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Case 35 - Office staff told fastening bunting from light fittings raised health and safety concerns

Issue

An email was circulated regarding the use of bunting to decorate the office as part of the Jubilee celebrations. More specifically, that the method employed by staff to fasten bunting from light fittings within the office raised health and safety concerns. The enquirer has asked if standing on a chair to put up / take down bunting is a valid health and safety concern and whether attaching bunting to a "light fitting" is a valid health and safety concern.

Panel decision

We made it clear well ahead of the Jubilee celebrations that there was no reason at all for health and safety to get in the way of putting bunting up - or taking it down - as long as a few sensible precautions were taken. We cannot know the details of every office environment but would expect people to exercise simple common sense in deciding how to hang up bunting and decorations. There seems to be an element of "kill-joy" mentality hiding behind health and safety in this particular case.

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2012-06-22