'Elf and Safety: the Twelve Myths of Christmas


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The Independent Online

Those festive sorts at the Government's Health and Safety watchdog, wearied presumably by annual comparisons to Dr Seuss's Grinch, have released their own guide to Christmas, debunking twelve myths about their work and its party-pooping nature.

Here's a flavour:

1. Workers are banned from putting up Christmas decorations in the office

"Bah Humbug", says the HSE. They encourage decking halls with holly, but hope that employers "provide their staff with suitable step ladders to put up decorations rather than expecting them to balance on wheelie chairs".

2. Children are banned from throwing snowballs

This too is sheer rot, and it peeves the HSE. "If we spend time on the trivial risks there's a chance we'll miss the most important ones."

3. Health and safety prevents people putting coins in Christmas puddings

If you don't put pennies in your puds anymore, it's not because the Government outlawed the practice: "health and safety law is concerned with what goes on in your workplace, not what you're eating after a Turkey dinner - it doesn't prevent coins or any other lucky charms being put in puddings. If we had one wish, it would be to stamp out the health and safety Scrooges who try to dampen the Christmas spirit."

So what do you think, have we demonised these red tape registrars unfairly?