We gratefully acknowledge the support of

West Anglia Training Association

Home Page


H&S Myths




Members Area

The Institute of Occupational Safety and Health

The Health and Safety Executive


Health and Safety Myths

Here are some common myths about Health and Safety!
  • If you call HSE for help, youíll end up with an unwanted inspection

The reality is that HSEís Infoline is confidential and run for HSE by a contractor. Your individual information is not passed to HSE so it wonít result in a visit. The trained operators answer the great majority of calls themselves. If they canít deal with your query fully they will ask you if it is alright to refer it to an expert in HSE.

So, if youíve got a query or a concern, just ask. Youíve got nothing to lose and it could help your business!

  • Risk assessments must always be long and complex

The reality is that paperwork never saved anyone. It is a means to an end, not an end in itself - action is what protects people. So risk assessments should be fit for purpose and acted upon.

OK, if youíre running an oil refinery youíre going to need a fair amount of paperwork. But for most, bullet points work very well indeed.

  • Every possible risk needs a safety sign

The reality is that using too many signs just guarantees that no one will read any of them.

Safety signs are useful when thereís a significant risk which can't be avoided or controlled in any other way. But that doesn't mean you should add a sign for every possible risk, however trivial.

Where there are serious risks in your workplace, donít just rely on signs - take practical steps to deal with them. If you do need a sign, make sure it has the right symbol and is clearly visible.