Friday, March 04, 2005

Safety mania makes us less safe

I have found a new source of Shropshire stories: the South Shropshire Journal. It promises to outdo the dear old Shropshire Star in offering la Shropshire profonde.

I have a personal interest in the first story from this new source in that I sometimes go walking in the Shropshire hills.

If all is as it is reported here - a rider you have to add even with Shropshire newspapers - then this is a good example of how an exaggerated concern for safety can end us making us less safe. The best is the enemy of the good, and all that.

Anyway, here is the story:

Hill rescue team forced to disband

A South Shropshire hill rescue team, whose local volunteer members risked their own safety to save stranded walkers, has been forced to disband after eight years because of red tape.

The Shropshire Hills Rescue Team was based in Church Stretton.

A statement from the team said it had been forced to close because of the threat of litigation, new health and safety legislation, escalating insurance costs and the demand for lengthy training requirements.

Ken Spurling, former treasurer, said: "It was all about us trying to be helpful. It would be a shame for someone to be lying up there are we were all sat in the warm."

Read the rest for yourself here.

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