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HSE responds Nick Ferrari's Sunday Express column - "Healthy dose of humbug"

"Healthy dose of humbug" - Sunday Express, 3 July 2011
Response date:
7 July

Nick Ferrari's column (Healthy dose of humbug, SE, 3 July) highlights part of the problem with the current debate on health and safety.

The term 'health and safety' has become used so widely and wrongly that it has come to stand for a huge range of things which have no relation to managing risks in the workplace.

HSE doesn't exist to shut playgrounds, or cut trees down. We don't have anything to do with children's car seats, or infuriating pill bottle tops. Mattresses, peanuts and conkers have nothing to do with safety at work, and are entirely outside our remit.

And regarding Murray Mount, Mr Ferrari couldn't be further from the truth - rather than pushing for it to be closed we were campaigning for a bit of common sense and making precisely the opposite point - there were no health and safety grounds on which to close it down.

Few would argue that we need to get the focus on health and safety back on managing serious risks in the workplace where it belongs. We certainly wouldn't.

Yours sincerely,

Judith Hackitt

Updated 2012-01-13