Health and Safety regulations are an important part of any environment and need to be enforced properly. However, there are some instances of health and safety rules overriding common sense and being implemented in workplaces or schools when they are actually incorrect. Below we’ve taken a look at some of our favourite healthy and safety myths taken from the HSE website, which regulates health and safety in Great Britain.
- HSE bans traditional ties – there are few parents that will agree that wearing proper ties is a health and safety issue, after all children have been wearing them for years without problems. Removing them around machinery or whilst doing lab work makes sense but HSE does not ban school ties completely – it is the decision of the individual school to do this.
- HSE bans bunting – whilst it is prudent to have a bit of common sense when hanging bunting there are no regulations in place which actually ban it for the workplace/sporting events/village fetes etc.
- HSE bans graduates from throwing mortar boards – throwing your mortar board, or hat, at graduation is one of the essential rites of passage and something virtually no graduate can resist upon graduating. Contrary to some beliefs this is not something that HSE has banned – in their own words ‘health and safety law doesn’t stop graduates having fun and celebrating their success in the time-honoured fashion’. Any instance of this being banned is down to the individual university and is more likely to be based on worry about the hats being damaged than any danger to students.
- HSE bans candyfloss on a stick – this is a rather bizarre one, but in 2010 it was claimed by some that the stick candyfloss is spun on could pose a threat and was thus under review for health and safety reasons. There are in fact no laws banning candyfloss on a stick.
- HSE has banned stepladders – although it’s important to use stepladders, and normal ladders, safely in the workplace there are no actual bans in place. Have some common sense and use them safely.
- New regulations would force trapeze artists to wear hard hats – this myth was widely reported at the time and is apparently complete nonsense. Hard hats are very useful in the workplace to protect from falling debris, but have no place on a trapeze.
- Children must wear goggles to play conkers – this is one of the oldest health and safety myths and has no basis in actual fact. Whilst some schools may have banned conkers, or made children wear gloves, this is entirely their own decision and has no root in healthy and safety laws.
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