing projects in a technical environment, including the ability to demonstrate the key attributes of project management; experience of using a project planning tool (e.g., Primavera) and following corporate project procedures; and experience of identifying and managing project risks.
  2. Ability to demonstrate a track record of high quality project initiation, with clarity of purpose, scope and outcomes.
  3. Ability to demonstrate effective leadership and stakeholder management with excellent communication skills.

You must also be able to demonstrate the following competencies;

  1. Engaging People; Collaborating and Partnering
  2. Setting Direction; Changing and Improving
  3. Delivering Results; Achieving Commercial Outcomes

Note: If you are selected for interview you will be required to provide evidence, at the interview, of the Learning and Development/Continuous Professional Development that you have undertaken to prepare you for your career progression.   For HSL candidates this should be in the form of a Professional Portfolio (which should include an up to date LD/CPD log/record), or for other Civil Service or external candidates a written summary of what informal and formal Learning and Development you have undertaken, what you learned/key benefits and, where relevant, how the learning was used.

To apply

To apply for this role, please use the Civil Service on line recruitment system. Civil Service Jobs.

Where asked for examples of experience for each the specific requirements, please give one or more instances illustrating what was done, how and the outcome.

Once you have logged in to the system, please select Health and Safety Executive in the department section, click Search.  All Health and Safety Executive vacancies will be displayedPlease select the vacancy you wish to apply for and click on ‘click here to apply now’ at the bottom of the newly displayed screen.

To enable you to complete the competency based application form, see the Civil Service Competency Framework which you are advised to read prior to submitting your application.

Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an acknowledgment.  If you have a disability and you need an application form in an alternative format or you would like to know more about our recruitment process, please telephone Janine Tickle 01298 218828 or email

Please ensure you upload your CV and a covering letter.  It is essential that your covering letter addresses how your skills and experience meet the requirements for this post.
This should be no more than two sides of A4 paper (font size 10).

* Please note the close date for applications is 14th January 2014.

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