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Thursday 14 January 2010

Snow, H&S and Attitudes

We had an inch of sleet, and my kids' school was closed for three days, as sleet turned into ice. School was closed partly because staff was not able to get into work, and partly because it was deemed too dangerous for the kids. Most pupils live within walking distance to school.

We had more snow, but on the fourth day school opened for part of the day. The playground was covered in a layer of snow over the frozen sleet. When I picked my kids up they told me they had not been allowed out in the playground at all during break time.

I come from the West Country of Norway, and these conditions are normal during the whole of winter: It snows, it thaws a bit, it freezes etc. My mother told me that d/t great amounts of snow followed by frost they had poured water over part of their school playground and made a skate rink for the children to enjoy!!

Do I blame school? No, of course not! But I do think that something is seriously wrong with the "Accident claims legislation" in this country! We are advised to not salt or grit or remove snow/ice from the pavements outside our houses, as if we do we can be liable if someone happens to fall over. The council doesn't do anything with the pavements for the same reason. School is held responsible if a child falls over in the playground. And so on! I have been approached in town and asked if I have had an accident lately, and if so, I should claim compensation... Mad, and very, very sad if you ask me!

A huge sum of money is needed for a country to invest in the resources necessary to be prepared for the amounts of snow we have seen this year, and maybe for counties like Devon it is not worth making that investment. I do react strongly to the fact that necessary services stops functioning, though, and that there needs to be lives lost d/t a bit of snow! Ambulance services, police, nursing and caring services should definitely be equipped for winter. And maybe, just maybe a bit of winter driving instructions to the common man would be worth considering. I have been scared to see several near misses on flat roads!

Enough ramblings - snow is nice and fun and bright and pretty.... but I hope it only falls on the countries that can deal with it in the future.

Here's a set of winter sparklies I finished the other day. Hopefully I'll get it on Etsy soon. I have received a couple of new bead presses as well, and there are a few new shapes from me cooling down in the kiln :-)

Winter sparkle

Happy New Year to you all!
Please walk carefully, and don't claim unnecessary ;-)