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The Twelve Myths of Christmas

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 we will publish the top twelve 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: Santa needs a seatbelt in his sleigh
  5. Myth: Second hand toys can't be donated for 'health and safety' reasons
  6. Myth: Traditional shopping centre Christmas trees scaled back or replaced by artificial alternatives
  7. Myth: Seats removed from shops - despite weary Christmas shoppers wanting to rest their feet
  8. Myth: Carol singers are a health and safety risk
  9. Myth: Children are banned from throwing snowballs
  10. Myth: If you clear snow from outside your business or home you are likely to get sued
  11. Myth: Health and safety prevents people putting coins in Christmas puddings
  12. Myth: Elf n Safety ruins Christmas!

For more details of other health and safety myths visit Myth of the month.

Updated 2012-12-21