“Safety” Running Amuck!!

These days the UK is starting to become more and more a place I will never wish to venture near. And I still have family there also. I visited once, but I’m not going to consider it again now.

I’m not sure what is going on there, but I personally plan on avoiding the place for fear of catching whatever it is that is infecting the brains of many people there (those making and enforcing the stupidity; and those quietly submitting to it like passive sheep).

I came across two stories this week that show just how well all the fear mongering seems to be working.

The first is so ridiculous as to make you wonder if it isn’t some kind of joke:

‘Ridiculous’ health and safety rules tell carpenters to ban the broom

Carpenters and woodworkers have been told not to use brooms to sweep up sawdust because they are considered dangerous under “ridiculous” new health and safety guidelines.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) claims that sweeping up wood chippings in dusty workplaces can provoke asthma attacks and long term exposure lead to nose cancer.

Instead they are advising carpentry firms to buy state-of-the-art vacuum cleaners and air purification systems which can cost thousands of pounds.

Small companies say they cannot afford the equipment but are repeatedly nagged to upgrade during safety checks.

Sherry Coles, who deals with health and safety for Shapet Joinery in Bristol, said the firm has been using brooms for 25 years without incident.

She said: “Brooms are a quick and easy way of cleaning up and we’ve been using them for 25 years now without any problems.

~snip~The boss of a joinery firm in Tayside, Scotland – who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of more health and safety checks – said: “I’ve been using a broom since Jesus’s old man was a carpenter.

“This advice it totally off the wall. Industrial vacuum cleaners are expensive and they aren’t nearly as good as an apprentice armed with a stiff-bristled brush.”

Read the FULL STORY here.

I must admit, this is the first time I’ve heard about dust causing cancer. While dust isn’t the most pleasant thing, you have wonder why we all don’t have asthma then. And how have asthmatics managed to survive all these years with all the dust around?

Then there’s the part of me that wonders why someone with such severe asthma that a job like this would trigger an attack, would actually willingly take the job? When did we suddenly decide that adults are incapable of such basic personal responsibility that they shouldn’t have to make such a decision? I mean people make decisions for all kinds of risks on a daily basis just crossing a street, driving a car, stepping into a bath-tub. The air pollution alone in most of the world is enough to aggravate asthma, so do we abolish all pollution so the asthmatic doesn’t have to do anything?

I’m not trying to put down asthmatics, but should a small business owner who does okey but has no great profit really have to invest in some super-duper vacuum cleaner just in case the next applicant for a job is asthmatic, when a broom does the job just as well?

Maybe my feeling that this is pathetic comes from the fact that I’m really getting sick and tired of all the tip-toeing and changes I have to make in my life to “protect” another group of people. At what point am I allowed to actually live my life? I am quite fortunate that I am so very healthy (smoking and all no less), and I know that. I feel for people who aren’t healthy, and while I’m all for being considerate and courteous and making concessions………….it seems to be lately that those who aren’t as healthy are no longer required to do what it takes to live in this world, but rather control-freaks are demanding the world change to accommodate them.

Are sick people truly the majority today? You have to wonder why. Since I’m not part of them, I can only attribute my good health to all the new UNhealthy lifestyle choices I make (coffee, salt, fats, smoking). I’ll keep doing what I do thank you, it obviously keeps me healthy.

This second story I’m actually not surprised to see, given the horror stories we hear and read daily. However, this serves to show just how bad things can/will get when you throw common sense out the window and allow fear to rule your life.

Father-of-three branded a ‘pervert’ – for photographing his own children in public park

By David Wilkes
Last updated at 1:46 AM on 16th July 2008

When Gary Crutchley started taking pictures of his children playing on an inflatable slide he thought they would be happy reminders of a family day out.

But the innocent snaps of seven-year-old Cory, and Miles, five, led to him being called a ‘pervert’.

The woman running the slide at Wolverhampton Show asked him what he was doing and other families waiting in the queue demanded that he stop.

Gary Crutchley pic of sons Cory and Miles

Picture of innocence: The photograph Gary Crutchley took of his sons Cory and Miles

One even accused him of photographing youngsters to put the pictures on the internet.

Mr Crutchley, 39, who had taken pictures only of his own children, was so enraged that he found two policemen who confirmed he had done nothing wrong.

Yesterday he said: ‘What is the world coming to when anybody seen with a camera is assumed to be doing things that they should not?

‘This parental paranoia is getting completely out of hand. I was so shocked. One of the police officers told me that it was just the way society is these days. He agreed with me that it was madness.’

Father-of-three Mr Crutchley, a consultant for a rubber manufacturer from Walsall, West Midlands, was with his wife Tracey and their sons when the pleasant Sunday afternoon out turned sour.

He said: ‘The children wanted to go on an inflatable slide and I started taking photos of them having a good time. Moments later the woman running the slide told me to stop.


Gary and Tracey Crutchley with Cory, left, and Miles

All together now, smile: Gary and Tracey with Cory, left, and Miles

Read the FULL STORY here.

How many of you parents out there have taken pictures of your kids while out somewhere? Did you ever think about IF other kids were being captured in the background? Did you ever worry if someone might think you are some kind of pervert or out to harm other children?

What’s really sad is the fact that I’ve actually been waiting to see just this kind of story, as I KNEW it was going to happen. I knew that “keep the children safe“, “protect our children“, “save the children“, “for the children” battle cries were going to go to the extreme and start labeling parents perverts. I knew one day that some poor innocent father out with his kids (though I hadn’t considered mom being there too as in this case which makes it more pathetic) would have someone screaming “pervert” in his face from some such innocent thing as taking his toddler to the bathroom, or taking a picture.

I think those mothers (and fathers too) who are so afraid that every other person on the street is out to harm their child, should keep themselves and their children home inside a bubble, where no one can ever harm them, instead of assuming an innocent father is a pedophile for playing with his kids in a public place with other children, or for wanting to capture the picture of his kids having fun.

Those so terrified that every man at the park is a pedophile should stay home, innocent people should not be forced into feeling bad for being normal parents. Innocent people should NOT be assumed to be guilty until proven innocent just because there are some real twisted perverts (and a small minority no less) out there.

Hope they never find out about the bathtub picture I have of my son and nephew when they were in the tub together at ages 6 and 3 respectively. Ssssshhhh.

God/Goddess but I miss the world I grew up in.

~ by swfreedomlover on July 25, 2008.

4 Responses to ““Safety” Running Amuck!!”

  1. “God/Goddess but I miss the world I grew up in.”

    Other than this part, I find little to disagree with here. But I’ve come to realize that progress moves very slowly. Surely, you don’t miss the days when gays had to stay in the closet for fear of being assaulted? When there were no female or minority CEOs?

    But as a photographer myself, I find the idea ludicrous that you aren’t allowed to take pictures of YOUR OWN CHILDREN playing in a park? At least you can take solace in knowing that this isn’t brand new; frequently, discussions on photographers’ sites discuss being accosted by police while taking pictures because of the suspicion that there may be children involved. You’ll be glad to know that the law in the United States still holds that anything you can see in plain sight is legal to photograph. Even if you’re taking pictures of some stranger’s kids at the park. (It may be creepy, but it’s still legal.)

    To bring this full circle, I’d like to ask what kind of world you would like to go back to. In 1928, the US hardly stopped to think about pedophiles, which is how Albert Fish managed to kidnap 10-year-old Grace Budd: she went willingly, and with her parents’ permission, even though he was a creepy old man they barely knew. While hypervigilance is bad, so is ignoring a problem. I won’t go so far as to say I’m willing to sacrifice either safety OR freedom, I just want to balance one or the other.

    Oh, and I laugh at the delicious irony of the comment “He might be taking the pictures to put them on the internet!” Well, genius, you were right. They’re on the internet now.

  2. Watcher, I love your blog, but sometimes I wonder if you aren’t just a tad bit anal retentive…….hehehehehe

    I was about to say the world I grew up in was easier and more free. As I started it, I actually heard YOUR retort to that…….LOL I miss the freedom *I* felt growing up. I miss how kids were allowed to be kids.

    Of course I don’t want to go back to any particular time. Every era has its horrors, wrongs, skeletons. Call it a nostalgic moment if you want. But I remember my childhood, I remember being out all day long playing. I also remember mom telling us to be careful and not to talk to or go off with strangers. But we were free to be kids. Mom and dad didn’t have to worry about someone thinking they were perverts for taking a picture of their kids in the park.

    So my comment about missing the world I grew up in, was not about wishing to go back to any particular time, it was about missing the feelings *I* remember from my childhood.

    I’ll add you to the list for the memo I send out first, next time, ok? ROLFMAO Thanks for the chuckle you gave me.

    Bottom line, I just want balance, period. Things are out of control right now, and the UK seems to be going full speed ahead to a near totalitarian state with the surveillance and laws they have and more cropping up daily. It’s frightening because it WILL happen here too. The masses are brainwashed.

    So, please forgive me for waxing nostalgia for a moment.

  3. If a parent can’t photograph their own fully-clothed child having a fun time doing childish things, something is *wrong*.

    And who pushed for the anti-broom rule–vacuum and filter companies? There is no other sensible explanation.

    Anyway, I came because I saw this tonight, and thought about, among others, your blog.

  4. Great blog> I like people who are able to provoke a response out of people. It is so easy to have a selective memory when remebering our own childhoods; to view the past through rose-tinted glasses. I think the main difference is that we, when young, were innocent. We were innocent because we were ignorant. We were ignorant because we did not live in a world with ready access to information. I would challenge that there are no more pedophiles around today than there were 30 years ago but we are just nmore aware that they are there. Before the internet I am sure they were hanging around parks, schools, etc. taking photos. Now they can access all of this without leaving their home. But, I agree, there is something wrong if you cannot take a photo or video of your own kids having fun.

    On the subject of HSSE, I also think that legislation goes overboard. Health and safety people seem to have a “can’t do” attitude rather than a “do safely” one. That said, one of my first jobs involved stripping asbestos from a factory with my bear hands while standing on a ladder. I did have one of those masks that people wear when doing DIY. My uncle, who worked in that factory, later died of asbestosis. He may well have wished that they had more than a brush or too with which to sweep the dust up.

    You might enjoy this:


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