Health and safety sometimes gets a bad name with many having the impression that their lives are run by unnecessary health and safety rules. They believe businesses are forced to spend extra money to meet regulations and there are things they are not allowed to do for fear of their safety. Some complain there is a whole host of things they are therefore not allowed to do due to a slight danger of it being unsafe. Reports of things such as children not being allowed to play conkers or play outside when it is wet do not help. Is this a fair reflection of health and safely? In many cases it is not, with the industry not being as strict as is believed to be the case. |
You might be thinking there are times when you are prevented from doing things because of overzealous health and safety concerns. This is often the case, but it is not because of over-the-top regulations; it is more often the case that those who are not qualified in health and safety are afraid of allowing certain things because they could be held responsible should things go wrong, or at least they believe they could be. This has led to many perfectly reasonable activities being banned. It is not health and safety professionals that are the problem, but rather those who aren't qualified making the decisions and therefore banning people from doing perfectly legitimate things.
Health and safety is necessary; there are many situations in our everyday lives that are genuinely dangerous and people need to be protected. Regulations are there for a reason: to keep people safe. There are times when caution is needed during certain activities, such as helmets being worn on building sites. There are also certain things that are banned but for good reason. Some activities are genuinely dangerous and people should be prevented from doing them for the sake of their own safety. There are also occasions when testing is requires, for example businesses should carry out PAT Testing to make sure it is safe for employees and customers to use their appliances.
Health and safety is very important in many situations in our lives. The world would be a much more dangerous place if it didn't exist and thousands of lives have been saved due to important health and safety rules. Cars are a great example of this. Think of how many lives have been saved simply due to seat belts being compulsory, something many people mocked when they first came in. There are countless other examples of advancements in safety and rules and regulations that have preventing serious injury.
There is no doubt that there are times when health and safety is over the top, but these tend to get into the news more than times when safety regulations save people's lives. In reality where common sense is used there is rarely a problem. The issues come when those who are not sufficiently qualified make decisions because they misunderstand the reality or are overly cautious.
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