Walking along a river bank the other day I noticed some repair work going on under the rail bridge, nothing new I thought but wow, the amount of effort they had gone too making sure we walkers could pass safely was remarkable! So here it is, on a rugged path where tree roots, holes about 1 foot wide and 6 inches deep abound, never quite worked out what animal they were from but whatever, then you have this structure made around the base of the bridge to 'allow us to pass'. Now this is a mighty structure, its got scaffolding at the heart which has protection fencing externally then scaffolding boards along the base floor, so far so good, then though, although the boards seem perfect to me, there is another layer of plywood, oh, not just the base floor though the plywood goes right up the sides creating a 'U' channel of beautiful ply! I wondered if they were going to give it a lick of paint, perhaps some wood chip?
Under the steps on the far side which were steel expanded metal type construction they had taken the time to fill in the underside view with shortened scaffolding bars, really British rail or whoever you are, a bit excessive?
Well obviously not in todays world.
'Its err, Health and Safety mate' comes the shout as I am looking intently at the work, 'Yes, we have to do it nowadays in case anyone gets hurt'. 'Check out these we have to wear' he said pulling at an all in one high viz outfit he was sporting!
'Yes' I replied, 'it's very good workmanship. Can I have the ply when your done?' I chuckled as I walked off.
Now, my point here is 'it's complicated'. Here we are today on one hand we will literally drown our world, the world we depend on for life, with plastic waste which appears really serious and on the other life is so precious, agreed to be fair, that we don't want you to hurt you and we care so much were prepared to go to untold lengths. Well if that really is the case, and I am not sure its just a financial protectionism here where they are frightened they get sued, then we should stop companies from creating products that ultimately will destroy us, are yes, but, well, you see they pay taxes, they employ lots of people, theres always a reason, oh, and we need the money. Cynical, maybe, but why are we not applying the same draconian, in some cases balmy rules to everyone?
So, on my walk where I take care to not trip over the tree roots, watch out not to step in the various animal holes I can at least be sure my walk across the small bridge, which has its own 10 foot long purpose made gravel entry onto it, will be event free........You know, my dog loves that walk but stops and is highly suspicious of this bridge every time she sees it, maybe she has wisdom we have yet to learn.
On my way home, after what was an eventful morning, I pass all of the discarded coffee cups and water bottles in the sides of country roads nowadays without comment from the world, my next job is to walk up there with bag in hand and get something sensible done to balance such a complicated world, now that is health and safety for the long term.
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