Blog 22: The importance of Health & Safety – no come back! (05/10/18)

Hi Dudes,

Blog 22 is here, poking its grubby face in where it’s not wanted and blowing raspberries at all the piggy’s with their adorable noses in the trough. Hold onto your riding britches, and prepare for a feast of socialist intrigue.

Where shall we start? Palestine? Trump? the T.U.C conference? Brexit? the delights of the attendance management process? …. Nah something far juicier…..

…. Health and Safety!!!!. I bet you’re all weak at the knees now?

Do we take Health and Safety seriously enough in the Hospital? Does it apply to us? Is it all red tape and nanny state? After all we don’t work in heavy industry! Because we all have a bit of medical insight does it breed complacency? I certainly see from my travels around the hospital (I’m very Michael Palin) a lot of workers doing long hours, funny shifts, coupled with the eternal stretched resources.

Breaks & Hours

  • You have the right to a minimal 20 minute rest break during your working day (if you work more than 6 hours a day) This break should be roughly in the middle of your shift. If you are not getting a break then you MUST speak up. We know you are busy, we know that you are patient focused, but missing breaks and working tired, or non- replenished will lead to mistakes, or harm to your long term health. You must inform your line manager if they are unaware of these missed mandatory breaks. If that falls on stressed unresponsive ears then inform ourselves and we will help you.
  • Your break should be away from your workplace (desk) and be uninterrupted.
  • You cannot work more than 48 hours per week unless you have “opted out”.
  • You need 11 consecutive hours’ rest in any 24-hour period e.g. if you finish a shift at midnight then you shouldn’t be back on shift until 11a.m the next day.
  • By law you need one day off each week or two consecutive days off in a fortnight.


The following are minimal standards;-

  • Toilets and somewhere to wash your hands
  • Drinking water should be easily accessible
  • A place to store clothing, and somewhere to get changed if you are required to wear a uniform
  • Somewhere away from the immediate workplace to rest and eat meals

General Health Issues

The following are minimal standards;-

  • Good ventilation – a supply of fresh, clean air drawn from outside or a ventilation system
  • A reasonable working temperature (usually at least 16°C)
  • Suitable lighting
  • Enough room space (there is a formula) and suitable workstations and seating
  • A clean well maintained workplace

All these rules are enforced by law and are there to protect you. We need you all working until you 83, not burnt out like Jimi Hendrix’s corpse at 27. We are not here to obstruct, or be difficult; we just want to help protect the workforce so you can maintain your wonderful standards for the patients in the hospital.

It is also a rule (enshrined in Health and Safety Law no less) that night shift nutrition should be fully sponsored by Cadburys and takeaways. Days shifts are for smoothies and salad, night shifts are for sugar and spice.

“The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.” – John F. Kennedy

(I’m sure he meant women as well, after all JFK loved women, ask my mate Marilyn)

…..Speak soon xxx