Health and safety plays an important role in all of our lives, with laws and regulations in place to protect us in a wide range of situations. As the number of health and safety rules have increased over the last few decades, it isn’t always easy to keep abreast of current regulations, or to separate fact from fiction. Here are five health and safety myths that are certainly works of fiction.
1. Health and safety law states that trapeze artists should wear hard hats
This commonly-quoted statement is in fact a myth. Whilst a hard hat is a vital item of safety equipment for those working in jobs such as the construction industry, it would be of little use for a trapeze artist. Not only could this hamper the artist’s performance, but it would look incredibly silly, too.
2. It’s against health and safety law to wear flip-flops to work
You certainly won’t end up in a court of law if you wear flip-flops to work. Every workplace has its own rules on what workers can wear, and whilst some businesses may ban flip-flops, others may allow them. Common sense should prevail, however, when choosing summer footwear, especially in situations where a worker needs to protect their feet from heavy equipment or slippery surfaces.
3. It’s possible to achieve complete safety
No matter how much health and safety training you take, or the procedures you put in place to whittle risks down, it’s impossible to attain conditions of complete health and safety. There will always be the possibility of risk, no matter what the situation, even if these risks are extremely minute.
4. Children have to wear goggles to play conkers
Youngsters won’t break any laws if they play conkers without wearing goggles. This myth is fairly dated and goes back to the time when a head teacher over exaggerated the risks of conker playing by imposing the wearing of goggles. Conkers aren’t likely to cause injury, unless deliberate force is applied.
5. It’s illegal for graduates to throw their mortar board
Throwing a mortar board in the air to celebrate the success of three years hard slog studying hardly seems like a criminal offence for any graduate, and the truth is, it isn’t. Injury from being hit by a mortar board is vanishingly rare, and a ban on mortar board throwing is unlikely to become legislation any time soon.