One of the great rites of passage in life is when a student graduates from college and takes the big step into the working world. Even with the strict rules and regulations that come with going to school, there is still a sense of freedom that seems to get lost when the real work begins. Freedom and fun are part of the tradition of throwing mortarboards in the air when the graduation ceremony is complete. For those of you who don’t know, mortarboards are those square hats hat students wear to graduation, and at least one school deems them to be a health and safety hazard.
The University of Birmingham in the UK has decided that the age old tradition of throwing the hats in the air is one that needs to stop. The decision was made after it was revealed that a few students had suffered minor injuries in the past few years. It’s not a decision that has been very well received, with many of the current students saying that they will ignore the ban altogether, with some suggesting that it will be an impossible rule to uphold. It is certainly going to be interesting to see if any other schools hop on board and follow that philosophy.
While this decision may be one that is taking the whole health and safety thing a little too far, it is something that students are going to have to get used to out in the working world. Buderim in the Sunshine Coast region of Australia, home to the University of the Sunshine Coast region, may be a long way away from Brimingham, but what it has in common with that city, and countless others across the world, are strict regulations regarding health and safety in the workplace. These rules are necessary in order to ensure the safest working environment possible.
The number of work related injuries has decreased dramatically since occupational health and safety (OHS) requirements were put in place. Companies now have to adhere to a set of standards and practices that ensure their workers are able to perform their duties in a safe environment. Officials are routinely sent out to inspect workplaces in order to make sure that the regulations are being followed to the letter. Businesses are now well aware that failing to meet these requirements can mean stiff fines and penalties.
There are seldom any major complaints made regarding the implementing of new health and safety rules, as most people are now aware that they are there for the greater good. There has been some backlash to the whole mortarboard throwing ban, and the university has now come out to clarify the point they are trying to make. They say that the rules are in place for private ceremonies on the grounds of the school, and not the official graduation day activities. This seems to have appeased those who were against the ban being put in place to begin with. Perhaps the students can simply resort to wearing hard hats under their graduation caps.