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Ridiculous health and safety excuses exposed by watchdog, reports Health & Safety Executive

Ten of the most ridiculous health and safety excuses of 2012 were recently exposed by a regulator argues the Health & safety Exutive. The misuses of health and safety were spotted by the Health and Safety Executive’s Myth Busters Challenge Panel, which was set up in earlier this year to challenge a stream of silly decisions wrongly blamed on health and safety.

The panel has now responded to its hundredth case – helping the public to challenge unreasonable bans or restrictions and force people to honestly explain the real reason behind their decisions.

Almost a quarter of the cases were found to involve over-interpretation of legitimate guidelines, leading to daft decisions being made – probably through fear of being sued. One sixth of all cases came from people who had been given advice that confused health and safety with other regulations or regulators. A similar amount was down to communication failures when explaining the reasons for a decision.

Employment minister, Mark Hoban, said:

“It’s so frustrating when people are stopped from doing perfectly sensible things on the false pretence of health and safety.

Judith Hackitt, Chair of HSE and the Myth Busters panel, said:

“It’s really important that we are all ready to challenge stupid decisions made in the name of health and safety, and that we as the regulator give the public the confidence to do so.

For more information on the Health & Safety Executive visit hse.gov.uk