Employment and Migration Blog

Tag: getaway

  • Safety in the Sistine
    Posted by Stephen Booth on 18 Feb 2013
    As many of my clients know, I am taking a gap year in 2013, travelling the UK and Europe so my posts this year will have a travel theme. I have just finished 2 ½ weeks in Rome, where one of the top priorities of my wife and I was to see the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. You enter through a small door, onto a marble pavement which extends a couple of metres and then goes down 3 steps to the main floor. And as everyone knows about Michelangelo painting the ceiling, most visitors stop, and look up to stare, as soon as they get through the door, attention pretty much distracted from the steps by the sight of God creating the world, and creating Adam, and the brightly coloured portraits of sibyls and prophets. So, immediate WH&S issue: the risk of someone tumbling down the stairs is pretty high. And if the Work Health & Safety legislation applied, the Vatican would clearly have a duty to all these visitors to a workplace. At first glance, there is nothing in place to address the risk: no barriers, no high-vis markers on the edges of the marble steps, no prominent signs (no-one would look at them anyway!). It seems “all reasonably practicable steps” have not been taken to remove or minimise the risk.