Health and Safety?

So this week I have read an article where a US lifeguard was fired for saving a swimmer’s life, as the swimmer was out of the proteted area and they have liability issues.

I also heard that a local landowner not too far from me in France has started to charge 2€ for access to his land which also happens to be a popular river beach. This is because he was recently sued by a holiday maker (punter as they are known among local workers) who had jumped off a high rock and injured himself, and therefore sued the landowner. And won.

Had said landowner had a sign up saying ‘Jump off the rock at your own risk’ (or preferably, ‘if you jump off this rock, you are a dick, its well high and you will more than likley injure/kill yourself’, as I have ever decreasing trust in the common sense of the general public).

Another story that came to light in the same conversation was that a female punter had broken her back jumping off a bridge. Her insurance company said they wouldn’t pay out as clearly, she shouldn’t have jumped off a bridge (dick). In her defence, she actually said ‘there wasn’t a sign saying ‘don’t jump off this bridge”. See? Clearly suffering from common sense issues.

I have no love for insurance companies in general, and I would have liked to hear that they put up more of a fight in the instance of the lady with the broken back. Clearly her mother never said ‘…and if Jenny jumped off a bridge, would you to the same?’. Mine did, and of course I thought ‘No, because if I jumped off a bridge I’d surely seriously injure or kill myself’. However, I do feel a tad sorry for them these days. I agree they will do their absolute damnedest to find a loophole in your policy and avoid paying out in lots of cases, but I think now we have reached a stage where health and safety, risk assesments and liability issues have gone so far that they are fucked if they do and fucked if they don’t.

When I was a kid, we had a sandpit in the garden, and I used to eat sand by the handful. Nowadays I could do that, but if I contracted any kind of illness within the few days following, I could potentially sue my parents for allowing me to eat it.

Everyone is so paranoid about everything today, kids don’t go outside because its not sterilised. Workplaces have a health and safety team whose sole purpose is to perform risk assessments and potentially disrupt the work of others. Don’t even get me started on school trips or the world of activity holidays.

Lets go back to letting people be responsible for themselves and their own mind. Make your own risk assesments. If you decide to jump off a bridge and survive, uninjured, then happy days. If you decide to jump off a bridge and injure yourself, or worse, accept the consequences knowing that while you may be a dick, you would always accept a dare.

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9 thoughts on “Health and Safety?

  1. I used to sit in the sandpit and eat sand too!
    This does raise some questions.
    Could Mum sue WillieBiz for the distress caused when he hid in the hen house all day and she had all the village out searching for him?
    Or could he sue her for the rusty nail left in the old apple tree that he caught his nose on as he tumbled down and of which he still bears the scar?
    I read about a teacher who was suing an adventure holiday company because they organised an “Olympic Games” for the staff at the end of a school trip and he managed to break his neck in the welly flinging contest.
    Wouldn’t it be lovely if we were all grown up enough to say, “I don’t think that’s a good idea, I’ll pass thank you.”
    Or better still, “Well that was my own stupid fault.”

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  2. Cleo,
    Absolutely right. The world needs less arseholes so why are these science loving “progressives” who are always banging on about evolution and Darwinism always trying to disrupt the process of natuiral selection by protecting the stupid.
    Let them eliminate themselves from the gene pool.

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  3. Sally,
    All little girls eat sand by the handful. Which makes it even more of a mystery why women love cats.

    I did protect Cleo from that particular hazard by throeing a tarp on the sandpit at night. It would have been more satisfying to throw a tarp on the cat, Steve Irwin style, but Teri would never let me.

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  4. Sally, I certainly think there would be scope for Williebiz to sue the landowner where the tree stood harbouring the offensive weapon/rusty nail, with additional compensation awarded on the grounds of added trauma from a tetanus injection.

    I would like to hear more about exactly how a teacher managed to break his neck flinging a wellie…its up there with the stastic that you’re more likely to be killed by your own trousers than in a plane crash.

    And I’m sure you managed to throw a tarp on a cat at some stage in your life, papa.

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  5. Sally, I certainly think there would be scope for Williebiz to sue the landowner where the tree stood harbouring the offensive weapon/rusty nail, with additional compensation awarded on the grounds of added trauma from a tetanus injection.

    I would like to hear more about exactly how a teacher managed to break his neck flinging a wellie…its up there with the stastic that you’re more likely to be killed by your own trousers than in a plane crash.

    And I’m sure you managed to throw a tarp on a cat at some stage in your life, papa.

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    • Apparently the required method of welly flinging was to bend over and fling the welly backwards between ones legs. The teacher overbalanced as he let fly with the welly and landed on his head, breaking his neck.
      Sad but just an accident really.

      I’m a bit pissed off about all the furore over these mountaineers being killed by an avalanche. It’s what happens, you can’t prevent them, neither the avalanches nor the people who insist on climbing up very high snow covered mountains in the summer, and I’m quite sure that these experienced mountaineers accepted the risk of death on the mountain as part and parcel of their enjoyment of their sport. So bleeding heart media, yes its tragic, shit happens, get over it, IT’S NOBODY’S FAULT>

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