The end of Elfen safety?

The Elves have a lot to answer for. Their safety, it seems, has been paramount, surpassing our human needs, for the last decade or two after near insignificance “in the old days”. Now, however, the tide may finally be turning.

So many things seem to be disallowed because of “Elfen safety”. OK, ok, I know – it’s “Health and Safety”. I apologise. I couldn’t resist. It won’t happen again.

Recently, the UK government has announced that Lord Young will review the “compensation culture” now deeply ingrained into our society. I’m greatly relieved – so many things nowadays seem to be disallowed, with the explanation that it is H&S driven. Mostly we do it to ourselves. Because there is less risk to say that activities are forbidden, because of what might happen if someone were to be injured, shops and other businesses sometimes go overboard.

It’s not the greatest example, but a kind soul at the RAF museum the other day pointed out to my sons, who were climbing about a foot off the ground on some stair rails, that if they slipped they could crack their teeth. Well, the big news is that they’ve both got damaged teeth already – one from a playground and one from falling over on a path. This stuff happens. The gentleman had their best interests at heart, and it seems churlish to complain, but nobody would think to call to kids like that if they were playing on a modern metal climbing frame. So why here?

Risk is a difficult thing to judge, but at the end of the day individuals have a responsibility for themselves. Even little kids, although I’m not advocating a “let ’em kill ’emselves if they want” approach. There’s a line here.

Let’s just hope this will indeed be the start of a reversal of the anti-risk culture, and a return to what the proper observation of health and safety should really mean.

About mikbarne
I'm a writer and freelance communications and collaboration consultant with nearly 20 years experience in UK telecommunications, specialising in VoIP, Unified Communications and Collaboration, and building effective communications architectures. Visit my Google+ Profile

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