Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Wealth and Safety

One of my pet gripes is Health and Safety. And I don't mean the serious, life threatening stuff, clearly there are reasons for having fire exits in buildings, escape shoots in planes and the exclusion of firearms from the general public (unless you are reading this in the US, in which case you are probably operating the mouse with the end of a shotgun). No, I mean the inane minutiae that drives Health and Safety ‘officers’ to patrol the offices of a workplace like the proverbial Eastwood stalking his prey in the dusty, midday sun-strewn street. Their prey, in this instance, being the empty cardboard boxes hidden behind a desk, the piles of books not correctly placed vertically on the shelving and, the Hannibal Lector of Health and Safety, unapproved scissors. I shuddered as I wrote that last bit, cowering at the thought of those scything blades, those non-plastic coated handles. Millions could die. Can somebody tell me, why they exist? To me they are the widgets of this world; they apparently do something useful, but is there a need to pay extra money for one when they don’t seem to improve anything?

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