Thursday, 15 September 2011

Risk Averse

If Jesus walked the Earth today ...

Mark 1: 16ff

As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea - for they were ocean-fruits collection operatives. (They were were not bending at the waist, but at the knee as prescribed by the Regulations.)

And Jesus said to them, "Follow me and I will make you fish for people." And immediately they consulted their diaries and their work-place mentors, left their nets and told Jesus that due to the increasing demands of business rates, the needs of the family and lack of formal written notice, that they must decline. Added to this, their nets were not built to EC Net v1.068 standards and therefore not properly constructed to fish for people, or indeed any creature weighing more than 10 kilos. Subject to agreement with their trade union, a ballot and the obligatory thirteen week notice period (and after a full consultation period), they felt that they may be able to agree, but only if the pay rates were above the Minimum National Wage, their pension rights were preserved and their full golf schedule may not be impeded. Jesus sighed and wished he hadn't asked. 

As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending their nets. Immediately he called them but because he was not wearing a high-viz jacket he was ignored. Following a committee meeting, a vote and a further inquiry, they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men (feeling sure that under new Ageism regulations and gender discrimination rules they would lose their business anyway), and followed him. 


  1. As someone who cannot step in to the delivery yard of a well known supermarket, without wearing a high-vis vest (even though the yard is empty of all vehicles, and the key to the locked gate is in my pocket) I know what you're saying…

  2. I have said it elsewhere and I will say it here... I worked in an industry where people were killed in the past - H&S is a good thing - provided that it isn't trivialised by jobsworths.

  3. I suspect that Alan's comment is close to mine. H&S is about common sense, unfortunately, we seem to have abandoned common sense in over regulation and over-enthusiastic officials, who will interpret everything as an unnecessary risk and deny people the freedom to enjoy themselves.

    Insurers have not helped by placing hugely expensive premiums on both work and pleasure or social activities, which makes it uneconomic to run them.

    Life is about risk, and surely we are capable of making our own assessments without 'nanny state' oversight of every aspect of our lives.

    Or, am I living in a different world?



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