Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Health and Safety

Where would the content of our drama series be if it had to adhere to British Health and Safety Laws? At dinner last night my good friend Marcus told us how Blu Tac has been banned from his university on 'health and safety grounds'. Apparently the act of putting up a poster with said blue sticky stuff could result in...paper cuts! I cannot tell you how loud I scream inside my head when I hear these nonsensical utterances from on high. The response, always measured, never loud or emotional, is to assure us that they are far from nonsensical and quite necessary as we seek to remove every possibility of accident from our lives.You might think them necessary, lads, but most of us out here on the rock-face think otherwise.
Obviously Health and safety regs abound on the shoot of a drama but imagine how those dramas might look if they were applied to the script:
  • All fangs on True Blood shall be rounded off
  • Zombies on Waking the Dead shall wear marshmallow teeth when gnawing other characters
  • House may not carry that stick - or as we prefer to call it, the offensive weapon - as it could be used to accidentally trip, or cause to fall to the floor, other actors who may be in the general vicinity.
  • Spikes on top of railings in Albert Square shall be sawn-off
  • Beer in the Rovers Return shall be served in plastic tumblers
  • Blood used in Casualty shall not be red in case someone on the show develops a real bleed, in future we suggest aquamarine or umber.
I listen to the spokespeople from the Health & Safety Executive pleading that it's all in the way their rules are interpreted - and I have some sympathy. I understand how the H&S laws save hundreds of lives every year, particularly on building sites, but why has the practical nature of these laws oozed out and infected everyone from window cleaners (sorry, you can't go up a ladder, use this long-handled brush) to University management who ban Blu Tac? What is even more frustrating is that we seem powerless to stop it.

Perhaps someone should write a series centered around the heroic figure of an H and S Official: "Reitman HS" He didn't need a Magnum .45 to clean up the city, a clipboard was enough.

No comments:

Post a Comment