Charity shops are now to be spared some of the excesses of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) according to employment minister Chris Grayling, who says he wants to “root out needless bureaucracy” and “put common sense back at the heart of Britain’s health and safety system”.

The government’s new-found intelligence on the issue has come too late for the Cancer Research UK charity shop in Cullompton, Devon, which closed after it was told by the HSE that it would have to use most of its £30,000 a year income to pay £25,000 to a safety manager, to implement health and safety compliance, or cease trading.

Reportedly two of the HSE inspector’s concerns were that the shop was using the wrong type of cleaning products, and that staff might hurt themselves washing up.

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