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  3. 2014’s Craziest Examples of Health and Safety Gone Mad

How often do we hear the cry ‘It’s Health and Safety gone mad!’ in the news each year? Whether it’s an over-enthusiastic bureaucrat at a local council or sensitive senior management at a school, it seems there’s always someone trying to place outrageously irrational restrictions on other people, and 2014 was no different.                                                                                                                     

Here are some of the daftest and pettiest examples of Health and Safety gone mad that we’ve seen this year – let us know if you have any more to share!



Elf and Safety


One Christmas-loving grandmother from Neath in South Wales almost had this year’s festivities ruined by her over-zealous landlords, when they informed her that the seasonal decorations she had put up outside her home for were dangerous. Why? Because she was at the risk of falling when putting them up! Sharon Antell was shocked to receive a letter from her Scrooge-like landlords as she had been putting up the decorations above her porch each December for over 20 years. Eventually they agreed to let her keep the decorations up this year – as long as she seeks assistance with taking them down.


Berry Silly


Tree-huggers in Hampshire were outraged when a local council chopped down a 14-year old crab apple tree, after its falling berries were believed to pose a risk of slipping. One resident in particular, whose home looked out over the tree, was so upset by the unnecessary falling of the fondly-loved tree that she threatened to stop paying her maintenance fees.


Banana A-Peel


A gang of primates at the Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary looked set to go bananas after their supplies of waste fruit and vegetables from a local supermarket were cancelled. For years the apes and monkeys had munched on out-of-date, yet perfectly edible food from Tesco, sold to the cash-strapped sanctuary at 10% of the retail price, but the deliveries were stopped without notice after Tesco fearer that their groceries would make the monkeys sick. After an appeal, the deliveries were reinstated and Tesco became King of the Swingers once again.


Running Wild


Children at a school in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear had the ‘play’ taken out of their playtimes after running was banned in their playground. The drastic measure was put into place after a girl died as a result of falling in the playground at another school in Twickenham; bosses at the Wallsend school decided to eliminate the risk altogether and restricted running to designated areas within the school grounds. Bulldog!


Postal-ly Crazy


Despite being in the postal delivery rounds for decades, a street in Stoke, Staffordshire was put off-limits to the local posties after it was feared they would trip on the uneven paving slabs. Over 100 residents, including some elderly people, on the Victorian street are now forced to make a four-mile round-trip to collect their post following ‘a number of incidents’ of Royal Mail workers falling or slipping on the pavement.


Bin and Gone


Over in the Yorkshire Dales, more residents were feeling rubbished when refuse collectors were told they were no longer allowed to collect bins from homes with ‘long driveways’ in case they suffered injuries when wheeling the bins to their wagons. The wheelie silly new rule for the bin collectors, who regularly moved the bins for elderly residents, was imposed despite the workers always receiving thorough training on how to move bins safely.


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