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Has that dog signed a disclaimer?

It was with a sigh of relief that I read yesterday’s Prime Minister notes detailing plans to drastically reduce the amount of time SMEs are spending on risk assessments and health and safety, and addressing the “blame and claim” culture where employers seem automatically at fault for accidents in the work place. This must be the best news for small businesses for a very long time.

Every Wedding Fair we run requires an inordinate amount of health and safety checks and paperwork, but to add to that our offices are in open countryside, so our risk assessments need to cover such eventualities of safely removing a small pony from the kitchen and a chicken from a desk. Both have happened in recent years.

We had, however, failed to file a risk assessment for the eventuality of a seemingly friendly Staffordshire Terrier leaping into Grace’s car as she left the office yesterday. Having curled up on the passenger seat nothing could persuade it to get back out, so off Grace drove to the local vets with several stone of potentially aggressive dog within easy reach of her jugular. Imagine the liability there had it all gone wrong. Having safely deposited the dog with the vet we are now awaiting a claim from the dog’s owner against us for kidnapping their stray dog.

The regulation changes can’t come soon enough.


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