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I can’t believe it was just twelve months ago that I wrote about some of the false Health & Safety issues that make their way into the public domain.  Here we are again, though, and I’ve come across some more myths that need sleighing.  See what I did there?

•    Xmas Tree Banned in Shopping Centre!  I often spot stories about shopping malls and High Streets cutting back on their traditional Xmas decorations, sometimes for unspecified Health & Safety reasons.  I think the real reason is usually that they can’t afford the lavish decorations of past years and are looking for someone to take the blame.

•    No Sweets to be Thrown at Panto!  One year Health & Safety was blamed for the Dame not showering the kids at a pantomime audience with sweets.  In reality, the production was worried about being sued if anyone was injured by a flying sweet.  Providing you take the sweets out of the tin first, the chances of hurting anyone are remote.  It is not an H&S issue.

•    Seats Removed from Shops!  I can understand weary Xmas shoppers being upset if they have nowhere to sit down and take a break, but once again it is not a Health & Safety issue.  If a shop takes seats away it is most likely to provide more room to allow more shoppers access to the store.

•    Second Hand Toys Not Allowed to be Donated!  This one really annoyed me.  A South Wales Toy Box scheme asked for toys to be donated and a rumour went round that second hand items would not be accepted ‘for Health & Safety reasons’.  Simply not true.  There may be considerations such as the condition of the toys or insurance issues but there are certainly no restrictions due to H&S.

The moral seems to be not to believe everything you read on social media or in the press. I say ‘Bah!  Humbug!’ to all those doubters and festive killjoys.  Be sensible, be safe and enjoy a Happy Xmas.