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Kevin Myers responds to The Mirror about 'health and safety gone mad'

Dear Editor,

We were surprised to see two stories in The Mirror being labelled as 'health and safety gone mad 1 and 2' ('Palarva', and 'Sorry, no barbed wire...it might injure vandals', 5 September).

Neither of the stories quoted were about real health and safety. One concerned the misinterpretation of council rules by one of its contractors and the second was about a local authority's fear of being sued by a trespasser.

We are as frustrated as most when organisations use 'health and safety' as an excuse to avoid doing things, ban activities or spoil people's fun. In such cases, we recognise the media's role in highlighting real instances of 'elf and safety', bad practice and over-zealousness and make it our business to clarify the facts and bust the myths.

Badging these stories as 'health and safety gone mad' is erroneous, misleading to your readers and frankly, a bit lazy.

Yours sincerely,

Kevin Myers
Deputy Chief Executive
Health and Safety Executive
Redgrave Court
Merton Road
Bootle
Liverpool
L20 7HS

Updated 2013-01-23