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HSE chair Judith Hackitt sets straight a claim that health and safety legislation is to blame for the demise in school science experiments

23 November 2010

Re: Birmingham Mail article - "'Boring' science no fun any more, says Birmingham Science Park Aston expert" - 19 November 2010

Dear Editor,

I wish to set straight a claim by David Hardman, managing director of Birmingham Science Park Aston (Friday 19 November), that health and safety regulations are to blame for children not being able to conduct science experiments and 'create explosions'.

Health and safety law does not stop classroom experiments. Hands-on lessons are an essential part of learning − they bring science to life and also teach children how to handle dangerous substances safely. All we ask is that an assessment of the risks is carried out to ensure that sensible precautions are taken and so that teachers and pupils can rest assured that the experiment is properly managed.

HSE encourages well run activities throughout school life to help students learn and manage risk in the real world.

Yours faithfully,

Judith Hackitt
Chair, Health and Safety Executive

Updated 2012-01-13