Case 256 - Inspection and paperwork required for a small screw to be put into a wall


Enquirer works in a University and they asked for a small screw to be screwed into a wall. They were informed that this is 'changing the structure of the building' which comes with health and safety concerns (eg screwing into electrical wiring). It would therefore require an inspection by estates personnel and paperwork. Enquirer believes that this seems excessive given the small size of the screw and the assumption that this produces a structural change in the building itself and can cause harm.

Panel decision

The information provided by the University is unhelpful and disproportionate. If there are genuine safety concerns about location of asbestos or electrical wiring behind walls they should make this clear. If it is simply a more general policy of not wanting the decoration of the walls to be damaged they should also make this clear rather than hiding behind bureaucracy.