Health and Safety Executive
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Don't let the jobsworths jeopardise jubilee celebrations
Celebrations for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee should go ahead unhindered by bogus health and safety restrictions, the Government said yesterday.
People planning and organising street parties and celebrations in their neighbourhoods are being urged to challenge any jobsworths who wrongly cite health and safety as an excuse to ban or place restrictions on certain events.
Britain's health and safety watchdog, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published online tips for the Jubilee giving advice about common misconceptions, and is offering the support of its Myth Busters Challenge Panel to help address any silly restrictions that people may come across.
This follows guidance from the Department for Communities and Local Government about how successful local events could be organised with the minimum of bureaucratic fuss.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:
"The Jubilee is a great opportunity for communities from all walks of life to come together, and reinforce our shared identity and sense of Britishness. The Government has slashed back regulations on street parties, by reining back the complicated bureaucracy of forms, permissions and risk assessments - now councils need to do their bit to join in.
"Unnecessary and irrelevant health and safety regulations should not be used as an excuse to prevent people to celebrate; the only red tape in sight should be the Jubilee bunting hanging in the streets."
Minister for Employment Chris Grayling said:
"Hang up the bunting and challenge anyone who says otherwise. Too often we hear stories of jobsworths out to spoil everyone's fun especially at big occasions like the Queen's Diamond Jubilee all in the name of so called health and safety.
"There is nothing in Health and Safety law to stop you celebrating in June. If you think someone is wrongfully using health and safety you can seek advice from the Myth Busters Challenge Panel."
HSE Chair Judith Hackitt added:
"The Diamond Jubilee is going to be a huge celebration. We want to ensure that the hours of planning and preparation lead to successful and enjoyable events. Health and safety law does not to apply to local events organised by community volunteers and a few sensible precautions to deal with any potential minor incidents are all that is required. We are encouraging people to challenge decisions when they think health and safety is being used as an excuse and the Panel is ready to help."
Often health and safety is invoked wrongly to disguise a person's real motives - an unwillingness to honestly defend an unpopular decision, concern over costs or complexity of running an event, or worries about potential civil liability claims.
Plans are already underway for celebrations around Britain for the extended weekend of 2-5 June.
Some local authorities have already acted to get rid of red tape and make it easier for local residents. Essex County Council have had more than 3,000 visitors to their helpful Jubilee planning webpages and Hampshire County Council are encouraging people to go ahead without costly insurance when it's just unnecessary.
Notes to editors
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain's national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by targeted inspection, investigation and enforcement.
The Diamond Jubilee webpage can be found at: www.hse.gov.uk/news/jubilee
The Health and Safety Executive has set up an independent panel - the Myth Busters Challenge Panel - to scrutinize complaints regarding the advice given by non-regulators such as insurance companies, health and safety consultants and employers and, quickly assess if a sensible and proportionate decision has been made.
All enquiries from journalists should be directed to the HSE Press Office