Case 142 - Large department store says customers cannot wear back packs in the store because of health and safety rules


A husband and wife went into a very well known department store in London, and the wife was told she had to carry her back pack as it could be a danger to other shoppers, could be stolen from and was a requirement under "health and safety" rules.

Panel decision

There is no health and safety regulation which prohibits the wearing of backpacks in any particular location, including department stores. The most likely reason for this rule imposed by the department store management, not by regulation, is that they are a nuisance to other customers if the store is crowded and may knock items off displays.