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 Don’t let Health and Safety ‘rules’ spoil the fun, says minister

Don’t let Health and Safety ‘rules’ spoil the fun, says minister

30 August 2014 Email this article

Minister for disabled people, Mark Harper, spoke out last month, appealing to staff at events and attractions to not ruin people’s enjoyment of the bank holiday weekend by imposing absurd rules. Mr Harper is reported as being annoyed by a decision from the Crufts dog show in Keswick, Cumbria to ban the contests in which dogs caught Frisbees, in case one of the animals was injured.

Other examples of recent ill-thought-out ‘health and safety’ excuses brought to the attention of the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) ‘Mythbusters’ panel include the case of a child in Cardiff who was banned from going on a bouncy castle while he was wearing glasses, despite his plea that he could not see without them, parents being told not to apply  suncream to their children and a Bedfordshire café that refused to put strawberry sauce on ice cream because of “health and safety”.

Judith Hackitt, the chair of the HSE, said: “Real health and safety is about protecting people in the workplace from life- and health-threatening risks – not about refusing to apply suntan lotion, or put sauce on an ice cream. Health and safety has become an all too convenient excuse, which means the law is being applied disproportionately or, more often than not, entirely erroneously.”