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HSE responds to Bracknell Forest Standard article "Bracknell Forest Homes tells mum 'play equipment must go'"

"Bracknell Forest Homes tells mum 'play equipment must go'" - Bracknell Forest Standard, 9 August 2012
Response date:
10 August 2012

Dear Sir

Standard readers can be reassured there are no health and safety 'rules' that govern play equipment in gardens. (Bracknell Forest Homes tells mum 'play equipment must go', 8 August 2012). To state otherwise is both inaccurate and misleading.

Bracknell Forest Homes should have made clear in their statement that it wanted the play equipment removed for insurance and liability reasons, not health and safety. It is important to be clear about what the law does and doesn't require - it's too easy to blame 'elf 'n' safety' when something is 'banned' for other reasons.

Health and safety laws exist to protect workers and others from death, serious injury and ill health at work, not to ruin children's playtime.

Yours faithfully

Mike Wilcock
Head of Operations for the South East
Health & Safety Executive

Updated 2012-10-08