Health and Safety Myth Busting – Woman denied bus home because she had a tin of paint

Health and Safety Myth Busting – Woman denied bus home because she had a tin of paint

A 64 year old woman trying to travel home was told she wasn’t allowed to get on the bus because the tin of paint she was carrying was a ‘breach of health and safety’.

The 64 year old lady, from Worcester had just been to her local DIY store to pick up some paint for some home improvements when she hailed down a bus for the 2 mile journey home. When trying to get on the bus, Marion was refused due to the tin of paint she was carrying. The bus driver in question told her that due to health and safety concerns she would not be allowed to travel home on the bus. Instead, the 64 year old arthritis suffer had to walk the long two mile journey home in agony.

A response from the bus company concerned stated that “It can be an expensive exercise to clean up if liquids are spilt and also an inconvenience to other bus users if we have to remove the bus from service.”

This comes at a time where the HSE are tirelessly campaigning to address the issue of business focusing on profits and using health and safety as an excuse. The company involved have now issued an apology by making the following statement

“In this particular instance, we would expect our driver to use some discretion and have allowed travel under the circumstances. This did not happen, to which we apologise.”

Earlier in this year in March, Roberts Jackson reported on numerous other cases where profit is put before common sense including a library book event that refused to provide balloons for the children in attendance and a man who was denied a coffee with a kid’s meal at a fast food establishment due to unspecified health and safety reasons.

It is important to bring matters such as these into the public domain and highlight the impact that poor health and safety excuses are having on workplaces and social events alike. If health and safety is used and abused in this way it can create bad practices for employers and anyone else responsible for another person health and safety by creating confusion. Yes, it is true that health and safety laws should be carefully adhered to however a full understanding of the rules and regulations is essential before outlining policies and procedures.

The apology from the bus company reflects the right attitude – discretion should be used in particular cases and people with little understanding of health and safety laws should be confident they are making the right and logical decision for all involved.

[1] Woman’s painful brush with health and safety –