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Case 232 - School going to great expense to replace wooden flooring in workshops

Issue

A school is planning to replace at great expense the wooden parquet flooring in its workshops with concrete. The enquirer was told it had to be done on "health and safety" grounds because of fire risk.

Panel decision

Health and safety at work legislation does not require the replacement of wooden flooring in school design and technology workshops with concrete or other materials, and no readily available guidance suggests that this is necessary. The health and safety advisor who made the recommendation should be challenged to explain the reasons for it rather simply stating "health and safety". Unless there are good reasons to replace the floor (eg deteriorating condition), the school may be able to avoid considerable expense and upheaval in changing the flooring material.

2013-12-11