After the news broke out on Tuesday that Big Ben was silencing its famous bells until 2021, some of us were left in disbelief over the absurdness of the concept. The Great Bell, which is now 158 years old, has been forced to silence its ‘bongs’ to protect the hearing of workers who will be carrying out renovations on Big Ben.

Whilst many are agreeing that this is the correct action to take in order to ensure people’s safety at work, several MP’s and even the Prime Minister herself are criticising the proposal, deeming the idea “mad” and “ridiculous”.

And on top of that, now MP’s are begging for a cat for the Houses of Parliament, as their pest problems are beginning to get uncontrollable. In fact, the mouse infestation has managed to rack up a pest control bill of £130,000. The Members of Parliament believe that a cat can help tackle the problem – MP Penny Mordaunt even brought in her own pedigree cat, until officials banned the practise for breaking health and safety regulations.

One Conservative MP described his worries to The Telegraph, claiming his biggest worry was that the only thing that seemed to scare the mice off were the bongs of Big Ben – and now even this is out of the question.

It seems unfeasible that the Houses of Parliament could be having these sorts of health and safety problems, but ridiculous as they sound, they are actually very realistic. Furthermore, it helps to illustrate how important it is to look after health and safety in the workplace, whatever kind of establishment you are in.

Pest control, whilst frustrating, is easily curable with the help of a pest control team. And regarding Big Ben’s silent ‘bongs’, it’s enriching to see the tower taking their workers safety into such high consideration, as any establishment should. Due to The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, which ensures that workers’ hearing is protected from excessive noise in their workplace (HSE), these regulations must be put in place to protect the workers. It is vital in any workplace to ensure that people’s health and safety is kept as the main priority, which is why the Houses of Parliament have adhered to these rules.

What do you think? Do you think that, like several MP’s, these issues are ‘ridiculous’ and the House of Parliament have got it ‘bong’? Or are they actually completely lifelike?




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