Revealed: Top ten weirdest health and safety rules

By Phil Scullion

Chris Grayling has hit out at the "endemic of excuses" following the publication of the UK's most bizarre citing health and safety rules

The employment minister criticised rules which prevent people doing "pretty harmless things" and said they curtail people's personal liberty.

Instead he said an air of common sense should be encouraged and unpopular decisions should not be hidden behind health and safety legislation.

Mr Grayling's comments coincide with the release by the Health and Safety Executive of a list of the top 10 most bizarre 'bans' linked to health and safety over the last year.

These include the much publicised decision by Wimbledon officials to close 'Henman Hill' after heavy rain and a 'no bumping' rule being enforced on dodgems cars at Butlins in Skegness.

Other examples include stopping pupils from taking part in a sack race at sports day, a ban on the use of pins to secure commemorative poppies and a ban on schoolyard football games unless the ball is made of sponge.

Children have also been prevented from using playground monkey bars in Oxfordshire if unsupervised.

Mr Grayling, who was shadow home secretary prior to the election, said: "Health and safety laws exist to provide important safeguards against people being seriously injured or made unwell at work and should not hamper everyday activities.

"These regulations are intended to save lives, not stop them.

"Middle managers in councils and companies should not try to hide unpopular decisions behind health and safety legislation. People must acknowledge these myths and continue to challenge them."

The government is currently undertaking a review of health and safety legislation led by Professor Ragnar Lofstedt, which will report back in October.

Ministers have expressed concern over popular misconceptions relating to health and safety laws which draw attention away from risks in the workplace that put people in genuine danger.