« Michael Bentley: The market cannot provide the cultural values we need to flourish | Main | Roger Scruton on Lord Rennard, Cardinal O'Brien and Inappropriate Behaviour »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

John Smith

The HSE, EU Directives & risk assessment never saved a life, or prevented injury.
Its peoples behaviour that makes the difference. . .


Health and Safety is our own direct consequence. We, the civil society, tend to see any accident as accountable and an opportunity for personal gain.

The legal industry, naturally, sees commercial opportunity in exploiting this potential and the insurance industry, naturally, responds. Therefore, we have Health and Safety, as a defence mechanism.

It is our own fault, not the state imposing limitation to satisfy jobsworths. We like the payouts for spurious accountability but then whinge about the means necessary to limit our own greed.


Its worse than that - health and safety can actually be counter productive. It works in inherently dangerous places like factories and building sites by systemising safety and reducing risk. But outside in society, where most accidents are caused by idiotic or criminal behaviour, it has the effect of reducing people's ability to think or make judgements for themselves and to take responsibility. Two excellent examples are the obsession with speed limits in road safety and the use of sell by dates on food. Both of these things are useful tools when used properly, but to slavishly adhere to them renders people incapable of judging what speed is safe to travel at or what food is safe to eat. Society is diminished when people cannot think for themselves. And, of course, the bureaucrats will always respond to incidents by cutting the speed limit and shortening the sell by date to the point where these things bear no relation to reality and cease to be useful guides to intelligent people. A classic example of this is the horsemeat scandal. Our farmers and meat industry are subject to massive regulation overkill brought in at the time of BSE but now largely irrelevant. If you cook the blasted meat properly its fine, you kill the bugs. This adds to costs whilst being seen as pointless, and creates the temptation and incentive to circumvent the process on a massive scale. Nobody has got ill, let alone died, from eating Findus Lasagne or Tesco Burgers & Bolognese, yet everyone is up in arms in horror. Heath and safety gone mad.

Ken Stevens

People need to learn a little danger progressively while growing up, so as not to be oblivious to risk because "someone else" will ensure their safety - and can readily be sued if they don't.

A particular example that comes to mind is the occasional report of someone on a seafront to ogle a storm close-up and getting swept away by a "freak" wave. No, just a wave in a storm.


A system of appealing on the grounds of reasonableness to a lay jury needs to be introduced and the individual officer,not their employing council,subject to costs if it is found the decision was not reasonable.

Rupert Butler

The logic of "Big Society", now apparently defunct, leads (as I posted when there was a hope of an incoming Conservative government) to the reduction of enforceable rules to a condition of being only guidance or "best practice".

That is how assessing @James102's reasonableness can be done reasonably - in a civil court if necessary rather than in a criminal court, better by arbitration and better still by local agreement.

The new parliament of 2010 could have legislated to make all statutory legislation (with a few exceptions) advisory, thus at a stroke reasserting parliament's supremacy over the bureaucracy and reducing the burden of the state on the rest of us.

Roger Scruton is right to challenge the H & S culture as he does, but many agencies other than the HSA have the power to muck up our lives for the fun and profit of the officials who run them.

Simon Jones

If you employ thousands of obscenely paid bureaucrats as Cameron does then you should expect them to make a nuisance of themselves, not only on health and safety issues, but pretty well anything you can think of. Get rid of them and you eradicate the problem. It's not going to happen under Cameron. As Andrew Neill commented last week, "The Appointments section of the Sunday Times is full of highly paid public sector appointments with hardly a private sector vacancy to be seen.". Until that changes nothing else will. It's exactly the same as under Labour.

adrian clarke

It is all a part of the big brother state, where an individual no longer has to bother with his own initiative,for the State will tell him what to do.Part of the controlling Socialist dream,where risk is removed and the lowest common denominator becomes the norm.A dunbing down of society where individual identity is removed on the basis of equality.Like mindless zombies living in a world of "legislated "equality".Have the Tories in coalition undone this insidious creepin state intervention.No.They add to it.The latest SSM, where an equality of differnce is imposed by legislation.
Again it is time for complete change before it is too late

Paul Harris

Don’t forget simple entertainment either. This actually worries me far more, believe it or not. In the old days people used to put on events and others would go to them. They made money out of it, and putting on an event would also mean it would provide business for a whole host of other small traders providing things like food and drink. Then people used to need to get to them, so industries that feed off that like your local garages would benefit. It’s the spark that triggers off a whole chain of economic activity, and people get much satisfaction out of meeting like-minded people.

This is why back then the economy was successful. When you have things you enjoy to spend your money on then it creates a demand and a drive in you to work hard during the week and enjoy yourself at weekends and when on holiday. We did this so much that we hardly considered a world without it, but now the few events that are on are spottable, not by the advertising; I know if an event is on in my town because of the number of fluorescent yellow coats milling around. That tells me all I need to know. It will cost and arm and a leg to get in and when in I will be paying for jobsworths to tell me what I can’t do. I know I won’t enjoy it. Anything that has stood up to the economic attack on the entertainment business is tacky rubbish that works by conning people.

Mohammed Amin

I have no wish to defend every idiotic health and safety ruling.

However I fundamentally disagree with Roger Scruton's proposition. The emphasis on health and safety saves lives and prevents injuries. I have no wish to return to the situation that prevailed a few decades ago.


"That, in brief, is why the private schools in this country are succeeding in their education task, while the state schools are failing."

No, the reason for this is that private schools largely select by ability and spend more money per pupil than state schools. More able pupils and smaller classes are always going to result in better results.

I gave up on the article after that.

Jonathan Pile

What Roger Scruton fails to realise is that Conservatives helped to found the health and safety culture at the start of the 20th century and were part of the coalition of business owners and innovators who saw that safety made good business sense, after all dead workers make no profit. Stanley Baldwin understood this and even appealed to the voters in 1929 on the slogan "safety first". If only Conservatives and their Banker friends(backers) understood the difference between avoiding stupid gambles and prudent (calculated) risk.

1929 - The Year the Conservatives loved Health and Safety

The Conservative Party has not always hated Health and Safety. David Cameron may have a personal bee in his bonnet about the “Elf’ n Safety Monster”, I hear up until this month he even refused to photographed wearing a hard hat (even at a world leading UK factory which exports them) but the Conservative Party once saw Health and Safety at the heart of their drive to improve national efficiency and win the First World War.
David Cameron dons his first Hard Hat

In 1916 appalling cost the war effort from Road Casualties and Factory injuries (3,748 people killed in factories and nearly 500,000 serious injuries in 1913) led to Conservative Politician William “Jix” Joynson-Hicks and prominent Conservative Railway Head Herbert Blain to set up The British Industrial Safety First Association. The Message “Safety First” became a watchword for reducing loss and increasing wartime efficiency and actually helped to increase production and win the war. In 1923 BIFWA gained a Royal Patron in the person of the Duke of York the “Industrial Prince” , later King George VI who took an active interest in improving workplace, social conditions and relations between workers and management through the Industrial Welfare Society.

BIFWA helped to improve Road Safety, Jix became Home Secretary in 1924 and Blain Chief Party Agent in charge of Elections. The Conservative Government saw improvements in Road Safety measures and in 1929 even ran on the Slogan “Safety First”. In 1941 BIFWA was granted a Royal Charter and became the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA), whilst in 1945 the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) was also granted a Royal Charter.

Perhaps the clue about why the Conservatives fell out of love with Health and Safety comes from the fact that on the 2 occasions they appropriated “Safety First” and fought 2 elections taking it as an election slogan in 1922 and 1929. They lost both elections, whilst Stanley Baldwin was taken with the pledge, Winston Churchill questioned the choice of the slogan after the defeat which as a political slogan did not inspire.

Nevertheless the Safety First Campaign was a dramatic success and has seen road casualties and workplace casualties drop twenty-fold since 1916 until a rise in Road and Work deaths an extra 75 deaths (ROAD: an additional 5 children, 46 adults & WORK an extra 8 self employed and 16 employees) in the first years of the Cameron led Conservative Coalition. (Road Deaths Rose by 3% 2010/11 and Child Road Deaths by 9% 2010/11, and a 15% rise in Employee Deaths & 18% rise in Self-employed deaths 2010/11 – Source ROSPA/HSE)

What would Jix and Herbert Blain thought?

mri coil repair and service

I had a MRI done of my brain and was called immediately after because the radiologist felt that I needed a CT scan due to possible artifact. I had a CT scan done the same day and according to the CT scan I could either have infection, inflammation,or possibly an artifact. I don't have any implants whatsoever or metal in my body anywhere. Should I be worried?


Spot on with this write-up, I genuinely think this internet site requirements far more consideration. I'll quite possibly be once more to read far more, thanks for that info.

[URL=http://www.newestchristianlouboutin.com]red bottom shoes[/URL]


I was particularly pleased to discover this web-site.I wanted to thanks for your time for this marvelous read!! I surely enjoying each and every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to have a look at new stuff you weblog post.

[URL=http://www.newerahatscheaps.com]new era caps[/URL]


buy tramadol tramadol 50 mg is it a narcotic - buy tramadol no prescription uk

コーチ 2WAYショルダーバッグ

Avoid Protesting And Start your own men Program Preferably

プラダ サングラス

Reason why not a single person is raving about watch and precisely what one should can do as we speak.


Meraviglioso, questa è una cosa divertente
dragonEn bb4arg48


E dove il vostro logica?
taajuddeenEn bb4arg48


bag In time got You Straight down? Our Company Has What You Need


Might be possible You Also Make These Goof ups With the bag !


AMzYjuJO http://www.9RC0u0A5a939innpNTm4T6.com/

シャネル キャビアスキン

Innovative new men Ebook Presents Easy Methods To Rule The men Marketplace

authentic hermes outlet

thjnmtp Roger Scruton: The Health and Safety culture is killing volunteeering and the benefits of risk - ConservativeHome | Thinkers' Corner nwllhaynaqh

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad