Case 298 – Supermarket staff not allowed to water dying plants


Following a visit to a local supermarket store the enquirer complained about the state of plants that were on sale. They had dried out and were dying, due to lack of water. The staff told them that they had been instructed not to water the plants due to health and safety.

Panel decision

There is no workplace Health and Safety legislation that prevents flowers from being watered and the policy makes no sense at all given that hundreds of supermarkets, garden centres and florists across the country manage to keep their flowers fresh without causing risk of injury to anyone. With a little thought and common sense, this supermarket branch could do the same. Alternatively they should stop selling flowers and avoid the waste – no-one wants to buy flowers/plants which are already dying.

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