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HSE response to ‘water fiasco’ marathon cancellation coverage in the Sheffield Star

Date:
8 April 2014

I applaud the Star for not doing what many journalists sadly did in lambasting ‘health and safety’ for the cancellation of Sunday’s Sheffield Half Marathon (6 April).

It was unnecessary for the organisers to blame health and safety for their decision to cancel the event at the last minute. Anyone who probed their statement on Sunday would have seen that this was about being unable to provide enough drinking water for all participants and meet the requirements set by athletics’ governing body, not about complying with health and safety regulations.

It can feel like running a marathon trying to set the record straight on health and safety, but it is important to do so because ill-informed coverage obscures the important work being done to reduce the number of people killed and injured by their jobs – not just in Sheffield, but across Britain.

HSE encourages people to challenge decisions wrongly made in the name of health and safety. We have a panel of experts that can rule on whether it’s true or an excuse to hide the real reason – more information is available at www.hse.gov.uk/myth

Yours sincerely,

John Rowe

Head of Operations for Yorkshire & North East