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Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
August 22, 2007

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Going nuts about conkers

IOSH is sponsoring this year’s World Conker Championship in a bid to move the profession away from the portrayal of health and safety as something that ‘stops you from doing things’.

The championships, which take place each year at Ashton in Northamptonshire, attract conker players from across the world, as well as the large media presence which will cover this ‘most British’ of pastimes.

Ruth Doyle, IOSH’s director of communications, said: “Our sponsorship of the World Conker Championship is about showing that health and safety is not something that stops people having fun. Health and safety practitioners are not killjoys, and this profession likes to have fun as much as anyone else.

“There’s going to be lots going on, making the championships a perfect day out for the family. IOSH’s presidential team will be taking part on the day itself — so why not come along and cheer them on!”

The World Conker Championships 2007 takes place on Sunday 14 October at Ashton Conker Club. For more information, visit:

Bonkers/Bonzer Conker

Alastair Campbell’s favourite publications, the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday, still lead the way in IOSH’s Bonkers Conker table, followed by the Daily Telegraph.

But there have been a number of Bonzer Conkers handed out in the last month — proving that the media doesn’t always present a negative image of health and safety.

This month’s Bonkers Conker ‘Story of the month’ is the tale of the health and safety rules that led to the cancellation of a Lancashire town’s Remembrance Day parade.

War veterans in Horwich have had to cancel their parade because of “health and safety idiots”, according to the Daily Mail. IOSH pointed out that it wasn’t so much health and safety causing the cancellation, but “over-the-top fears of litigation and escalating costs of running such an event.”

However, a trio of bonzer conker awards were handed out to The Times, Daily Telegraph and The Guardian for their articles on Ed Balls MP’s call for children to be allowed to experience a degree of risk. Lord Roy Hattersley also received a bonzer conker for his column in the Daily Mail praising the work of the Health and Safety Laboratory.

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