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More 'Elf and Safety excuses exposes by HSE

More 'Elf and Safety excuses exposes by HSE

2 September 2013 Email this article

As part of its 'mythbusting' campaign, the Health and Safety Executive has released yet another batch of barmy 'elf and safety myths, in its drive to bring common sense back into decision making and to combat misuses of health and safety legislation.

HSE's Myth Busters Challenge Panel was set up in 2012 to provide quick advice to people subject to ridiculous or disproportionate health and safety decisions by insurance companies, local authorities, employers and overzealous jobsworths.

Since then, they have has received over 200 cases with nearly all rulings finding a decision was made without having any basis in health and safety law.

Top myths uncovered this summer where proprietors of shops, restaurants and leisure centres hid behind spurious health and safety grounds included:

  • A notice declaring "under three year olds are not allowed on the premises or in the restaurant" hanging near the front door at a chip shop in Aldeburgh

  • A children's soft play centre in Oxfordshire with signs up stating "customers must not consume their own food or drink on the premises due to health and safety reasons".

  • A local gym putting up a notice stating that for "health and safety reasons, members are requested to only use the hair dryers for hair on the head" in the changing rooms.

  • A Chinese restaurant in East Sussex refusing to provide a customer with a finger bowl.

HSE Chair, Judith Hackitt said: "The stories just keep on coming in - you just could not make them up. I am proud of what our Myth Busters Panel has achieved in exposing the real reasons behind all of these so-called "health and safety" stories. If we understand what is really driving this blatant misuse of health and safety then we can all tackle the root causes - jobsworths be warned!"