Shocking ELF and SAFETY cases

Published 14/06/2012

Shocking ELF and SAFETY cases

A department known as the Myth Busters has been set up by the Government Challenge Panel to debunk Elf and Safety warning around the country.

To contact the panel go to www.hse.gov.uk/contact/contact-myth-busting.htm

Examples of Elf and Safety warnings

A Teacher was banned by Elf and Safety ninnies from using Blu-Tack on classroom windows - in case it EXPLODED. Officials claimed that the sticky blue gum could combine with a chemical in the window to make glass shatter.

Danger - Hanging Baskets

Residents of Coton-in the Elms, Derby wanting to hang flower baskets from lamp posts in their village were told they would have to get each hanger checked by a Structural Engineer at a cost of £70 each, totalling £1000.

The Myth Buster panel ruled that the order was a "classic case of valid health and safety principles being applied in an over-cautious and inappropriate way"

Danger - Ironing Boards

Ironing boards and irons were removed from a caravan site after officials said that users could get burned. This was later questioned by members of the caravan park.

The Myth Busters found that: “It is  not  uncommon  for people  to engage in portable  appliance testing  which  far exceeds what is required at unnecessary cost and was instead an economic decision and  the owners of the site conveniently hid behind the health and safety excuse.

Danger – Chopping Veg.

A Historical re-enactment society wanted to chop vegetables as part of their act, was told they would have to be tested on their slicing and dicing skills. Officials demanded this if they were to chop in public.

The Myth Busters said the tough rules should not have been applied as the group were volunteers – so they do not have duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act and there are no new H+S regulations requiring tests for vegetable chopping.

Danger – Child’s Swings

A Mother was ordered to take down a swing she had put up on her Parish Council rented allotment for here child to play on.  The Parish council quoted H+S grounds for the removal.

The Myth Busters said this is not an H+S issue and their are no H+S regulations relating to this case. The Parish Council were asked to explain the real reason behind their decision.

Danger – Tea Being Served 

A School was ordered to carry out a “risk assessment” before serving tea at an outdoor fete; they were warned of the dangers of using large hot water boilers or urns.


The Myth Busters ruled it was unnecessary red tape and a sensible, common sense approach was needed. A risk assessment may be appropriate for the fete but this was not about huge amounts of paper.

Danger – Removing Bicycles

A cyclist was ordered to remove his bike from a lamp post on a traffic island after a 2 month period – even though no pedestrians ever went near it. He returned one day to find a letter from the Council threatening to remove it on Elf and Safety grounds.

The panel’s verdict said it was not an H+S issue and the council has asked for a proper explanation if any.


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Shocking ELF and SAFETY cases

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