Health and safety is no laughing matter | Letters

Health and safety is no laughing matter | Letters
Chris Bazlinton on why jokes about ‘elf and safety’ are beyond the pale; Jim Hooker on council spending cuts; Enid Gauldie on an 1840 plea for housing regulation; Pete Dorey on public-sector red tape; Chris Parr on simpler tax laws

Steven Poole rightly points out the dangers of deregulation, and how new rules are so often only introduced following disasters (The deregulation game, G2, 21 June). This is a very real and poignant matter for me, given the deaths of my daughter and her friend on a level crossing in December 2005. After years of lobbying about the dangers – and Network Rail’s (and its predecessors’) failures to act on them – change took place and a major programme began to improve safety at crossings.

Poole points out that “the very phrase ‘health and safety’ has become a joke”. People roll their eyes and shrug and the jokey “elf and safety” has become part of the language. It has enabled those with power in government and the private sector to cut corners and get away with it, on the basis that extra rules will not go down well.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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