Archive for December, 2012

Feeding Dolphins has Risks?

December 6, 2012 2 comments

So a girl feeding dolphins was bitten on the hand and the parents say they weren’t warned of the risks. They’re demanding that SeaWorld “make changes.” They posted a video of the incident to let other people know of the risks.

I’m not an expert on animals but I’d suggest that putting your hand near the mouth of an animal attracts the risk that you may get bitten on the hand. The risk grows when feeding the animal. It’s not rocket science.

The response from the parents is typical of a culture where banning cigarettes is seen as an acceptable means of protecting society. Hopefully these parents do not have access to a clever lawyer, else feeding dolphins may also get banned.

Governments are fostering a culture where people are no longer accountable for their actions. As we proceed down this path more things will be banned, insurance premiums will rise and litigation will rise. People wont be able to do the things they enjoy doing. Is the philosophy of banning helping to improve our standard of living and happiness? Freedom and accountability needs to be weighted up against, for example, the one in a million chance of getting bitten by a dolphin when feeding it.

I’ve seen a similar change in workplace health and safety. As safety paperwork becomes more arduous and micromanaged, focus shifts from performing duties safely and looking after workmates to ensuring the paperwork is completed and the appearance of safety is conveyed to management. Paperwork and micromanagement divert attention. There is no way around it. Human attention is a finite resource. Paperwork and micromanagement need to be balanced with accountability and a general culture of safety, otherwise safety suffers. The same applies to the banning of activities – our standard of living suffers.