Merry Christmas myths from the HSE

Christmas is a special time of year. Even so, it doesn’t stop health and safety being – wrongly – cited as a reason for preventing pretty harmless activities from going ahead. Not only does this needlessly ruin the festive spirit but it also trivialises the true purpose of health and safety: protecting people from real risks at, or connected with, work.

In the run up to Christmas the Health and Safety Executive has published some key festive myths, gifted to HSE from media reports and correspondence received.

  1. Myth: Workers are banned from putting up Christmas decorations in the office
  2. Myth: Indoor Christmas lights need a portable appliance test (PAT) every year
  3. Myth: You can’t throw out sweets at pantos
  4. Myth: Traditional shopping centre Christmas trees scaled back or replaced by artificial alternatives
  5. Myth: Seats removed from shops – despite weary Christmas shoppers wanting to rest their feet
  6. Myth: Carol singers are a health and safety risk
  7. Myth: Children are banned from throwing snowballs
  8. Myth: Health and safety prevents people putting coins in Christmas puddings
  9. Myth: You cannot clear snow and ice from pavements yourself
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