A university has banned celebrating graduates from throwing their mortarboards into the air following a spate of student injuries, it has been reported.
The Norwich-based University of East Anglia (UEA) says it has asked students not to take part in the tradition as a number of graduates have been injured by falling mortarboards in recent years.
Last year, one of the university’s graduates was treated in hospital after sustaining a facial injury caused by a falling mortarboard.
Now, instead of students actually throwing their hats into the air after graduating, they have been asked to “mime” the action and have the falling mortarboards digitally added to their photographs.
A statement from the university, published in The Norwich Tab student newspaper, says: “This is an unacceptable risk and we want to ensure no student’s graduation day is ruined by the potential for avoidable injury.”
UEA says the ban has been agreed with the mortarboards’ suppliers following complaints about damage to returned items.
Geoff Cox, head of the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) public sector team, says: “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 mortarboard 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.”
Source: Eastern Daily Press
Date Published: May 31, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown