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Monthly Archives: December 2013

Top Five Health and Safety Myths

We’ve all heard the ridiculous stories of things being banned or changed under the banner of ‘health and safety’, but are all these things true? Many bizarre changes attributed to health and safety are actually down to personal choice rather than official regulations. HSE (Health and Safety Executive) has set up a Myth Busters Challenge Panel to shed light on which rules are sincere and which are either greatly exaggerated or blatantly untrue.

Below, we’ve compiled five of the best health and safety myths:

1) No Goggles, No Conkers!

Image courtesy of The Daily Mail

Stories of schools banning pupils from playing conkers first hit the news some years back, causing many people to blame health and safety laws for ruining a long-held tradition. However, HSE has no official mandate on playing conkers—they recommend that common sense should prevail, and believe children deliberately hitting each other with conkers is a disciplinary issue, not a health and safety one. While goggles are an effective precaution for those concerned about damage to the eyes during a game, this is a personal choice rather than regulation.

2) Want Christmas Decorations in the Workplace? Yule be Lucky!

Image courtesy of upenn.edu

HSE often receives complaints about companies refusing to allow their employees to decorate the workplace for the festive season, citing “health and safety risks”. While Christmas decorations may not be to the taste of the management, there is no need for such bans from a regulatory standpoint—employees should exercise caution where step ladders, scissors, glue and other items are required, but good judgement and caution should be relied upon where appropriate.

3) Do Trapeze Artists need Hard Hats?

Image courtesy of www.hse.gov.uk

While this story gained widespread attention when it was first reported way back in 2003, this is one of HSE’s top myths. While it’s certainly ridiculous enough to be believable, there were never any regulations requiring trapeze artists to don hard hats whilst performing. Besides, surely the prospect of a solid hat falling towards the spectators would prove a larger H&S issue?

4) Is the Traditional Tie too Dangerous for Schoolchildren?

Image courtesy of BBC News

Another story involving H&S at school involved claims of the traditional tie being too dangerous for children, with calls for clip-ons to be worn instead. While there’s some likelihood that two children fighting may actually grab each other’s tie or indulge in ‘peanutting’, HSE is keen to point out that, as with the conkers, this is down to discipline rather than specific H&S issues.

5) Flip-flops in the Workplace: Fatal or Fun?

Image courtesy of The Daily Mail

Working in an office during the summer can be horrendous if there are no desk fans or the air-conditioning is on the blink—to stay cool, most people choose to wear shorts, sleeveless tops or even flip-flops. However, there are some reports that health and safety regulations forbid flip-flops on the grounds of them proving risky. Is this true? Of course not. Whatever the footwear, employees need to be sure they have a good grip, and—where possible—floors are kept dry and clean.
At Simply-Docs, we have a wide range of Health & Safety document templates and legal documents available for download, all of which will help you and your employees stay abreast of all (real) relevant health and safety regulations in your specific work environment.

Simply-Docs Newsletter: Updates and Additions

The focus of our most recent newsletter is the additions and updates to all of the document folders available on the website.

The Business folder has some new Hire & Rentals Terms and Conditions concerning Clothing, Bike Hire and Marquee Hire amongst others. The Car, Van & Truck, Tool Hire and Venue Hire T&C’s have all been updated also.

For those requiring Partnership & LLP documents, the Corporate folder now has some Guidance Notes to help guide you in choosing the right structure for you. There is also the addition of a Basic LLP Agreements, a LLP Checklist and a Transfer of Business by Partnership to LLP template. For further guidance, our Partnership and LLP Comparison Matrix has been updated to provide greater assistance.

The Property folder’s expansion continues with it benefitting from the addition of two new subfolders; Company Lets and Contractual Tenancies.

The COSHH policy in Health & Safety has also been updated to provide greater clarity when dealing with hazardous materials that may affect the health of staff or others.

And finally there are a number of Employment documents that have been added that cover grievances and HR policies such as an Outside Business Interest policy and a Uniform Policy.

There have been a significant number of changes and addition to the folders. You can read our November newsletters to find out more: