Occupational Health & Safety

UK Workers Use Health Myths as Excuse for Poor Service

The Health and Safety Executive is dispelling health misconceptions in an effort to combat employee excuses.

According to Britain's Health and Safety Executive, some companies may be abusing health and safety practices to avoid service. The agency cited multiple instances supporting the claim that health policies are being misused, including an occasion where a airline passenger was refused a blanket. This report comes after HSE, in April, called for UK citizens to submit examples of what it described as a "ludicrous ruling" in relation to health and safety practices.

In light of its findings, HSE compiled a list of the top 10 safety myths it observed, according to the BBC:

  • A boot supplier claimed it was banned from accepting dirty boots for return.
  • Cafes and restaurants refused to heat up baby food.
  • A golf club told players that golf buggies were not health and safety authorized.
  • A hospital refused the use of a microwave on a ward.
  • A gym-goer was told he could not lift weights without wearing sneakers.
  • A woman was banned by her boss from wearing sandals in the office in the summer.
  • A passenger was refused a blanket on a flight but told she could buy one.
  • A campsite banned sleeping in a camper van.
  • A primary school's tree house had to be located away from the premises because of a risk to children.
  • A council banned a nursery teacher from taking children to a garden.

In effort to bust these myths, often used as excuses by employees to avoid extra work, HSE encouraged citizens to "fight back" against poor service blamed on false health regulations. HSE has been taking aim at at least one safety myth a month on its website in an effort to inform the public.

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