Thursday, September 4, 2014

September 4. Day 247. Jumping through hoops

Occupational health and safety is not something to be scoffed at (and yet scoff I will).
Yes having OH&S officers has been a major advance in industrial relations and has clearly saved countless lives and prevented many hundred of thousands of needless workplace injuries. And a big tick for that. But I stick out my tongue and make a rude noise at some of the other stuff and cringe when I hear news that the fun police have set their sights on a school yard and decided to to ban cartwheels and handstands from the playground. Yes, someone has to remember the children and put processes and procedures in place but it gets silly. It gets really silly when we then start applying those laws to adults. I once read the OH&S warnings for a uni open day that offered such sage words as "An expo can be noisy. If you find the noise uncomfortably loud, move away from the speaker". Gee, I wouldn't have worked that one out for myself. I can only imagine what the safely nuts would have had to say about Manuela practicing the hula hoop to music in Musgrave Park today. Bare feet, inadequate sun protection, unprotected body rotations. But you know what? I applaud her. The student from Peru is living nearby while studying Environmental Management at University of Queensland.  She said the hula hoop was a new toy and rather than go home she decided to make the most of the afternoon sunshine and head to the park. With music in her ears and a hoop to balance she was clearly lost in her own happy bubble and at peace with the world. And that is what we rob our kids of when we take away all the fun activities because someone could get hurt. Come on. We've got to live a little.

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