Health and Safety Myths

The Myth: The HSE have banned stepladders

The Truth: The HSE have not banned stepladders and state that for short duration and simple tasks, step ladders provide a good solution. However, the HSE also advise that you should use the correct equipment for the job, and if you deem a step ladder to be unsafe for the job at hand, then do not use one!


The Myth: Slips and trips are not preventable, and they do not cause any serious injuries

The Truth: Slips and trips are preventable as most accidents have happened through lack of housekeeping; not keeping things tidy and in their correct places. Now, I know this sounds like a nag from your mother asking you to ‘put things back where you got them from!’, but it appears that there is some truth in this saying we have all heard a million times. Annual statistics show that multiple injuries and even fatalities have come from slips and trips in work, when people have not cleaned up a spill or tidied away clutter. So, the message is simple: clear up!


The Myth: Office Workers are banned from wearing open toe flip-flops or sandals

The Truth: Flip-flops or sandals or any open-toed shoe for that matter are not banned in the workplace. However, it is advisable that footwear is determined by the type of work you do! For example, if you work on a construction site, flips flops are probably not a wise choice! Keep it sensible!

The Myth: Traditional School Ties banned in case children choke—clip on ties will be enforced instead.
The Truth: The HSE have not banned school ties. The HSE explain that school ties have been part of school uniforms for a long time and have never caused any problems. Rules are usually put in place for school ties such as to tuck away during laboratory or machine work, however this is decided by the individual institutions. So, if you have children that wear a school tie as part of their uniform and have heard that they are being banned, you can rest assured that you will not have to fork out for a clip-on tie anytime soon.


The Myth: Educational Risk Assessments need to be carried out annually

The Truth: By law, there is no legal requirement to carry out risk assessments annually. A new risk assessment or review of an existing risk assessment should only be conducted when there has been a change of circumstance. When a risk assessment is complete, it is important to action any measures that need to be put in place to prevent any risks from happening. If annual risk assessments were conducted, it would be more a ‘box-ticking’ exercise, rather than actual consideration of any risks.


The Myth: The HSE have banned bunting

The Truth: The HSE have not banned bunting, rather they ask people to be sensible with managing their risk. The HSE exists to prevent people being killed or seriously injured at work, not to stop people celebrating in style.

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