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Cutting the H&S crap

Telegraph | News | Get a life and take sensible risks, says safety chief

Children are being prevented from taking part in activities by over-zealous "health and safety pedants" terrified of taking risks, the chairman of the Health and Safety Commission said yesterday.
Bill Callaghan said that misunderstandings and fear of the "compensation culture" had led to organisations being over-cautious and preventing worthwhile activities and trips....

The Health and Safety Commission launched its Get A Life campaign to counter its image as a public killjoy.

It urged organisations to take "sensible risks" and said there was no need to create bureaucratic mountains of paperwork.

Mr Callaghan said: "We are launching the principles of what risk management should be about.

"It's not about creating a totally risk-free environment or creating useless paperwork mountains. We think poor risk management hampers business and constrains people's freedom.

"We are pretty fed up with the way in which the good work that the Health and Safety Executive's staff do is overshadowed by trivial, petty and wrong stories about us banning conkers or forcing trapeze artists to wear hard hats."

He said many of the bad decisions were made by people within an organisation who were given responsibility for health and safety, but had no training about sensible precautions.

Whenever I have dealt with HSE or RoSPA inspectors they have always been sensible and level headed - it is the self appointed "experts" who are the pain. I was told last week in all seriousness that it was "illegal" to have a tree nearer than 30 feet to a house because of "Health and Safety", when I said "bollocks" there was a pained look of hurt that anyone should insult the sacred god of H&S (PBUH)...


The Health and Safety compensation culture has arisen out of fear, and the decline in care about other people.
Fear - that an activity that goes wrong may lead to a lawsuit,
decline in care - teachers are less willing to run trips out of school hours and there are much less groups that organise activities, as we as a Nation seem to slide into antipathy as we sit in front of our telly screens, moaning about everything.

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