SafetY TraiN



(Archive Story: October 2011)


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has blasted companies and local authorities for using health and safety rules as an excuse to unnecessarily ban low-risk activities, arguing that these cases "undermine people's confidence in health and safety law".


The watchdog says that organisations too often use health and safety regulations as a 'convenient excuse' for making unpopular decisions. It has recently published a list of the top 10 most "bizarre bans" imposed on health and safety grounds during the past 12 months.


Measures such as banning kite-flying on a beach, sack races for children and the use of pins to secure commemorative poppies all make the list. More high-profile cases include a ban on street parties to celebrate the Royal Wedding and the closure of Murray Mount as a viewing point for crowds during Wimbledon.


A spokesman for the watchdog said that these cases have "started to undermine people's confidence in health and safety law and the work it does to protect people at work from serious risk"


There is a clear set of established laws in place to regulate health and safety in the workplace, yet the HSE explains that "what other people choose to see as health and safety is quite vague and ill-defined."


Bizarre bans


1. Wimbledon officials citing health and safety as a reason to close Murray Mount when it is wet.


2. Stopping dodgem cars from bumping into each other at Butlins in Skegness.


3. Banning Royal wedding street parties.


4. Removing an unwanted bulky TV from a pensioner's home for recycling.


5. Carnivals with fancy dress parades.


6. Kite-flying on a popular tourist beach in east Yorkshire.


7. Stopping pupils from using playground monkey bars unsupervised in Oxfordshire.


8. Using pins to secure commemorative poppies.


9. Schoolyard football games banned - unless the ball is made of sponge.


10. Children no longer allowed to take part in a sack race at sports day.


courtesy of IIRSM



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