Yes, it’s true. Health and Safety legislation is under review by none other than Lord Young, the former cabinet minister.
It seems the ‘love-in’ government is moving pretty quickly on some of its manifesto promises and H & S is one of the areas that is coming under the spotlight. And it also seems Lord Young doesn’t have much trick with the more ridiculous he’s seen… this is what he said: many of the rules are ‘absolute nonsense.’
But last time round I wrote about legislation, my fight against it and the eejits who made some of it necessary.
So, I thought it was time to restore the status quo and remind myself of some the idiotic rules that I’ve been so against for such a long time.
Let’s start with the obvious ones… everyone has heard of the reason why McDonald’s coffee cups say ‘Contents may be hot’ and the million dollar law suit because a lady burned her lip!
But how about some of these: toothpicks banned in restaurants because of the danger of being impaled. Or the make-up class that could show how to put make-up on, but not wipe it off because this contravened the rules.
What about the law suit in the USA involving a well known manufacturer of mobile homes?
A customer collected their mobile home and turned onto the highway. Flicking the vehicle into cruise control they got up to make themselves a cup of coffee. Of course, and quite naturally they sued the manufacturer when the inevitable crash happened because the handbook didn’t say that there had to be someone at the wheel at all times.
The problem is that they won the case and were awarded a million dollars! It’s always a million, isn’t it?
Here’s another one: did you know that you should really wear goggles for handling Blu-Tack, that 16 year old pupils of a school who could swim had to wear arm bands in swimming lessons and Network Rail has banned leaving dirty spoons in sinks for fear of infection.
And it’s these ridiculous rules that are, at least, to blame for the rise of the compensation culture we find ourselves in. When someone can be awarded £10,000 for slipping on wet grass when there was no sign even though it was raining, there can be no surprise that people take their chances and use the ‘no-win, no-fee’ solicitors.
By the way, no-one is saying get rid of all legislation. A person in a dangerous job needs protection and if someone does something that is blatantly dangerous there needs to be a sanction.
But it’s not up to the government to manage every risk – we, as individuals have to take responsibility for assessing a risk and then acting accordingly.