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  Who you gonna call? Myth busters!

Who you gonna call? Myth busters!

10 August 2014 Email this article

The HSE’s ‘myth busters’ panel of experts has just ruled on its 300th case.

Set up to expose incorrect, overzealous and downright ridiculous interpretations of health and safety regulations, the panel encourages members of the public to tell them when they think ‘health and safety’ has been cited incorrectly. It draws on the knowledge of a range of panel members, from a variety of backgrounds, to consider the facts and then publish a ruling.

Over the years, the panel has put to bed an astonishing and often bizarre variety of things blamed on ‘health and safety’. Standout cases include a fishmonger who refused to fillet a fish, a charity shop that refused to sell knitting needles, and a school that banned yo-yos from the playground.

Now it is has ruled on Case 300 – a village pub that did not have a mirror in the disabled toilet, for ‘health and safety’ reasons. Ridiculous, says the challenge panel, and a feeble excuse to mask the real reason (cutting costs).

Discussing the work of the myth busters, Judith Hackitt, Chair of HSE and the Myth Busters Challenge Panel, said:” I never cease to be amazed at the cases brought to our attention and they just keep on coming. ‘Health and safety’ is trotted out all too often, an easy way to hide the real reason for refusal to do or allow something, which is usually just bad customer service. Health and safety regulations are there to deal with risks to life and limb in the workplace; not for jobsworths to hide behind.”