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Telegraph article: Safety rules kill off kids' 'Brit spirit'

Judith Hackitt, HSE Chair, responds, 7 July 2009

Dear Sir,

I am puzzled as to why your article Britain 'losing spirit of adventure' (7 July, page 4) blames health and safety rules for stopping children taking risks, when it is very clearly the case that Simon Woodroffe himself has acknowledged that HSE has assured him 'that regulations to prompt such behaviour simply don't exist'.

Risk is a necessary part of growing up and we have made it very clear that we want children to experience risk and learn how to handle it. That's why HSE fully supports children taking part in well-run school activities, including school trips, where they can learn how to manage risk. We support Simon Woodroffe in his call to 'break these barriers down' and applaud the sentiments of the HTI's (Heads, Teachers and Industry) GO4IT campaign.

We also share Simon's concerns about getting to the heart of what is really stopping important recreational and learning activities, but we need your help to identify the real issues not this persistent misrepresentation of the role of the regulator where rules really do not exist.

Yours faithfully 

Judith Hackitt
Chair, Health and Safety Executive
Redgrave Court
Merton Road
L20 7HS

Updated 2013-01-23