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HSE challenges JLS umbrella ban

Related article:
Anger at umbrella ban at wet JLS concert - The Argus, 29 August 2012
Response date:
29 August 2012

Dear Sir

Argus readers can be reassured there are no health and safety laws that stop umbrellas being used at outdoor concerts. (Anger at Umbrella Ban at Wet JLS Concert, 28 August 2012).

The organisers of the JLS concert admitted it was their own 'health and safety' policy that stopped concert go-ers taking in umbrellas, but I question whether this was proportionate action to take in relation to the risk.

I wonder if it was more to do with making sure everyone could see the concert? If so, let's be honest and not use health and safety as an excuse. After all, if there are concerns about people being poked in the eye, then it would follow that umbrellas should not be allowed on a busy high street or even used at all. Nobody would advocate that!

At HSE, our focus is ensuring that employers manage the real risks in the workplace, not trivial ones. This same approach to 'risk' should be considered for other activities.

Health and safety shouldn't be used as a reason to interfere with people's fun and enjoyment of outdoor events.

Yours faithfully

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

Updated 2012-08-29