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Restore the concept of an accident

Comment 18th August 2010

Accidents happen! Someone does not have to be guilty of letting them do so.

People should be allowed to take risks if they wish and no one else need neccessarily be responsible.

Self reliance and a sense of responsibility should be taught in school. Legislation should take account of that fact.

Health and safety legislation in particular should be reviewed to ensure that a reasonable balance is restored and that ludicrous claims for injury by spilling hot coffee or the like cannot be made in future. School trips should be able to be made without fear that if anything at all goes wrong there will be so much aggravation that the teachers and helpers have a strong disincentive to support the venture.

You should not need to have insurance which cannot be afforded to run a school fete or a cheese rolling event.

Why does this matter?

The pendulum has swung far too far towards trying to wrap us all in cotton wool. Absolute safety is an unrealistic goal and we are paying a high price, in increased insurance premia and loss of opportunity to engage in a range of acitivties, for the efforts made so far to get there!

The young should be brought up to realise that life has risks and they need to behave responsibly to minmise them, ie it's not up to someone else to stop them from hurting themselves. That way, they are likely to be much better prepared for life as adults, and less likely as adults to become the cause of litigation over accidents.

When there has been what appears to be an accident, the police should consider the circumstances very carefully before arresting people. There seems to be a knee-jerk reaction at present, as a consequence of which there is frequently an almost automatic arrest without this neccessarily leading to the best possible outcome for those most closely affected.


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