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Safety 'jobsworths' exposed as 150 false rules revealed


Bubbles banned from a child’s birthday party and toothpicks removed from a restaurant are among a list of health and safety ruses exposed in the past year.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said more than 150 cases had been reported to a panel it set up last year to fightback against “jobsworths” who use safety laws as a ruse to ban legitimate activities.

Cases referred to the panel included bars refusing to serve pints in glasses with a handle, a hotel saying they could not serve burgers rare, toothpicks removed from a restaurant, shredded paper banned from a school fete, and a birthday party venue which refused to use a bubbles machine.

Judith Hackitt, who chairs the HSE, said: “The reality is that people hide behind health and safety when there are other reasons for what they’re doing... The sad fact is that while all this nonsense is being spouted, it overshadows what health and safety is really about – ensuring people return home without injury from their day’s work, every day.”