Health and safety slap down council that refused to clear dog mess

External sourcein Public Places
  • Trafford said health and safety rules banned workers from clearing dog mess
  • But its decision was overturned after an appeal to health and safety chiefs
  • 'Refusing to clean up is just unhelpful,' says HSE chairman Judith Hackitt

A council has been slapped down by health and safety chiefs after it refused to clear up dog mess in a playground because of the risk it posed to workers.

Officials at Trafford, Greater Manchester, had said that telling groundsmen to clear faeces from the play area in Altrincham, a well-to-do suburb, could expose them to disease.

Parents who asked the council to take action over the mess were told: 'Unfortunately, the Council's grounds maintenance team are not allowed to tackle dog fouling by hand (including spades) for health and safety reasons.'

Furious at the refusal, the parents complained to the Health and Safety Executive's Mythbusters Panel, which ruled that Trafford had used an 'unjustified health and safety reason for not clearing up the dog fouling.'

HSE chairman Judith Hackitt, who heads the Mythbusters Panel, said that it was 'right and proper' that council workers should clean up the playground to protect children from the potentially hazardous waste.

'There are no rules which prevent this and the precautions needed to protect workers are simple and straightforward,' she told The Sun.

'Refusing to clean up is just unhelpful.'

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