“Back in Britain, the Mail on Sunday ran an interesting feature this weekend about a different example of what certainly sounded like a health and safety overreaction. It told the tale of a man who drowned in a shallow boating pond in his local park, after suffering an epileptic seizure while feeding swans. A passer-by (a woman who was in charge of a small child so did not dare enter the pond) called the emergency services. But the first firemen to show up announced that they only had Level One training, for ankle-deep water, and needed to wait for a specialist team with Level Two training for chest-deep water. By the time that team arrived, the man had been floating in the pond for 37 minutes. While waiting for that specialist help, the same firemen also strongly urged a policeman not to attempt a rescue in the pond, even refusing to lend the policeman a life-vest. Then the policeman’s control room told him not to enter the water, as the victim had been in the pond so long that it was a body retrieval mission, not a rescue.”
Writes a columnist in The Economist.
Then there is this:
“It is tempting to conclude that Britain has fallen into a serious problem with regulation, red tape and crippling risk-aversion.”
You think so? In fairness, the column is pretty good and it even goes on to wonder whether there is something seriously wrong with the UK national character. I tend to be a bit wary about such broad generalisations, though.