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HSE responds to The Telegraph article - "Castle under siege in a battle over health and safety"

24 August 2010

Dear Sir,

In response to your article on grass cutting at Carlisle Castle (24 August), I can confirm that there is no guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that prevents it.

Organisations, such as English Heritage, have a responsibility to look after the health and safety of their staff. But that doesn't mean that they can't mow lawns. HSE has not issued any new guidance on mowers recently in this sector.

Appropriate equipment should always be used. Three people died at work using mowing equipment last year, and a number of sit-on mowers turned over on steep slopes.

The risks are real, but with appropriate management of those risks, for example using a different type of mower, activities can continue.

A straightforward, sensible risk assessment would quickly show where real dangers lie, and what can be done to address them.

Yours faithfully,

Graeme Walker
Head of Agriculture
Health and Safety Executive

Updated 2012-01-13