Businesses and employers across the UK should make sure they stick to the safety rules in place under the country's law, as well as those advised by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
They should certainly not flout regulations or use them as an excuse for passing off rules of their own. That is exactly what many organisations in the country have been doing in recent times, as the HSE has revealed a list of the most ridiculous health and safety excuses of 2012.
For instance, it said yo-yos have been banned in playgrounds, kettles have been prohibited in offices and knives have been removed from kitchens in order to adhere to so-called safety rules. However, there is no such legislation or guidance that demands these measures.
The HSE's Myth Busters Challenge Panel found the examples of baffling excuses, with many found to have been down to jobsworths justifying unpopular decisions. In other cases, the incidents could be put down to poor levels of customer service.
Chair of the HSE Judith Hackitt said: "It's really important that we are all ready to challenge stupid decisions made in the name of health and safety ... Not only do the jobsworths who make these ridiculous edicts waste time and money and interfere needlessly with harmless activities, they also undermine our efforts to reduce the number of people made ill, injured or killed by their work.
Of course, despite the raft of ridiculous health and safety excuses, firms must be wary that they have to stick to the relevant regulations. There remains a huge number of essential guidelines that need to be followed if companies are to protect their employees in the way they deserve.
Failure to do so can land businesses in trouble, as they may be subject to an HSE investigation and subsequent prosecution. This can result in a fine being handed down by the courts and the potential for a loss of reputation and damaged image.