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Our Health and Safety Courses

‘Health and Safety is about saving lives NOT stopping them’

Health and Safety Myth December 2010, The Health and Safety Executive

Health and Safety is a subject that we know gets everybody talking.

Usually it is because ‘Health and Safety says you can’t do something’.


This however is usually not the real case.

Rarely does the Health and Safety Executive ban any of the things they are accused of.


Click here to be taken to a Health and Safety Executive web page which deals with some of the most famous myths.

Do you know what Health and Safety Signs mean?

Sign

Means

Description

Example






















Information Health and Safety Sign Mandatory Health and Safety Sign Prohibition Health and Safety Sign Safe Condition Health and Safety Sign Warning Health and Safety Sign

Information

Mandatory

MUST DO!

Prohibition

MUST NOT DO!

Safe Condition

Warning

Square or rectangular in shape, with white symbol on a red background

Circular in shape with a white symbol on a blue background

Red border and crossbar from top left to bottom right, on a white background

Square or rectangular in shape with white symbol on a green background

Yellow triangle with black border

Fire Extinguisher

Wear Ear Protection

No Smoking

First Aid Equipment

Slippery Floor

The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 require employers to provide specific safety signs wherever there is a risk that has not been controlled or avoided by any other means. Of course, we have to be realistic and understand that after a few days, people seem to stop noticing them as they have blended in to other notices and wall decorations.  


Do you know what the Health and Safety signage means? Below is our guide to these important Health and Safety signs.

Throughout this section of our website we discuss and introduce you to our Health and Safety courses, for your convenience we have grouped them as follows:

Throughout our course programme however we have many aspects of Health and Safety in their own rights as follows:

You can access these courses by using the navigation bar, or you can read a bit further around the core subject by clicking on their subject name above.

True or False

Health and Safety
prevented a hospital from
providing or allowing a
customer to buy a cup
of hot water from it's
coffee bar.
The customer wanted Earl
Grey tea which was not
available but she said she
was happy to pay the price
of ordinary tea as she had
her own teabags.
The customer points out
that she could buy tea,
coffee or other hot
beverages.

False


Case 231 for the
HSE's Myth Busters' Challenge
Panel.

There is no health and safety
at work legislation which
prescribes that hot water cannot be served to customers.

The risk from buying hot water is
no greater than the risk from
buying any other hot drink.

This is a simple case of poor
customer service being disguised
with health and safety given
as the catch-all excuse.
True or False

Children at a school have
been banned from eating
pack lunches outside
allegedly due to health
and safety.

False


Case 410 for the
HSE's Myth Busters' Challenge Panel.

The panel states "this appears
to be a specific approach put in
place by this school, perhaps
as part of a wider food policy.
It is not a requirement of health
and safety regulation and central
government guidelines on food
hygiene or healthy eating do not
cover this.

It might be helpful to explain the
thinking behind it more clearly
therefore."
True or False

Health and Safety requires
the committee of a village
hall, which is hired out
for private parties eg;
christenings, to refuse to
allow people to wash up
by hand and insist that
the dishwasher be used.

False


Case 159 for the
HSE's Myth Busters' Challenge
Panel.

There is no health and safety legal
requirement that would stipulate
the use of a dishwasher; whatever
the real reason for this
requirement,the explanation
given is misleading
and insufficient.
True or False

Fire Risk and health and
safety prevent residents in
a retirement village from
putting up Christmas lights
in the corridor outside
their apartments, even
though this was allowed in previous years.

However, management are allowed to display decorated and lit Christmas trees in the Village Street (an indoor area) and other public rooms.

False


Case 239 for the
HSE's Myth Busters' Challenge
Panel.

There are no health and safety
regulations which prevent
Christmas lights being used in a
public area.

In this case the HSE's Myth Buster
Panel understand that the local
Fire Service had expressed
concerns in relation to emergency
escape routes and the potential
for plug sockets to be overloaded.

This should have been properly
explained to residents rather than
simply using a catch-all
"health and safety" excuse.

Christmas lights do not need a
portable appliance test so this
argument is also misleading.
True or False

A marathon organiser has
banned the use of MP3
players and similar
devices using earphones
for reasons of health and
safety.

False


Case 191 for the
HSE's Myth Busters' Challenge Panel.

The panel states "There are no
specific health and safety rules
which ban the wearing of
earphones/mp3 devices during
running events.

However the organisers of such
events are entitled to make their
own assessments and it does not
seem unreasonable that
earphones are not allowed as
they would impair competitors'
ability to hear any
public announcements.
True or False

Due to COSHH employees
cannot leave handwash
they have purchased
themselves in the toilets
and cannot use any of
their own cleaning
materials e.g. furniture
polish.

False


Case 257 for the
HSE's Myth Busters' Challenge Panel.

The panel states "It is
commendable that the company is
considering possible risks their
employees could be exposed to at
work but this is risk averse and
somewhat misguided
interpretation of COSHH
requirements.

Products like hand wash are very
unlikely to contain substances
which are hazardous to health and
so fall outside of the scope of
COSHH.

Furniture polish and other
cleaning products purchased from
retail outlets will be clearly
marked with instructions for use,
so provided the cleaning materials
are in properly labelled containers
there is no reason to
stop their use."

Around the border of this page we challenge you to see if you know a Health and Safety truth or myth when you see it. All of our cases come from the HSE’s Myth buster panel which you can view more cases here.

To view the outcome of these cases, hover over or click on them.