Most of us are aware of Health and Safety issues in the work place. It is one area of legislation for which both employer and employee can easily be held liable. So, either for fear of litigation or a testimony to outright awkwardness, some actions have (or have not) been undertaken due to “Health and Safety” policies and procedures. Some of these are understandable. Some make us groan and shake our heads in disbelief.
For instance, there was a reported case of a school banning students from pushing their fellow student in a wheelchair as they had not received appropriate training.
Another report was of a hotel that said it did not provide floor towels for the bathroom, citing health and safety as their reason. I would have thought that not providing towels for the bathroom floor could mean a guest slipping as they stepped wet (and probably soapy) out of the bath!
However, firms that are worth their weight in gold ensure that good health and safety policies, practices and procedures are put in place. It makes an important part of training and induction for new employees. It is continually reviewed and improved upon where necessary. And it works most when it is done more out of respect and appreciation for its workforce than for fear of litigation. Overall, such workplaces are comfortable places and the workforce feels safe. And valued.
What about in the home? How many of our homes are safe places for all of its members? I am not talking about trailing cables (often we are aware of where they trail and usually just step over them, except of course if one were in a hurry or something). I’m not talking about shoes, bags or belongings that some of us may drop off anywhere convenient as evidence that we have returned home.
More seriously, I’m not even talking about broken glass, falling plaster, or dangerous or decaying stairs or any of the other criteria provided by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System.
How seriously should we take health and safety in our homes?
How many of our homes are safe places for all of its members?
If any member of the family goes to bed in fear of another; if any member wakes up at night to hear one member being abused by another; if any member attempts to rule and reign with terror so as to control the other(s); then that home is neither a healthy nor a safe place in which to live.
It is my hope that Beauty’s Story will raise awareness of mental and emotional health and safety issues in our homes, and by extension, our communities. And just as everyone has an individual and collective responsibility to ensuring health and safety at work, we each and all need to work actively to ensure that our homes are safe places for each member of our families. In every way.
So, what are you going to do about it?