Health and safety gone mad! Jon Holmes delves into the potential risks to literature

Health and safety gone mad! Jon Holmes delves into the risks to literature

Emily Brontë

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Signs placed over ruins made famous by Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights have sparked fury in West Yorkshire. 

A combination of erosion damage and vandalism have made part of Top Withens potentially unsafe, and Yorkshire Water placed three signs to warn visitors about possible risks in exploring the site. But the locals are in uproar because they feel the "ruins are ruined." 

And these signs have resulted in fears of health and safety having a lasting impact on literature. 

So Jon Holmes called on the expert opinion of consultant Jim Tassell to discuss the potential hazards to hardcovers. 

"Are we being overzealous we can damage literature? Yes!" he told Jon. "Would you accept [James] Bond if you were wearing a health and safety hat?"

Tassell also illustrated how concerns damage the impact of other famous novels. 

Tassell on Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men In A Boat: "My worry is not how many in a boat, it's what they'll be doing when they're jumping up and down and thrashing around. There's no mention of life vests."

Tassell on the nude wrestling scene by a fire in D.H Lawrence's Women In Love: "Let's imagine a fire where a spit of hot coal could come out. They would need a fire guard."