The TUC has published a report aimed at busting the most common health and safety ‘myths’.
To coincide with European Health and Safety Week, the TUC’s report corrects what it claims are 14 false and exaggerated myths, such as banning ladders and acrobats being forced to wear helmets.
The union group claims these undermine the important role health and safety regulation plays in protecting people’s health and wellbeing.
The report shows popular examples of “health and safety gone mad” are not down to bad safety law but are either untrue or down to the way the regulations have been interpreted.
Employers will also often use health and safety as an excuse for not doing something they didn’t want to do anyway or to save money, the report said.
Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary, said: “Some employers, and others, are using health and safety as an excuse for making stupid decisions, but health and safety regulation in the UK is not out of control.
“The UK today has sensible and practical health and safety laws and we have half as many as we did 35 years ago. But because too many employers are ignoring them and not taking proper care of their staff, two million people in the UK are suffering from ill-health as a result of their work.”
Other myths busted in the report include cardboard egg boxes being banned from school craft lessons, small businesses being strangled by inspection, compensation claims rising dramatically and churches being forced to change ‘unsafe’ light bulbs.