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A problem for the safety professional involved in visitor safety management is the difficulty in switching off when visiting places for interest and enjoyment (and to make it clear, this was a visit made to a splendid English Heritage property whilst on holiday). The results of risk management decisions are often apparent, but not necessarily the reasoning and thinking that led to the decision. So for instance, one can see barriers installed to prevent falls from height, and sometimes the absence of them, but the careful thought process which has determined where they should be positioned, how they should be designed and what information should be provided to visitors lies behind the scenes (but hopefully recorded). On this occasion, we were unable to visit the cellars of the Great Hall for health and safety reasons - a much used phrase these days, but of course, one that may be perfectly valid. It emerged that two or three recent slip/fall accidents to visitors had led to a re-appraisal of the safety of the steps down into the cellars and accompanying handrail, with some work outstanding. It's also the case that any remedial work involving intervention in the fabric of an historic building will inevitably require conservation advice, and may therefore take a little longer to complete. There was also an area of interest at the top of the south tower - how small does an opening have to be before it is judged a danger to small children and needs to be protected? No doubt some detailed discussion went into the decision to leave certain openings unprotected.

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