In most offices, when a chair is in the wrong position then immediate action is taken. Somebody moves it.
But not at the Health and Safety Executive.
There, employees have been banned from shifting furniture on the remote chance that they might do themselves a mischief.
They are told to book a porter to complete the task - and allow two days for it to happen.
The new rule could prove particularly problematic for staff planning a last-minute meeting.
If a porter cannot be summoned urgently staff would be left with the awkward choice of disobeying a direct order from the management or asking some of their guests to stand.
To hammer home the point, signs which read: ĎDo not lift tables or chairs without giving 48 hours notice to HSE managementí, have been plastered across the walls in several meeting rooms.
The ruling was discovered by Labour peer Lord Berkeley. He noticed the signs when he attended a meeting at the London headquarters of the HSE, whose responsibilities include workers at nuclear plants, oil rigs and huge factories.
Incensed by what he considered to be "health and safety gone mad", Lord Berkeley raised the matter in the House of Lords, demanding in a parliamentary question to know why the HSE had put up the notices.
"I saw them and thought, 'It just canít be true'," he said.
"Itís ridiculous to mollycoddle people like that. Itís taking health-and-safety precautions to a ridiculous level.
They ought to be concentrating on the important things.
"The HSE is an office like any other Ė so if it is not required in other offices, why there? Itís the epitome of a nanny state."