Health and safety myths

A panel of British experts set up to expose incorrect or overzealous
interpretation of health and safety regulations has ruled on its 300th case.

Determined to focus minds on the success of health and safety laws, in saving
thousands of lives and preventing many more serious injuries, the British
Health and Safety Executive set up its ‘myth busters' panel in 2012.

It encourages members of the public to tell them when they think ‘health and
safety' has been cited wrongly. 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' - the fishmonger who refused to
fillet a fish, the charity shop that refused to sell knitting needles, and the
school that banned yo-yos from the playground, as a few examples.

Now it is has ruled on Case 300 - the 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).

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.”

More information - Source: Health and Safety Executive