Health and safety myths

Let's start with a look at three of the worst health and safety myths as reported by the Health and Safety Executive

Banned from playing conkers? That's bonkers!

This seems to appear every year but the earliest incidence we found was from the BBC website from 4th October 2004. It reports that a head teacher at Cummersdale Primary School in Carlisle ordered his pupils to don the safety equipment before playing to avoid injury.

Is this a health and safety issue? Well this is where things get out of hand. One report like this and somone says "that's for health and safety reasons" when really, it isn't. It has nothing to do with health and safety, it's merely one headteacher deciding to be a little bit protective.

There are no such H&S laws. Go on, play conkers, knock yourself out. Actually, don't knock yourself out...

Dangerous Christmas decorations?

This is another ridiculous story that gets wheeled out every year during the festive season and there's absolutely nothing in law that says people can't put up decorations in their office. Of course, there are laws that protect people climbing ladders etc. and it would be silly to balance on the back of a chair to put a fairy on a tree, but that's a different issue.

This comes down to being sensible. If you attach your streamers to a stapler and throw them across the office then you're likely to get in trouble, but H&S doesn't specifically legislate against idiocy.

Circus acts wearing hard hats? Hmmmm, no....

The Telegraph is a rich seam of news from the loony fringe and this article is no different:

Can you imaging a trapeze artist wearing a hard hat? Well actually, I'm pretty sure Cirque du Soleil do it in one of their acts, but no, there's no law that states you should pop on some safety equipment before wowing the crowds with your death defying acts!