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HSE responds to Hertfordshire Mercury article "Visitors disappointed as Godiva speeds through Cuffley and Cheshunt - but nobody is taking the blame"

Article:
"Visitors disappointed as Godiva speeds through Cuffley and Cheshunt - but nobody is taking the blame" - Hertfordshire Mercury, 9 August 2012
Response date:
9 August 2012

Dear Sir

Mercury readers can be reassured that there were no 'health and safety issues' that prevented Godiva walking through Hertfordshire. (Visitors disappointed as Godiva speeds through Cuffley and Cheshunt - but nobody is taking the blame, 8 August 2012). To state otherwise is both inaccurate and misleading.

Health and safety laws exist to protect workers and others from serious injury and ill health at work. Imagineer Productions should have made clear in their comments that despite some 18 months of negotiation with Hertfordshire Police and the highways authority they were unable to agree a robust traffic management plan which would have allowed Godiva to be 'walked' through Hertfordshire.

It is important to be clear about what the law does and doesn't require - it's too easy to blame 'health and safety' when something is 'banned' for other reasons. This undermines confidence in sensible health and safety measures.

Yours faithfully

Simon Longbottom
Head of Operations for the East
Health & Safety Executive

Updated 2012-09-08