Health and Safety in the News

You’ll all have heard yesterday about the high-profile health and safety cases that hit the news, bumper cars that are not allowed to bump, Henman Hill closed due to rain (seriously when does it not rain during Wimbledon!) and other such ridicule such as children not allowed to fly kites or take part in sack races.

It is an interesting paradox that ‘Health and Safety’ exists in our lives to protect us from serious injury and to promote the well-being of each and every one of us.  And yet it is seen by many in cynical terms; as negative concept, something used as an obstacle, as an excuse to prevent us from doing something enjoyable, to make life more awkward and complicated.  As  safety consultants, I firmly believe that ‘Elf ‘n’ Safety’ should never be used to prevent something from happening, unless to permit it would amount to crass stupidity.  Risk assessment should not be seen as an obstacle, but as a way of facilitating a task or event, to allow something to happen – safely!

Safety on Henman Hill could have been achieved by making audio / visual announcements.  Turning off the screen and banning access does much to bring my profession into disrepute and I strongly resent that.   Failure to come up with safe options and alternatives is just that – a failure.  Using safety as an excuse to achieve nefarious or dubious goals is inexcusable.  All such cases expose human weaknesses in situations where qualities of strength and good leadership are required – in everybody’s best interests.

You can read the original BBC news article here

and you can see other related news and views too.

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posted on August 25, 2011
in Kill The Myths
about author Tom Searle

Tom Searle

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