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Elf 'n' Safety gone mad???

(48 Posts)
mrsmopp Sat 29-Dec-12 13:55:04

Just visited a local charity shop for some knitting needles. (I knit for charity.)
"Not allowed to sell 'em" I was told.
"Why not?" I said.
"Elf 'n' safety" was the reply.
Two doors down the street, another charity shop brought out a bucketful for me to choose from.
Clearly the second shop has no idea they are selling highly dangerous objects and breaking all sorts of laws.
Should they be reported to the relevant authorities so that some jobsworth can come and tell them off ??? **!!!

Riverwalk Sat 29-Dec-12 14:02:38

I suspect that this is another Urban Myth 'gone mad' !

The Health & Safety Executive must be tearing its hair out sad

Someone at the charity shop has heard a rumour and, before you know it, knitting needles are banned.

kittylester Sat 29-Dec-12 14:05:15

There was an item before Christmas (on Breakfast, I think) about a committee that will look into silly 'Elf and Safety Guidelines. Not sure what the procedure is but someone who does should be along in a while. smile

Granny23 Sat 29-Dec-12 14:19:19

We had a bric-a-brac stall at a local fete, where one of the items donated for sale was a large canteen of fish forks and knives. A pestilential 'jobs worth' from our organisation appeared and went balistic, insisting that we would all be charged with selling offensive weapons. The village Bobby was patrolling around in a friendly manner and was duly summoned by the JW to take the offending item into custody. Poor polis spent the rest of the day carting the canteen about under his arm as apparantly he was not allowed to either desert his post nor leave the dangerous weapons locked in his van. grin

Nelliemoser Sat 29-Dec-12 14:31:25

I have had some very good deals on knitting needles from charity shops. Not all stock them, but both shops I know of keep them "behind the counter" and produce them on request.
I blame the "Blame Culture" and injury lawyers.

JessM Sat 29-Dec-12 14:54:47

And the D Mail and other media love to perpetrate these stories.
I have no great hopes of government promises to 'cut red tape' etc.
The laws and regulations have all been put in place for perfectly sensible reasons - to prevent industrial accidents, to limit the sale of solvents to teenagers and children etc. People do die still in industrial accidents and children were dying of solvent inhalation.
The problem comes, as you say, when people get over enthusiastic about where to draw the line in the real world.
When was the last time someone was stabbed to death by a grandmother wielding a knitting needle?

annodomini Sat 29-Dec-12 15:14:04

Don't give me ideas, Jess. grin

mrsmopp Sat 29-Dec-12 15:22:24

Where does it all end? Skipping ropes are dangerous as you could strangle someone with one and conkers have been banned, but skateboards whiz past me on the pavement nearly knocking me over.
A sense of proportion is needed.

kittylester Sat 29-Dec-12 15:22:35

Or one of those extremely sharp fish forks! grin

granjura Sat 29-Dec-12 15:35:37

One of the reasons I love living where we are now - where silly elf and safety hasn't reached yet. Kids still play in the street, go to school and go and play in the woods on their own - wonderful.

nanaej Sat 29-Dec-12 16:00:19

Most of Elf & Safety is made up by the panic /sensationalist press! So many urban myths... The H&SE will always say that H&S rules and risk assessments are there to ENABLE people to do things safely NOT PREVENT them fro doing things!

granjura Sat 29-Dec-12 16:31:21

As a teacher I used to organise so many trips. From week-end YHA trips in Norfolk and Peak District, French and German exchanges, French and German work experience fortnight for our 6th Formers, and ski/snowboarding trips (to simple resorts and by coach to save money and include as many as possible), and also took groups every week to Snowdome in Tamworth for skiing and snowboarding.

And then Elf and safety kicked in. The paperwork became massive, with very intricate risk assessments, etc. Result is, not one of my younger colleagues now organise any such trips at all. In the past couple of years, I had to list all the students coming to Tamworth a week in advance, and pay double premium for Insurance for every single weekly visit. Could not even substitute if a student was ill- so they had to pay whether they came of not!!! I tried to argue about the double premium - that football and rugby were much more dangerous than snowboarding with 4 students to an instructor on a small slope, with a teacher (me) as an assistant on a very small slope - but no, 'computer says no' response. Nobody took over any of those trips when I retired (btw I used to organise ski/snowboarding trips during holiday time, NOT termtime) and no wonder. So sad for the kids.

bluebell Sat 29-Dec-12 16:43:07

Well my daughter went on a French trip before the Health and Safety days and I found out afterwards that the host family drove her around in a car with no seat belts - luckily nothing happened but a bit of form filling and safety checks wouldn't have gone amiss!!

AlieOxon Sat 29-Dec-12 16:47:05

My daughter went to a sports day at my grandson's school, where various things like three-legged races and sack races were banned - and she got hit in the face by a welly boot in the boot throwing competition.......

granjura Sat 29-Dec-12 16:54:10

Agreed Bluebell - but it has gone too far = practically NO exchanges are currently done. We used to remind parents at the French school about safety belts- but in those days most of them didn't have them in the back.

mrsmopp Sat 29-Dec-12 17:05:04

Heavens, if we weren't allowed to take any risks, the Olympics would be banned - people might fall over and hurt themselves!
You can't wrap the whole nation in cotton wool !!
Part of the problem is the lawyers who are ready to sue on a 'no win no fee' basis so most organisations are terrified of being sued.
Common sense has flown out of the window.

NfkDumpling Sat 29-Dec-12 17:09:01

Didn't Mr C promise to do something about the no win no fee lawyer type chappies?

annodomini Sat 29-Dec-12 17:19:15

When I was a school governor there were several well-publicised cases of children suffering fatal accidents while on school trips. The increased use of risk assessments was intended to protect the school, the staff and the local authority as well as the children. 'My' school organised residential visits for which the risk assessments were routinely completed by the company that delivered the activities. My DiL organises ski trips from her school which are run by a company well known in this field. It can be done and, if I were a teacher, I would be glad that there were rules that protected me in the event of something going seriously wrong.

bluebell Sat 29-Dec-12 17:19:38

Yes but as a general point the wicked changes to legal aid mean that no win no fee is the only recourse low and middle income families have now to seek redress in the courts - try suing for medical negligence using your own resources!

bluebell Sat 29-Dec-12 17:21:58

Sorry my post was in response to dumpling - well said annodomini!

NfkDumpling Sat 29-Dec-12 19:00:45

You sound like you speak from experience bluebell. But I think the No Win No Fee companies have gone too far and encourage blame claims for genuine accidents.

vampirequeen Sat 29-Dec-12 21:21:23

Someone from health and safety was on the radio talking about knitting needles. He said that they are not banned from sale in charity shops it's just that people are so confused and scared of being sued that they're banning anything they're not sure of.

On the subject of school trips. We used to take our years 1 and 2 to the seaside and let them paddle at the waters edge. It was lovely as we were an inner city school and some of the children had never seen the sea let alone paddled in it. We even paddled and played on the sand if it was raining which rather bemused an exchange teacher from Sierra Leone one year. She said she'd been told that the British did weird things but she never expected to be paddling in the rain lol. Then some jobsworth decided it was too dangerous

The rot really set in when the no win no fee leeches moved in. Schools had to be protected so all sorts of things were banned. Children have accidents but now someone else is to blame as many see an accident as a way to make money. My daughter was the most accident prone child ever but it never crossed my mind to sue for her many injuries collected on school trips. She always came home with at least a good selection of bruises. Once she limped home after a canoe bounced out of the water and landed, complete with it's passengers inside her canoe...on top of her. Another time she arrived home on crutches after falling off the steps to the diving board. The rest of the group went on a trip to a German fire station and she went to a German hospital lol. Her best/worst accident was when she fell of a swing in the local park and bit off her bottom lip. Plastic surgery sorted it out thank goodness. Some people said it was the council's fault as it was their park but I couldn't help thinking that she should have just held on better lol.

annodomini Sat 29-Dec-12 21:36:48

I managed to get some money out of the LEA once because my DS had fallen against a nail sticking out of the school wall, necessitating a trip to A&E, stitches and the inevitable tetanus jab. However, the money was for the torn trousers - the leg was far easier to mend.

Nanado Sat 29-Dec-12 22:30:07

School trips are much, much safer than the home, the roads, etc. see link below.

kittylester Sun 30-Dec-12 06:15:40

When DS1 was 11, he went on a school trip to Blackpool and stayed on the top floor of a four storey seafront hotel. On the day I went to collect him from the returning bus, we got a postcard showing the hotel, it's next door neighbour and the balconies he and his friends had used to climb from their bedroom to the one next door. shock