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The Guardian article: "Experts raise safety fears over new generation of liquid gas terminals"

Geoffrey Podger, HSE's Chief Executive responds - 31 January 2006

Letters to the Editor
The Guardian
(sent via email)

2nd February 2006

Dear Sir/Madam,

Regarding your story on the gas terminals at Milford Haven, I am happy to make clear that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) gave independent advice in the public interest and was not swayed by any external pressure (Experts raise safety fears over new generation of liquid gas terminals, January 31).

The reason the HSE examined the shore side operation but not the risk of an accident at sea is simply because we have no legal competence to assess risks from ships whilst at sea or under the direction of the ship's master. We made this clear to the local authorities and suggested they consult others, including the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, in order to assess these risks prior to any consent being granted.

Geoffrey Podger
Chief Executive
Health and Safety Executive

Updated 2008-12-05