Guest Expressed: “5 Examples of Health and Safety Gone Mad!”

Attention to health and safety is normally a good thing. People tend to want to be both healthy and safe, strangely enough. However, occasionally “health and safety” concerns get taken to extreme. Find out more in today’s guest post:

Apart from the weather and gossip about minor celebrities, the papers love a story about “health and safety gone mad”. Whether it’s stories about office workers being banned from putting up Christmas decorations or tales that kids are being stopped from playing conkers in autumn, it’s a newspaper staple which is fuelled by over-zealous officials all over the UK. There is no doubting that health and safety legislation has saved lives and made our working environment safer, but what are the craziest health and safety stories out there?

1. Dodgems

A fairground wouldn’t be the same without a shot on the dodgems, and the whole point of the ride is to bump into other riders, right? Not according to fairground operators at a Butlins resort in Skegness. They banned customers from bumping into each other, insisting that they drive around the track in one direction only, following each other in line. Bosses claimed that there had been accidents and that people had suffered broken bones.

2. Three legged race

The three legged race is an essential component of many school sports day and part of the fun is the falling over and getting tangled up in your partner’s legs. A school in Tyne and Wear though decided that the traditional sport was just too risky and opted for a hopping race instead. Parents protested about the change, but the move was made in response to the risk of a parent suing if a child fell over and got injured.

3. Saxophone

It’s not just in the UK that we’ve gone a bit health and safety mad. In Boston, a young alto saxophone player was banned from bringing his instrument home from school on the bus for safety reasons. The bus company stated that the school bus was full and that the alto saxophone was a “hazard”, but didn’t state exactly what the hazard was perceived to be. The boy’s parents had no alternative but to drive him to and from school on the days when he had to take the large instrument with him.

4. Street Parties

A street party is a particularly British tradition, and over the last two years there have been street parties all over the UK to celebrate the Royal Wedding and the Diamond Jubilee. A woman in Rochester, Kent decided she’d like to get in on the action, but her Council had different ideas, stating that she needed to take out £5 million in liability cover in case any of the guests at the party got injured. There was also a lengthy list of rules about how high the bunting should be hanging.

5. Wimbledon

Part of the Wimbledon tennis experience for those attending every year is to sit on Murray Mount (formerly Henman Hill) and watch the action from inside Centre Court on the large screens provided. After a spell of wet weather in 2011 however, officials closed the grassy slope off to members of the public as it had got slippery and they were concerned someone may fall and hurt their ankle.

Find your new amazing Alto Saxophone or other instruments you might fancy at popular Peterborough Music.

10 thoughts on “Guest Expressed: “5 Examples of Health and Safety Gone Mad!”

  1. This made me laugh. Thankfully, my bus driver is cool and let my son bring his tuba home during the first week of school (thankfully, that’s where it will stay until year’s end). The tuba took up a whole seat by itself…but that is a story in and of itself. It’s silly all these “safety” precautions bureaucrats make that take all the FUN out of the world.


    • First Saxophne, now TUBA?! I mean Tuba has to at least qualify as an act of terrorism, no?! Things are getting completely out of hand nowadays, we need more rules in place to stop the spread of this musical instrument evil-doers!

      Glad you’ve enjoyed the guest post, I’m sure Stephanie appreciates it!


  2. raeme67 says:

    Saxophones a safety risk ? Alert the media! -On the bright side, looks like we found a new storyline for Carrie’s next novel. 😉
    I have to say to whoever came up with these “rules” are a bunch of silly conkers!!


  3. An alto saxophone isn’t even that big! @_@ I mean, a bari, sure I can see that. Maybe even a tenor.

    And I bet they named the “Dogems” on purpose to get away from the implication of bumping other drivers. Se, if the name implies you’re supposed to dodge way from collisions, no one can complain if they enforce that. *facepalm.*


  4. You really have to wonder where common sense has gone. A hazardous saxophone. Really?

    By the way, thanks for helping me learn some new words: conkers and dodgems. Well, learning them would imply I’ve actually looked them up. Which I didn’t, because I’m lazy. But from the context, I assume dodgems are like bumper cars. I still don’t know what conkers is, but I’m sure it’s quite fun…


    • Hehehe yeah those musical instruments are taking lives! Also, I myself had to look up dodgems, althogh like you I understood from context that they’re bumper cars. Correctly, as it turned out – Google Pictures to the rescue!
      As for conkers, I’m afraid to look it up, because it sounds dirty for some reason….


      • Yes, I thought so, too, until I finally looked it up on Wikipedia and found this: “a traditional children’s game in Britain and Ireland played using the seeds of horse-chestnut trees.” Something tells me this wouldn’t capture my sons’ attention. Not unless the seeds have a PSP attached to them.


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