green_man_2010 (green_man_2010) wrote in talk_politics,

A Risk Assessment.

Ok, I am a union man, not just a union member, but someone who was once trained as a Health and Safety Officer. It was my job to kep an eye on things. I was trained to carry out risk assessments then follow through on implementing safguards - everything from routine inspections to showing people the safe way to do the job - everything from lifting and carrying heavy loads to storing corrosive chemicals. COSHH regulations, Fire regulations, food hygiene regulations - this was the stuff I had to learn, and know and work with.

All in all, I believe that regulations in industry are neccessary. They make life safer for everyone. When you let industry regulate itself, you get stuff like the BP oil spill happening.
But it seems to me that lately, in Britain at least, the regulations have been made by people who don't see to have a clue.

Take the two stories in the link - first, we have a council that says that parents are dangerous to children, and that therefore, parents are not allowed into a childrens play area.
That's right. The council will employ people who have had a CRB check to supervise your kids, but unless you are cleared by the Criminal Records Bureau, well you are not safe, madam. No, sir, you cannot come in with your child, you may be a peadophile who is a threat to other people's kids.

Say what? Seriously, I have been trained to do risk assessments. I know how risks are to be evaluated, and how controls of various kinds are implemented across a wide range of industrial and commercial activities - but i don't think most people here need my expertise to point out that keeping parents away from their kids at playtime is wrong headed.

Going into the link, you will find a link to another story about playing conkers.
Maybe I need to explain that 'conkers' is a game that children play in England. In the Autumn, the chestnut trees shed their nuts, called 'conkers'. However, horse chestnuts are inedible. Even so, little boys (and even little girls these days) will have fun with them. You simply use a gimlet to bore a hole through it and put your conker on a string. Then, you can challenge your mates at school to a conker fight. You take turns in having a swing at each others conker until one of them shatters - simple!

This is a game that has been played by kids all over England for generations. Just recently, though, one school in England has insisted that kids must wear safety goggles if they are going to play conkers. The Health and Safety Executive has even been forced to put out a poster and declare officially that they are not the reason behind the ruling - no, it is simply that one head teacher has decided that the game is just too dangerous to play without eye protection, and other schools are falling into line like sheep.

Can we have a proper risk assessment carried out, please?
I don't think that we can trust these people making official pronouncements any more. I don't see how children are being safeguarded by being separated from their own parents or anyone else's in favour of council employees instead. I don't see any real and terrible risk of eye injury that may be sustained while playing conkers.

Has the world changed that much since I grew up in it that we now have to keep mothers away from their own children, or is this simply officialdom gone mad?
your thoughs please...
Tags: children rights, uk
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