London and south east 'worst for health and safety jobsworths'

MORE health and safety excuses are made in London and the South East than any other part of the UK, including a case of cleaners banned from wearing woolly hats in the winter, according to a new study.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said more than 50 cases were reported in the South over the past year, twice as many as the next worst region, Yorkshire.

Wales and the Highlands of Scotland received the fewest complaints.

Some of the worst examples in the capital included a department store refusing to serve eggs in a full English breakfast for fear of a pan fire, and an airline flying out of Heathrow blaming health and safety for not giving boiled sweets to passengers with earache.

Other cases reported to the HSE's Myth Busters Challenge, included office workers banned from putting up Christmas decorations and children told to wear goggles to play conkers.

Judith Hackitt, who chairs the HSE, said: "It's becoming increasingly clear just how many petty jobsworths there are hiding behind health and safety for fear of being sued or because they simply can't be bothered."

Health Minister Mike Penning said: "Health and safety regulations save lives, but bogus excuses do nothing more than throw a spanner in the works of otherwise sensible activity."

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