This one really carries on from the below piece on the absurdity of a woman’s claims, following her encounter with a Mr D Duck – this time, the insanity is Health And Safety.
Apparently, a teacher in Wales has just been found guilty of a number of charges relating to his allowing two pupils to ride a SLEDGE. He barely managed to hang on to his JOB.
It seems he brought the Scandinavian high-tech sledge to school as part of a course on design and technology. But then it all went horribly WRONG.
He allowed them to RIDE the thing without “risk-assessing the activity – in writing” and with no “protective masks” (protection from WHAT?) or “protective headgear, knee or elbow pads” and so on and so on – nine charges in all – of which he was found guilty of four.
In My Day (the SIXTIES) we were allowed to turn a Morris Eight into a HOT-ROD and DRIVE it around the school FIELD, unsupervised. In fact, we took one of the teachers for a spin and he fell OFF (we forgot to tell him the passenger seat wasn’t secured). I rode it with my feet straddling the rear chassis, while holding on to the front seat-backs. I also drove the thing for a couple of laps. We were all fifteen and had never driven anything more than bicycles. Happy days.
But years later in the Eighties, when I visited the same teacher, he told me he had QUIT teaching and gone back into industry. Why? Health And Safety.
He was the Head of Engineering – and as such, taught “metalwork”. Now I studied this subject for four years and worked with assorted power tools, a FORGE and several LATHES.
When I first entered the Engineering Department, aged twelve, it occurred that this could be a dangerous place. And indeed it was. We were working with heavy machinery and red-hot metals.
However, during the next four years, neither I nor my classmates received so much as a SCRATCH.
Yet as early as the late Seventies, he told me that Health And Safety was making his job IMPOSSIBLE. And he pointed out that the new “molly-coddling” regulations would ensure future students would be sent out into the industrial workplace – completely UNPREPARED for the dangers that existed there.
Out here in Thailand, Health And Safety is just beginning to bite – but dangers are still all around. People ride comedy step-through motorbikes with little kids balanced on the TANK.
As for electrics (my speciality) – only recently have they begun fitting circuit breakers and EARTHS to houses. Mine was built in the mid-Nineties and features ONE FUSE for the WHOLE HOUSE. Not to protect ME – but to protect the rest of the street FROM me. All wiring is SURFACE (without conduit) – and the only earths are the ones I PUT IN.
And while in Britain, a full ashtray will get you an MOT fail – here, if the vehicle makes it into the MOT station under its own power…
HOWEVER – despite being surrounded by dangers, the Thais have fewer accidents than people back in Blighty. Why? Because, being AWARE of the dangers – THEY TAKE CARE.
All Mr Health And Safety manages to achieve, is to create a nation of people who are so cosseted – they float through life unaware they live in a DANGEROUS WORLD. And when shit happens – as it always does – they are totally unable to DEAL with it.