· News

HSE publishes its top 10 worst examples of health and safety overkill

Following the launch of its myth busting challenge panel to curb the worst examples of health and safety misuse, the HSE has listed the ten worth health and safety myths.

The panel will separate legitimate decisions to protect people from real risks from those not required in health and safety law. This will allow decisions by insurance companies, local authorities and employers among others to be contested.

HSE has published its top ten worst health and safety myths - exactly the sort of decisions the panel would challenge:

  • Children being banned from playing conkers unless they are wearing goggles
  • Office workers being banned from putting up Christmas decorations
  • Trapeze artists being ordered to wear hard hats
  • Pin the tail on the donkey games being deemed a health and safety risk
  • Candy floss on a stick being banned in case people trip and impale themselves
  • Hanging baskets being banned in case people bump their heads on them
  • Schoolchildren being ordered to wear clip on ties in case they are choked by traditional neckwear
  • Park benches must be replaced because they are three inches too low
  • Flip flops being banned from the workplace
  • Graduates ordered not to throw their mortar boards in the air

Minister for employment Chris Grayling said: "All too often jobsworths are the real reason for daft health and safety decisions. We want people who are told they cannot put up bunting or they cannot play conkers to know that there is no basis in law for such rulings.

"Common sense is the key to successful health and safety. The Myth Busters Challenge Panel will advise people where they think local authorities, insurance companies or schools have got it wrong."

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will run the Myth Busters Challenge Panel, which will provide quick advice to people who are subject to ridiculous or disproportionate health and safety decisions.