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Tristan Hallam: Health and Safety Regulations, Lollypop Men and Women

By Principal Lawyer, Occupiers and Public Liability

My local school has a lollypop woman.She stands on a corner of a busy junction where there is no real crossing and although the school is approximately 100 yards further up the road, there isn’t an adequate crossing next to the school and this is therefore the crossing at which she is required. What an excellent idea.

Hats off to the London Borough of Brent who have increasingly over the years got better and better at providing the vast majority of services that are required by its inhabitants.Kindly explain to me therefore the stupidity and madness that I read in an article in the Telegraph Newspaper on 8th March 2011, which refers to a lollypop man in Essex not being allowed to step off the road to assist children crossing due to the risks that this places upon him with passing traffic. Instead he has to press the button which of course children want to do themselves anyway, at a neighbouring pedestrian crossing.

Likewise, a lollypop lady who was told to rotate the pole that she was holding so that the sign when stationary, did not distract passing drivers quite rightly said in response that she is not a ‘trained majorette’.

How ridiculously stupid and no doubt although not in this article, the press will pick up on these issues and say this is again an example of Health and Safety gone mad.It is simply not. It is instead an example of a quite bizarre attitude to what is an excellent idea.

I cannot for one moment see how the issues raised above either breach any Health and Safety Regulations or indeed give rise to a justifiable claim which would find in favour with the Court.

Any claim brought for example by a passing motorist who will say that he is distracted by a lollypop lady holding her sign, standing on the side of the road, would be laughed out of Court.May we please see a sensible response to an excellent idea. Anything else is complete madness.

Tristan Hallam is a Principal Lawyer in Personal Injury in the London office of Slater and Gordon. If you or a member of your family has suffered an accident or injury call our expert personal injury solicitors on 0800 916 9046, fill in our short online claim form or email and one of our specialist personal injury team will review your compensation claim for free.