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Case 217 - Health and safety regulations blamed for controlling number of spectators at the Winchester Round Table Bonfire and Firework display

Issue

The Winchester Round Table Bonfire and firework display advertising brochure quotes, "Because the event is so popular, we now need to control numbers due to the ever increasing health and safety regulations that we must adhere to."

Panel decision

It is a myth that there are "ever increasing health and safety regulations" applying to events like this one. We applaud Winchester Round Table for organising the event and for drawing in ever increasing numbers of patrons to the event year upon year. The larger the display, particularly those involving 'professional' fireworks and/or an increasing number of spectators are likely to have greater risks and the arrangements and precautions from one year to the next may need to reflect that. Rather than blame "increasing health and safety regulation", it would have been more helpful if the chair had explained what additional measures they were having to take to manage the public given the success and increasing popularity of the event.

HSE has produced a helpful checklist for organisers of firework displays which gives straightforward guidance on how to put on public events which can be enjoyed safely: Organising firework displays

2013-10-29