The world's weirdest workplace rules

Are yours this strange?

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Two slices of toast in toaster

After six years of furious debate, California's state government has finally decided not to force porn stars to wear goggles during filming - a decision welcomed by the movie studios as well as the actors themselves.

It's health and safety gone mad, was the general view.

Usually, though, it's bosses rather than local government that impose strange workplace rules. There's generally a reason for these rules - even the weirdest - but in many cases it's hard to understand just what that reason might be.

We look at a few that might have you scratching your head.

'Do not lick the reptiles'
This was a rule in a large US pet store as of a couple of years ago. It probably derives from a previous experience with an adventurous employee and some cane toads, which release a psychoactive toxin from their bodies. There are better reasons than a workplace rule not to lick them: there have been several reported deaths.

'Clothing must be worn at all times while in the massage chair'
This one really shouldn't be necessary... at a software company.

'No taking pictures of the money and sharing it on Instagram'
This rule, at a US bank, is a little hard to understand. Do people not know already that there's probably quite a lot of money inside?

'The foot measuring device is for measuring feet and nothing else'
Because there's a different gadget for measuring hands. Or something.

'No flying helicopters over the wall to the business next door'
Staff at one US company used to entertain themselves by flying model helicopters around their office - which was divided from the neighbouring company by a low wall. "Well, they didn't have X-ray vision and managed to fly it into someone's face and nearly took their eye out. Now we have a 'no fly zone'."

No unclogging the toilets, even with gloves'
A rule at Starbucks - and one I think we're all glad to know exists.

'No hiding in the caskets'
This was a fairly standard way of winding up new recruits to the funeral director's - until one man had a heart attack on his first day. He recovered, but didn't come back for a second shift.

'No toasters'
This one, introduced on health and safety grounds, might sound reasonable - until you learn that the staff that couldn't be trusted with browning bread were nurses operating multi-million pound, life-saving equipment every day.

'All departments will have a designated first aider'
Again, sounds reasonable; again, this was in a hospital.

'No cooking with a blow torch'
After a tuna melt lunch led to a warehouse fire that cost hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage.

'No drinking tea at the desk'
In 2014, reception staff at Leicester's three hospitals were banned from drinking tea at their desk. The reason? Patients already annoyed about long waiting times were 'inflamed by seeing members of staff enjoying hot and cold drinks'.

'Don't keep worms in the refrigerators.'
In a call centre; the mind boggles.

'No making bets in the kitchen'
Because one restaurant employee accepted a bet that he couldn't touch the bottom of a pan full of boiling pizza sauce; he ended up with first degree burns all the way up his arm.

'No putting body parts in the fryer'
This is a rule at McDonald's. Apparently, one worker once dropped his glasses into the deep fat fryer and attempted to retrieve them with his bare hands - and with predictable results.

'Don't give keys to the inmates'
"I thought this was funny till I saw it happen," says one detention officer.

And here are a few more workplace rules that tell the full story all by themselves....

'No smoking in or around the jet fuel tanker'

'Under no circumstances should the saw discs for the table saw be used as frisbees'

'Toilet bowl brushes are not to be used to dust the game machines'

'No skateboarding on the conveyor belt'

'Do not dance on top of the baler'

No unicycles are allowed on Boeing property'

'No washing your hair in the food prep sink'

'Don't eat the dog treats'

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