Shooting Fish in a Barrel

This is an easy target, I know, but I just can’t resist: Health and Safety. At my place of work, we recently had installed, at great expense, and over a long period of time, special fire safety doors to stop the spread of the fires which, of course, regularly break out… These doors are situated a few steps from the existing 1930s doors, which, I would imagine, being very heavy and solid would take a while to burn. Anyway, a colleague asked if she could have a coat hook on her office door. The answer, following a risk assessment, was no: a hook might injure her if, in a fire, the door were to collapse on her. I would have thought the hook might be the least of her worries in such a circumstance, but that was the reason. Of course, the rest of us have hooks on our doors, and have had since the place was built. There is no recorded instance of death by coathook…

CC BY-SA 4.0 Shooting Fish in a Barrel by Dr Rob Spence is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

2 Responses to “Shooting Fish in a Barrel”

  1. On an optimistic note at least your colleague will have her coat handy to fill the gap at the bottom of the door to prevent/delay the smoke getting into her room and thus extend her air supply. Of course on a pessimistic note, if she’s that fed up of stupid risk assessments (and why shouldn’t she be) then she may wish to plug the gap to prevent the smoke escaping …

  2. My previous employers wouldn’t let me have a proper hanger on the door. They bought me a plastic hanger with a suction cup. The hanger and the coat kept falling to the floor – this would have made my escape more difficult.

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