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26th August 2011

Top 10 bizarre health and safety ‘bans’

The HSE has recently released what they consider to be the top 10 most bizarre health and safety bans/restrictions spotted in the media over the last 12 months.

In reality, none of these stories have anything whatsoever to do with health and safety law, and in the majority are decisions made by ill-informed persons arising out of a fear of litigation.

  1. Wimbledon officials citing health and safety as a reason to close Murray Mount when it was wet. Example media story: Daily Mail: ‘Elf ‘n’ safety shuts Murray Mount: Fans might slip on the grass, warn officials’, 21 June 2011
  2. Stopping dodgem cars from bumping into each other at Butlins in Skegness. Example media story: BBC News: ‘Bosses at Butlins ban bumper cars over health and safety fears’, 27 April 2011
  3. Banning Royal wedding street parties. Example media story: Daily Mail: ‘Royal wedding street party? You’ll need £5m insurance, love…’, 13 April 2011
  4. Removing an unwanted, bulky TV from a pensioner’s home for recycling. Example media story: Daily Mail, ‘Pensioner, 85, paid council to remove old TV…and was ordered to drag it outside herself so workmen didn’t injure themselves’, 7 June 2011
  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. Example media story: Daily Mail: ‘Children banned from their own playground as health and safety officials decide monkey bars are too dangerous’, 8 May 2011
  8. Using pins to secure commemorative poppies.
  9. Schoolyard football games banned – unless the ball is made of sponge. Example media story: BBC News: ‘Huyton school leather football ban safety row’, 24 February 2011
  10. Children no longer allowed to take part in a sack race at Sports Day. Example media story: Metro: ‘Three-legged race is given the sack’

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