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Taking a common sense approach to managing risk

Jan 2013

Ten of the most ridiculous health and safety excuses of 2012 have recently been exposed by a regulator...

There are many myths about what health and safety requires together with a good deal of confusion and a smattering of misinterpretation. "Health and Safety" is often incorrectly used as a convenient excuse to stop what are essentially sensible activities from going ahead, and to this end, the HSE has set up an independent panel ­ the Myth Busters Challenge Panel - to look into such unfounded decisions.

Bans on yo-yos in playgrounds, knives in kitchens and kettles in offices were all wrongly blamed on workplace safety laws in 2012 and the panel has been charged with getting the focus back on managing real risks in a sensible and proportionate way - something any Health and Safety practitioner would back!

If any reader has been on the end of a bogus health and safety decision, why not put it to the Panel here and get the confidence to challenge those using nonsense health and safety excuses rather than tell the truth behind unpopular decisions

Some of the most ridiculous cases of 2012 include:

  1. Driver refused to allow customer on bus with hot drink because of health and safety
  2. Bar refused to let customer carry tray of drinks because they had not been 'health and safety trained'
  3. Charity shop has said that they cannot sell knitting needles for health and safety reasons
  4. Public hall removed knives from kitchen on the grounds of health and safety
  5. Shop refused to put coffee in customer's own reusable cup on the grounds of health and safety
  6. Airline passenger told boiled sweets were no longer provided on the grounds of health and safety
  7. Hotel chain does not provide floor towels due to 'Health and Safety'
  8. Fish & chip shop told customer he could not have 'batter scraps' for health and safety reasons
  9. School bans yo-yos on health and safety grounds
  10. Office workers advised that kettles and microwaves were not allowed due to health and safety requirements

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