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Random Musing

“Why don’t you learn from my mistakes? It takes half your life to learn from your own.”- Shelagh Delaney

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Health and Safety UK vs Estonia – Compare and contrast

After my last visit to Estonia I wrote about swimming in open waters to demonstrate the difference in attitude to Health and Safety in Estonia when compared to the UK (go have a quick look at the linked article to educate yourself on the finer points of drunken swimming).

Estonians generally tend to take an “at your own risk” approach to life in contrast to the default UK “protecting people from themselves” approach.

The following photograph of the high voltage pylons next to the apartment block where I am currently writing is quite a good demonstration :

Notice anything missing from those that would normally be extremely prominent in the UK?

The eagle eyed may have noticed the lack of barbed wire and plethora of warning signs which are so common in the UK.

There is actually the smallest of signs attached to the nearest pylon as can be seen in the enlarged view :

Quite a contrast to the following I think you will agree :

That one being one of the more minimalist styles – some pylons in built up areas resembling the outside of Alcatraz.

Interestingly, Wiki has this :

Some countries require that lattice steel towers be equipped with a barbed wire barrier approximately 3 metres (9.8 ft) above ground in order to deter unauthorized climbing. Such barriers can often be found on towers close to roads or other areas with easy public access, even where there is not a legal requirement. In the United Kingdom, all such towers are fitted with barbed wire.

Even the ones in the absolute middle of nowhere have barbed wire presumably to stop suicidal sheep from frying themselves.

Not that it stops stupid people from doing stupid things anyway :

A 15-year-old Rotherham schoolboy electrocuted after clambering 100ft up an electricity pylon was terrified of heights, his family revealed yesterday.

Michael Lee O’Nion was climbing the tower and accidentally touched the 66,000-volt power lines.

He was thrown off by the shock and friends saw him fall to his death on barbed wire 20ft above the ground that had been put up round the pylon to deter people from climbing it.

In Estonia, people still drown whilst swimming and fall off high towers whilst climbing but rather than calls for action and cries of something must be done, the general attitude is that it is either the fault of the parents for not educating their offspring correctly or the fault of the fool who decided to take the risk in the first place.

Either way, quite a refreshing change to not be persistently nannied for your own protection.

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