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Health and safety myths busted

A Government drive to uncover health and safety "myths" has discovered cafes refusing to heat up baby food, golf buggies banned from a golf course and summer footwear banned from offices.

The Department for Work and Pensions said its Myth Busters Panel had contested decisions made by insurance companies, councils and employers since it was set up in April.

A number of "over-zealous" decisions had been made on health and safety grounds, including hospitals refusing to have microwaves on wards, a school relocating a tree house, and sleeping in a camper van banned on a campsite.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said: "It's hugely frustrating when excuses are being made in the name of health and safety. The panel is helping the man and woman on the street to fight back against the jobsworths."

Judith Hackitt, chairman of the Health and Safety Executive and of the panel, said: "The panel has seen some blatant and disturbing examples of people using health and safety as an excuse in the last few months, ranging from a smokescreen for a whole host of unpopular decisions to completely nonsensical interpretations of what the law requires.

"We're tackling these jobsworths and their lame excuses, which trivialise the real work of health and safety. The real task is to prevent death, serious injury and ill health caused by work."

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