Case 137 - Ice-rink bans beanie (woolly) hats on Health & Safety grounds


An ice-rink steward has told the enquirer's son that he had to remove his hat before skating on Health & Safety grounds. The enquirer challenged this and was given two different reasons: if the hat came off someone could slip on it, and, if paramedic assistance was required they would have to remove the hat and could increase the injury.

Panel decision

While the Ice rink does have a legal duty to ensure the health and safety of its customers it is hard to imagine how a sensible and proportionate risk assessment would have identified the wearing of beanie (woolly) hats as a serious risk. It is easy to imagine that some hats might present a restriction to vision and should not be worn but it would appear that the management has simply chosen to impose a blanket ban on all hats rather than asking staff to exercise judgment and discretion.