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Options for taking action

If on reflection you are satisfied that the right action has been taken and properly communicated, no further action is needed. Where a decision is questionable you should consider the options below:

The precautions are sensible – but were not properly explained

A typical example of taking over-protective action to deal with an everyday risk involved a council who demanded removal of small wooden canes used to protect daffodils on a village green.

Encourage colleagues within your council to communicate decisions clearly and honestly. Consider offering feedback to the decision-makers to explain what could be done differently to ensure that reasons for decisions are properly explained. Taking action to communicate effectively will help avoid myths and misunderstanding, and avoid the council earning the reputation of being ‘jobsworths’

Where inaccurate press reports are published tackle them with the facts behind your decisions. See how HSE does this in the ‘Putting the record straight’.

The precautions appear disproportionately high for the level of risk

A typical example of taking over-protective action to deal with an everyday risk involved a council who demanded removal of small wooden canes used to protect daffodils on a village green.

You can use the information from these webpages to challenge disproportionate decisions. Talk to staff and colleagues about more proportionate or specific precautions that make sense - this will help avoid myths and misunderstanding and avoid the council being ridiculed for being ‘elf an' safety zealots’.

The risk is not managed

Raise concerns with the appropriate Director or manager – or the council’s health and safety team. You can find details of cases in HSE press releases where HSE has prosecuted businesses and Councils for failing to manage significant health and safety risks.

Further action

If you do not get a satisfactory response within your organisation you can raise your concerns with HSE. There are two options:

  1. If you think health and safety is being mistakenly used as an excuse you can contact the Myth Busters Challenge Panel.
  2. If you believe that the health or safety of workers or the public is being put at risk because of failure to control real work-related risks you can contact HSE’s Workplace Concerns Team.
Updated: 2015-06-10