Case 327 - Primary school staff asked not to take any drinks onto the playground during breaks


For health and safety reasons staff at a primary school were asked not to take drinks, including cold ones, out onto the playground during breaks to safeguard the children.

Panel decision

This is one of the most extreme cases the panel has dealt with in relation to disproportionate restriction of drinks around children. It relates not only to hot drinks, but includes cold drinks on highly improbable grounds including the possibility of a child suffering an allergic reaction. Occupational health and safety law does not ban teachers from having a cuppa and even less a refreshing cold drink, whilst on playground duty, and to suggest it does is just preposterous. If the head wants to impose ridiculous rules on staff, he/she should not use health and safety as a convenient cover.