We have all, over the years, read tales of unacceptable “risk management” from cowards using the recommendations of the Health and Safety Executive. And gradually, the nonsense of “Elfin Safety” has migrated from the shield of the coward into the ranks of the managerial culture that now rules Britain. And like most cultural norms, they have now become inviolate. Much like free speech is no longer any such thing thanks to professional offence takers, now health and safety takes precedence over human decency, courage and common sense:
An injured woman lay for six hours at the foot of a disused mine shaft because safety rules banned firefighters from rescuing her, an inquiry heard yesterday. As Alison Hume was brought to the surface by mountain rescuers she died of a heart attack.
A senior fire officer at the scene admitted that crews could only listen to her cries for help, after she fell down the 60ft shaft, because regulations said their lifting equipment could not be used on the public. A memo had been circulated in Strathclyde Fire and Rescue stations months previously stating that it was for use by firefighters only.
Ah, the delights of a memo from head office. I’m sure that the manager or managerialist who pompously issued that decree was smugly pleased as he issued this decree, as he was about to save the fire service from being sued needlessly. I wonder whether he still feels so smug, knowing that his action has left a woman dead?
Not only did he prevent the firemen from bringing her up, but he also prevented a paramedic from going down to treat her. For six hours, she lay in the dark, while pettifogging bureaucracy kept a team of trained professionals from saving her. Still, it’s probably all for the best.
Can’t risk anyone getting hurt, now can we?