A SCOTTISH health board has carried out a "ludicrous" seven-page health and safety report on the implications of removing a printer from an office, including whether the human rights of staff might be jeopardised.

The review of the proposal to have two printers on two floors instead of three printers on two floors, at NHS Health Scotland's office in Glasgow, was carried out by two staff members.

Lengthy check-lists were considered including assessing how 17 specific population groups might be affected by the move - such as older people, the homeless, people involved in the criminal justice system, and people who have low literacy.

The assessment also considered ten human rights issues which might be impacted - including the right to life, the right to freedom from ill-treatment, the right to a private and family life, and the right to freedom of expression.

Among the observations the review notes is that the move will have a "general impact on all staff of making more queuing likely for the printer", but it will be mitigated by moves to increase the number of staff working 'paper-free' and faster printers.

It suggests that reducing the number of printers will have a positive impact on the social environment as it will mean that "the people who do printing are more likely to meet and chat at the printers which do exist".

And it also notes there will be a positive impact on the environment as fewer printers will mean less electricity used and "probably less paper and ink ... in as much as people may be less inclined to print".

The document does note that disabled staff or those with mobility issue could encounter problems if the printer on one floor breaks, and concludes if this does happen they should ask their teammates if they can help out - or call the facilities team for assistance.

Dr Jean Turner, a health campaigner and former executive director of the Scotland Patients Association, said: "It sounds a little bit like bureaucracy taking over reason in some ways - anyone who has worked in an office knows all you want is a printer that actually works and does all that you require of it."

A spokesman for Taxpayer Scotland campaign group said: "This is a ludicrous example of out-of-control bureaucracy. Every word of this assessment was written by a taxpayer-funded civil servant who surely must have something more useful to do.

"It's time we scale back this pen-pushing madness and focus our efforts on better services, not lengthier paper trails."

A spokeswoman for NHS Health Scotland said: "NHS Health Scotland is committed to being a great place to work, and we aim to ensure all staff are treated fairly and consistently, and with dignity and respect.

"To help us do this and to comply with the Equality Act 2010, we take time to impact assess new policies and practices. It helps us check we don't unintentionally disadvantage any of our staff.

"In this specific case, a concern was raised that reducing the number of printers in our Meridian Court office might make things harder for staff with disabilities affecting their mobility. We therefore conducted the impact assessment to make sure it did not."

She added: "We find impact assessments a useful and proportionate exercise to help us make sure we have met the needs of all our staff."