The Health and Safety Executive has criticised The University of East Anglia for banning the tradition of throwing mortarboards in the air at graduation ceremonies.
The UEA has said it's imposed the ban after a number of injuries and that they came to the decision to 'ensure no student's graduation day is ruined'.
But the HSE has hit back saying the banning of mortarboard throwing on health and safety grounds is one of their most popular myths and appears in their 'top 10 all-time worst health and safety excuses'.
The HSE went on to say that the chance of being injured by a flying mortarboard is 'incredibly small' and that it is 'over-the-top' to impose an outright ban.
"You’d think universities would study history and do a bit of research before repeating tired health and safety myths like this one....As far back as 2008, HSE made clear the law does not stop graduates having fun and celebrating their success in the time-honoured fashion.The chance of being injured by a flying mortar board is incredibly small and it’s over-the-top to impose an outright ban. We usually find the concern is actually about the hats being returned in good condition.”
Students graduating from The University of East Anglia this year will have images of the flying mortarboards added onto their graduation photographs afterwards.
"The decision to not have the traditional hat throwing photo opportunity for all students this year follows a number of injuries over recent years to graduates hurt by falling mortarboards. This is an unacceptable risk and we want to ensure no student's graduation day is ruined by the potential for avoidable injury."
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