Health and Safety

Last Friday I attended an open day at the wonderful Chestnut Tree children's hospice near Angmering.

I've written before about the fantastic work which our hospices do.

But as we arrived for the opening of a new garden, we were each handed an orange leaflet on "health and safety" warning us, for instance, to "take care when walking on grassy areas for moleholes or uneven ground".

Do we really need to be warned about dangerous molehills?  I certainly don't blame the excellent St Barnabas management for having to publish this pointless rubbish.  I blame a culture of barmy political correctness, combined with firms who constantly urge people to sue for damages in the event of some mishap.

A couple of weeks ago I attended the opening event of the Hurstpierpoint Festival, where the organisers told me of the obstacles they had faced from health and safety over putting a banner across the street.

Recently the village where I was brought up, Hatfield Broad Oak, had the same problem with bunting for their festival.  They've been hanging the decorations without incident for over a century.  This year some pettifogging official handed them six A4 sheets of paper with impossible conditions to fulfill.

In his Party Conference speech this week, David Cameron spoke out against this culture of health and safety and human rights which has trampled over common sense values.

How can it be right that a police officer can only pursue an armed criminal once they have completed a risk assessment form?  And why must a teacher call a first aid officer before they apply a plaster on a child's grazed knee?

In my own Conference speech I recounted a recent incident where a prisoner had tried to sue the governor for breach of human rights because his toilet was blocked.

As far as I'm concerned, this was just one more example of why the Human Rights Act has to go.

Michelle Taylor