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A reason to be jubilant

The Diamond Jubilee is one of those occasions when I for one am looking forward to celebrating an historic occasion with patriotic pride and affection for our Queen.

It's clear I won't be on my own. Irrespective of what British summer weather throws at us, thousands of communities are already making plans to come together to celebrate 60 years of the Queen's reign. Many of these celebrations will echo the events which took place in the days of the Coronation in 1952 - street parties, bunting, bustling fetes and suchlike.

A lot has changed in the last six decades, including the British health and safety system. We are now able to say that our workplace health and safety performance ranks among the best in the world. But sadly, in recent years we've also seen a worrying rise in risk aversion and the use of elf 'n' safety trotted out as a convenient excuse to ban all manner of things. The new Myth Buster Challenge Panel, which I chair, has had a busy first month setting the record straight on a number of cases where members of the public have been wrongly told that they couldn't do things because of elf 'n' safety.

We haven't had any cases yet related to Jubilee celebrations, but rather than wait for them to come in we've produced ten top tips to help reassure people that they can organise and enjoy Jubilee celebrations with a few sensible precautions and the application of common sense.

First and foremost, the celebrations are a leisure activity - so workplace health and safety laws don't apply. But a few sensible precautions and perhaps the odd risk assessment here and there will help to ensure that the day goes off without a hitch and that in the event of any small incident there are people on hand who know what to do.

We want to do our bit to ensure that no one is deterred from celebrating the Jubilee with friends and neighbours because of fears about health and safety. We want all those people who have been planning and preparing for these events for months to have the confidence to challenge any barmy rules or last minute restrictions imposed on them and to call on the Myth Buster Challenge Panel if they need to.

We often find that what is chalked up to 'health and safety' is something else - an unwillingness to give the real reason for an unpopular decision, concern over costs or complexity of an event, or worries about potential civil liability claims.

Let's celebrate the Diamond Jubilee in style, the way it deserves to be, it's no more than her Majesty deserves. It's certainly what we'll be doing in my home village.

2016-04-13