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HSE Chair agrees with Justice Minister: "there is a common-sense balance to be struck"

HSE Chair Judith Hackitt responds

Dear Editor,

As the Chair of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) I wholeheartedly agree with Justice Secretary, Jack Straw when he says, "there is a common-sense balance to be struck" when it comes to health and safety (Straw attacks 'health and safety', 16 October).

When readers see what Jack Straw wrote in detail in his column they will see that he believes "health and safety is very far from all being nonsense..."

Mr Straw is correct to point out that science lessons and experiments are "not about wilfully exposing children to unnecessary danger, but better getting them to understand how to make their own decisions about the risks..."

I was inspired to start my career as a chemical engineer by the experiments we carried out at school. They brought science to life for me.

I completely support Mr Straw's willingness for children to learn about risk, it is an essential part of growing up. HSE encourages well run activities to help students learn and manage risk in the real world.

Yours sincerely,

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

Updated 2013-01-23