Sunday, 10 April 2016
HEALTH & SAFETY New Zealand Style, 2016
I imagine that the Principal and Board of one particular Auckland school will be wishing that their aspiring thespians had made a different choice for the first entertainment programme of the year. Seven Brides For Seven Brothers perhaps or even Oklahoma. Something tried and trusted and not featuring props with sharp edges. It’s not every evening of the week that two of your students end up in A&E with neck injuries after all and with the best will in the world incidents like that take some explaining. It’s stressful for everyone involved, particularly the Props Manager – presumably it was he who held charge of the razor blunting duct tape. From what I gather from the oh so reliable Herald On Sunday it is possible that despite what has occurred in the very first shadow of the spanking new Health & Safety Act, those who are merely teachers may not be deemed responsible for the unfortunate accident. No indeed, it is only the Principal Himself and his Board of Trustees that can be sued for hundreds of thousands. Well that’s a relief isn’t it? And furthermore, the Board members cannot be sued individually because they are volunteers so added respite all round! We all wait with baited breath to see what will happen next, just as we did at the birth of the Anti-Smacking Act when we were assured that of course parents were not going to be held to account through our Justice System for dealing with a recalcitrant toddler in the time honoured fashion we all understand. But until the New Act went through its protracted shaking down period that was not quite what happened as we all, undoubtedly, recall. So all of us now sitting on Boards & Committees of one kind or another, those that are astonished to find themselves brushing ever so slightly against this New and Malevolent Act that has been put in place for our Ultimate Good, wait uneasily to see what happens next. Well it was possibly never a good idea to have anything to do with The Demon Barber was it?