The Chair of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Judith Hackitt has revealed that the Myth Busters Challenge Panel, which was set up in April has already dealt with over 50 cases.

Writing in her blog about the confusion that exists over what health and safety actually stands for she said: “Reading some of the responses to my own letter in one of the national newspapers recently, it was brought home to me yet again just how much confusion exists between what health and safety law requires and the decisions that people take off their own back or on the advice of others to reduce the risk of being sued.

“The majority of the perverse decisions we see reported by the media can be traced back to fears of civil claims, and that is evidenced by the 50+ cases which we have now seen in the Myth Busters Challenge Panel.”

She added that the fear of being sued is real and significant, and has had an impact on the judgment of employers, volunteers, teachers and parents.

She also points out that the concerns tend to be regarding civil claims, and adds: “health and safety law doesn’t even apply to fetes and public events where there is no work involved.”