Region is UK’s second worst for bogus health and safety claims

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A MAN prevented from boarding a bus with a cup of coffee in case he burned passengers and a woman having her parasol confiscated at a racetrack over fears she could use it as a weapon.

These were just two of the bogus health and safety excuses in the region in the past 12 months, with the Health and Safety Executive naming Yorkshire the second worst area for ill-founded health and safety excuses in the country.

The HSE analysed the spread of all reports to the popular Myth Busters Challenge Panel – set up to clamp down on bogus health and safety excuses.

The results show there were 22 cases of people in the region being told “sorry, can’t do that because of health and safety’”– the second highest number of cases in the UK.

Examples included:

A Sheffield man being told he could not use an e-reader to pass the time at a local swimming pool while his children were having a lesson.

A Bradford family being told before a local theatre performance: “For health and safety reasons the use of flash photography and video recording equipment is not permitted”.

Cleaning products being removed from the staff toilets/wash area at a Goole office “for health and safety reasons”.

Minister for Health and Safety, Mike Penning, said: “Health and safety regulations save lives – but bogus excuses do nothing more than throw a spanner in the works of otherwise sensible activity.

“No doubt the figures will raise an interesting debate about whether they reveal the extent of over-zealousness or show people have had enough and are no longer prepared to put up with nonsense excuses.

“Either way, it’s good to see so many people on the side of restoring common sense.”

HSE chairwoman Judith Hackitt added: “It’s becoming increasingly clear just how many petty jobsworths there are hiding behind health and safety for fear of being sued or because they simply can’t be bothered. I want more people to have the confidence to challenge these excuses. If it doesn’t make sense to you then you are probably being fobbed off.”