Health and safety law is often used as an excuse to ban or prohibit certain activities, none more so than activities involving children.

Many provocative headlines have been produced reinforcing this flawed notion, the most famous of which being “Health and safety bans kids from playing conkers”. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has joined forces with the Play Safety Forum to produce a joint high-level statement that gives clear messages tackling these misunderstandings.

It is an approach which has drawn support across the water. Jim King, acting Deputy Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) said of the statement, “The HSENI welcomes this statement which helps to bring clarity to an often misunderstood topic. Health and safety law deals with health and safety in the workplace but it is clear that attitudes towards personal safety and the ability to assess risk are developed from a very young age. These life lessons are then carried into the workplace. The HSENI fully supports the principles contained within the statement.”

You can view the HSE news article, which includes a link to the statement, at