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Warning signs not needed on footpath

"It's just a sign of the times..." - Westmorland Gazette, 1 December 2011
The newspaper reported than walkers and runners had branded newly-erected warning signs on paths leading to a popular viewpoint as 'ridiculous'. The signs warned of uneven ground and a steep slope.
Response date:
12 December 2011

Contrary to the suggestion in your article 'It's just a sign of the times...' (Westmorland Gazette, 1 December), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has not given any advice to erect signs advising walkers of uneven ground on Scout Scar.

I would reassure the land manager of Scout Scar that there are no health and safety laws requiring him to erect such signs. The natural, physical features of the landscape may often include steep drops or uneven ground, but it is entirely reasonable for landowners to expect visitors to show due care.

HSE's aim is not to remove all risk from every moment of people's lives. It spends its time dealing with the real risks in Britain's workplaces, trying to prevent workers suffering major injury, ill health or even being killed.

Walkers should continue to use their common sense when exploring Scout Scar, and enjoy the countryside.

Yours faithfully

Mark Dawson
Principal Inspector, Cumbria
Health and Safety Executive

Updated 2012-01-13