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HSE responds to - 'HSE is snow joke'

21 January 2010

Dear Editor,

Re: "Letter: HSE is snow joke" 19 January 2010

I would like to make it clear that nobody who volunteers to support their community by clearing pavements during icy conditions should feel they are in danger of being sued under health and safety legislation.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) agrees it is ridiculous that people should feel prevented from helping others, through a fear of being held responsible for an accident. I'm very grateful to all my neighbours and local shopkeepers who cleared the snow - repeatedly - from pavements.

HSE has certainly not stipulated any rules on icy pavements, as your reader suggests. We encourage a common sense approach to health and safety, and are focused on the real safety risks at work.

Nearly 11,000 workers suffered a serious injury as a result of a slip or trip at work last year. Our Shattered Lives campaign, which begins next month, aims to reduce this toll of avoidable injuries. It will focus on the terrible consequences of slips and trips, and on the simple practical steps that can be taken to prevent them.

Yours sincerely,

Rosi Edwards
Regional Director, Midlands
Health and Safety Executive
1 Hagley Road
Birmingham B16 8HS

Updated 2012-10-23