The twelve myths of Christmas the Heath and Safety Executive (HSE) told me……
At Rosecroft Health and Safety we are loving the HSE’s Twelve Myths of Christmas webpage. The page lists myths as:
- Workers are banned from putting up Christmas decorations in the office
- Indoor Christmas lights need a portable appliance test (PAT) every year
- You can’t throw out sweets at pantos
- Traditional shopping centre Christmas trees scaled back or replaced by artificial alternatives
- Seats removed from shops – despite weary Christmas shoppers wanting to rest their feet
- Carol singers are a health and safety risk
- Children are banned from throwing snowballs
- Health and safety prevents people putting coins in Christmas puddings
- You cannot clear snow and ice from pavements yourself
So if someone presents any of the above to you, you have it on good authority that they really are myths and not Health and Safety gone mad.
And here’s one story that isn’t a myth…
HSE’s case 388 is one about Colchester Borough Council bans. In 2016 they banned refuse collection workers from wearing Christmas hats, or in fact, anything Christmassy on the grounds of health and safety. The council said they banned these on the grounds that drivers and other road users could be distracted.
The HSE Panel’s opinion on this one was:
“There is no health and safety legislation that prevents refuse collectors wearing Santa hats or entering the festive spirit with other modest decorations. Excessive displays which might impede the driver’s vision or cause a distraction are another matter, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. Being sensible about health and safety can still allow everyone to have some fun too!”
All at Rosecroft Health and Safety wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, sociable 2021!