‘Dangerous’ daffodils just a myth

April 10, 2015   //   No Comments

Complaints from the public being fobbed off with health and safety excuses are at a record high.

From dangerous daffodils being banned on a village green, to pork crackling not on the menu at a restaurant because it might splash the chef – complaints from the public being fobbed off with ‘elf and safety excuses are at a record high.  More than 600 people approached the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Myth Busters Challenge Panel in its first 3 years after being told ‘health and safety’ stops them from doing something.

In the overwhelming majority of cases, the HSE panel has confirmed that health and safety regulations do not ban the activity and that ‘health and safety’ is being used as a smokescreen, usually to hide poor customer service.

In addition to the dangerous daffodils and worrying pork crackling, other myths busted were:

  • prams banned from a children’s centre for health and safety reasons
  • loose flowers and pots not allowed on graves
  • custard pie fight at a local event cancelled because of health and safety
  • chippy not allowing customers to put salt and vinegar on their fish and chips
  • ban on playing with conkers and yoyos, using skipping ropes, and climbing trees
  • selfie sticks banned in a nightclub
  • sheep and cow droppings in a field stopping a scout group camping
  • school production cancelled because lighting operator had not attended ladder training course
  • office ban on paperclips

The continuing popularity of the Myth Busters Challenge panel shows that people are not afraid to challenge overzealous behaviour which is still rife in the retail and leisure industries, education and workplace health and safety, despite action to bring in a simpler, modern set of rules.

A report published on 24 March 2015 shows that the HSE has reduced the overall stock of health and safety legislation by 50%. And a legislative package is currently going through Parliament that will enable 1.8 million self-employed jobs to be exempt from health and safety law if they present no risk of harm to others.

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