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Myth: HSE bans this, that and the other

September 2008

Man stamping 'banned' on documents

The reality

There have been many reports of HSE, and health and safety law, being responsible for banning all sorts of things. For example, flip flops at work, knitting in hospitals, school sports days, a charity Christmas swim and even cuddly toys on dustbin lorries.

Actually, HSE has banned very little outright, apart from a very few high-risk exceptions (e.g. asbestos which kills over 5,000 individuals a year). HSE believes that health and safety should be about taking practical steps to manage real risks, not bureaucracy leading to the banning of everyday activities.

Next time you hear of a 'ban', if in doubt check it out.

Updated 2012-12-06