Filed Under (General) by Rob on 09-01-2009

West Africa has very little health and safety to speak of which, I admit, can make life risky. However, there must be a happy medium somewhere between the lethal roads and building sites of Benin and the patronizing nonsense you are about to witness…

I found this helpful sign next to a heated towel rail in a room in certain budget hotel chain recently:


So, what exactly is a heated towel rail supposed to do? Get cold? I’d rather it became very hot than merely very warm, so that my towels stand a chance of drying quickly enough. Rather ironically, the towel rail concerned was not working at all, so stood no chance of being anything more than very cold!

Try this one for size (in the same hotel room):


So, if it’s baking hot inside (ie not at this time of the year) I can only open my window 4 inches, in case I am daft enough to sit on the window sill and do a Eutychus? And if I did, would it really be the hotel’s fault that I was careless enough to fall from an open window? Surely not! When will we start suing the council for planting trees we absent-mindedly walk into, or department stores if we trip on their escalators? We’ve (almost) all been given two eyes, common sense and an awareness of what is and isn’t dangerous. Sure, there are accidents due to poor quality or dangerous equipment, but we’ve all been taught from a young age the risks of windows and a hot radiators.

On a similar note, I think our Mums would also have taught us that wet surfaces are slippery. But for the 0.001% of people who were deprived of such advice, this one’s for you:


What can I say? The country’s gone mad! There should be a point at which a court judge can say “Look, you’re basically a stupid person, so don’t even think of suing for this one!” On that note – and to close – click here for the classic ‘Winnebago’ court case story (probably an urban myth, but there are true stories almost as ridiculous!)

That’s all for now. Mind how you go!

1 Comment posted on "Health and Safety or sheer madness?!?"
Sharon & Johannes on January 10th, 2009 at 7:12 pm #

Glad we’re not the only ones who think that the country’s gone mad! Talk about culture shock after Benin! One of our “favourites”, but VERY patronising signs that we’ve seen, on flights of stairs at Bath train station and at Cadbury World instructs you to “Hold onto the Hand Rail”; another sign advised us that “These stairs are old and do not conform with Health and Safety regulations, use at your own risk”. Not to mention MANY signs similar to the ones illustrated above.