Barb's Wire: OTT health and safety
Cheltenham councillor Barbara Driver's weekly column:
WHEN Health and Safety was introduced in the workplace, it was surly overdue and needed. It is also good for those in authority to make sure the public and their workforce are not in undue danger, but have we overdone it I wonder?
It is not helped by the constant advertisements on the TV for people to claim compensation for all manner of things. This has resulted with many an organisation, public and private, going OTT about Health and Safety. Perhaps we should also advertise how you need to take a little personal responsibility sometimes in a situation.
The insurance companies have had to increase their fees because of a huge increase in claims, so all who have insurance, both private and public, are picking up the bill.
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Some schools have banned playing conkers as children might get hurt. Others say they can only play if they wear protective glasses. Protecting children while in school and at play is most essential but let them be children at the same time. Planting bulbs under trees, which used to happen, does not anymore as the person putting them in might hit a tree root and damage their wrists.
When I offered to help to get rid of the dead plants at the Municipal Offices, which had been there for some time, I was not allowed to because of Health and Safety. All I was going to do is open the windows and remove the dead plants from the window boxes.
At least no one tried to stop me from helping a gentleman last week in case I hurt myself. At the Cenotaph, while honouring our servicemen and women, I helped a gentleman who was there to remember the fallen that he had fought beside in the Second World War.
This gentleman was a prisoner of war with the Japanese. He wore his medals with pride and told me about comrades, one of who is named on the memorial. Now disabled, registered blind and in his 90s, he was determined to be there to show his respect.
He needed help because his wheelchair had been stolen from outside Morrison's. How low can someone get?
I trust the new police commissioner will make sure the police can get on with their job of catching criminals and protecting the public instead of having to do so much paperwork.