Health and Safety Executive
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Don't be fobbed off by jobsworths - royal wedding celebrations given the 'health and safety' green light

Communities wanting to organise celebrations for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton are being urged not to be fobbed off by jobsworths citing 'health and safety'.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is concerned that 'health and safety' will be trotted out as an unfounded excuse not to hold local celebrations.

HSE has published new information on its website setting the record straight, along with a tongue-in-cheek cartoon lampooning those who would stand in the way of communities celebrating together - returning to its previous 'myth busting' to pre-empt any attempts to inhibit celebrations with wholly unnecessary bureaucracy and red tape.

Minister for Health and Safety Chris Grayling said:

"The Royal Wedding will be a great national occasion, and I want to reassure everyone that they can have street parties with friends and family and bring out the bunting to celebrate in time-honoured British tradition.

"There is no reason whatsoever for anyone to ban these celebrations on the grounds of health and safety. We are restoring common sense to our health and safety system, ensuring it is there to protect people at work not penalise people at leisure."

HSE Chair Judith Hackitt said:

"The Royal Wedding will be one of the highlights of the year for many people and we want to pre-empt the fun sponges who will try to use "health and safety" as an excuse to hide behind.

"Volunteers should feel confident to organise celebrations, taking simple measures based on common sense without having to worry about obligations under health and safety law at all.

"I want to encourage people to challenge those who tell you something can't be done for health and safety reasons - it's too easy an excuse to trot out."

Hundreds of street parties are expected to take place up and down Britain to celebrate with the Royal couple on Friday 29 April. Health and safety is often invoked to disguise someone's real motives - concerns over costs or complexity, compensation culture or an unwillingness to honestly defend an unpopular decision.

It has brought its popular Myth of the Month campaign out of retirement specially for the Royal Wedding. The campaign, which ran from 2007 to 2010, hit back at some of the ridiculous decisions that are wrongly blamed on health and safety.

Notes to editors:

  1. 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.
  2. The Royal Wedding webpage can be found at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/news/royal-wedding/index.htm
  3. HSE's myth of the month website can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/myth/index.htm

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