Health & Safety Hype or Right?

Has Health and Safety gone mad or is it the gossip mongers amongst us embellishing stories that lead us to believe there are some very strange health and safety restrictions out there?

Whilst it is imperative to prevent an accident at work, protect our children in the care of others and care for members of the general public in our civic areas, there are instances where we may be being a little overcautious.  That said, there are plenty of the Health and Safety rules that are purely propaganda and piffle.

How many of the top 10 health and safety myths have you come across or indeed believe?  Although unsure of their origins, it is confirmed that the following are certainly not required to be followed under health and safety laws.


As a mum of young children, this is one I have heard myself.  Whilst some schools have banned conkers or asked children to wear goggles to play this is not a directive from the Health and Safety Executive but rather from well-meaning education staff.  A perfect example of conkers going bonkers.

Christmas Decorations

The Health and Safety Executive are no humbugs!  Whilst some bosses may prevent staff from putting up Christmas decorations on the grounds of health and safety most just ensure that ladders are provided to avoid an accident at work occurring from standing on a wheelie chair.

Trapeze Artists

It has been said that trapeze artists are required to wear hard hats for their protection. This report is balderdash and whilst hard hats serve great purpose on a building sight there is no use for them on a trapeze.  How on earth would they stay on anyway?

Pin the Tail on the Donkey

Well I know that parents can be a little over protective, but stopping children playing traditional games that have been played for years without major repercussion is ludicrous.  It is certainly not a directive from the Health and Safety powers that be.  It has been suggested that it could have been a marketing ploy for party games.  Shame on them.

Candy Floss

I can’t remember the last time that I had or even saw candy floss on a stick.  It seems to be bought in a bag these days.  However, this is not for Health and Safety reasons.  It is a complete myth that the sticks have been removed to save stabbing yourself if you fall.  It is more likely that it is down to manufacturers and retailers finding it easier to package without them.

Hanging Baskets

Health and Safety fears that passers-by might bang their heads on hanging baskets or that they could pose a fire risk, have fuelled the hogwash that they are to be banned.  It is reported that some local authorities, like this one in London, have taken this action but out of care for the community and common sense and not because they are following a law that doesn’t even exist.

Clip on Ties

Children are to wear clip on ties to school to prevent choking, really?  My son actually wears a clip on tie to school, which is a stipulation of their school uniform and certainly not a Health and Safety law.  Children have been wearing ties as part of a uniform for many, many years without problems.  If they are being used as anything but a smart accompaniment to a uniform this is a discipline issue that should be dealt with by the school.

Park Benches

Park benches to be removed because they are too low, Health and Safety gone mad?  Not at all, there is no law that dictates what height a park bench has to be.  There certainly won’t be anyone out measuring height restrictions.  Our park benches are staying put.

Flip Flops

Contrary to belief Health and Safety does not prohibit flip flops from being worn in the work place.  However, what you wear on your feet can certainly make a difference in avoiding slips, trips and falls which account for approximately 30% of all workplace accidents.  It might pay to change from fashion to function.

Graduate Mortarboards

A time honoured tradition, graduates celebrating their success with the throwing of their mortarboards.  A tradition outlawed by Health and Safety Executives?  Definitely not!  The chance of being hit by a falling mortarboard is slim, so let the tradition continue.


Health and safety rules are always getting blamed for ruining people’s fun, but it is not always the fault of the Health and Safety Executives and could be down to do-gooders and well-meaning staff, so it is always worth researching before getting caught up in propaganda.  Let’s end the madness.

Have you come across any crazy restrictions that you think are down to Health and Safety?

I would love to extend this list so it would be great to receive your comments.


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Jackie Wakefield – Learned BloggerFind Jackie on Google +

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