Chorley CitizenHelen Mead: Warning - there are too many danger signs (From Chorley Citizen)

When news happens, text CIT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.

Helen Mead: Warning - there are too many danger signs

Chorley Citizen: Helen Mead Helen Mead

I thought I was seeing things when I came across a man putting up a sign in the field behind our house, warning people about a ditch that runs alongside.

It’s just a ditch, not dangerously deep or precipitously sheer – simply a bog-standard ditch like the ones we used to leap across as children. On further investigation, I found that it was not the only sign and that along the length of the ditch, several bespoke metal signs alerted people to its presence.

Not only are these signs urbanising a green area, they are another example of health and safety gone mad. Not more than a few hundred yards away is a river – far more of a hazard, particularly in spate – but, (quite rightly) there are no warning signs along its banks.

Nor are there any signs tagged on to trees which could fall on passers-by in medium-to-high winds, or on hedges which could prick and possibly puncture the skin.

These signs are fuelling the compensation culture under which we live. So is every other ridiculous waste-of-money sign on our high streets and in our playgrounds warning of falling acorns or damp leaves.

I remember a sign in a London pub alerting women wearing high heels to the presence of cobble stones. My first thought was ‘Can’t they see for themselves?’ It’s called common sense.

Surely by drawing attention to so-called hazards, those putting up the signs lay themsleves open to problems, by admitting there’s a potential danger. If you leave a ditch alone, it’s just a plain old ditch that may require wellies if you care to step in it.

If you line it with electric fences and razor wire, you’re basically waving a flag saying: ‘Hey! There’s a hazard here.’ And to some that’s a challenge, an invitation to, quite literally, dive in and have a closer look.

Throughout my childhood I lived close to an electricty generator surrounded by robust fencing. For decades the villagers co-existed with that box without incident – we barely even noticed it. Then someone plastered it with ‘Beware, danger of death’ signs and everyone came to look.

Some hazards obviously warrant signs but many are unecessary. Roadsides now have warnings under overhead power lines. Bright yellow signs – again a blot on the landscape – telling us exactly that: there are power lines overhead. What is the point?

And I recall a sign placed beside a pile of logs on a forestry track urging ‘Caution: risk of fire’. As if that’s not a red rag to a bull! Although speaking of bulls, as a keen walker I definitely think these creatures warrant their own warning signs – preferably big ones.

Comments (14)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:06am Tue 18 Mar 14

Romantical says...

You didn't hurt me. You couldn't hurt me. I did see a sign recently that read - due to the recent cuts the lights at the end of the tunnel have been switched off.
You didn't hurt me. You couldn't hurt me. I did see a sign recently that read - due to the recent cuts the lights at the end of the tunnel have been switched off. Romantical
  • Score: 1

10:26am Tue 18 Mar 14

vicn1956 says...

A lot of people need to GET PROPER JOBS and leave us alone!
A lot of people need to GET PROPER JOBS and leave us alone! vicn1956
  • Score: 1

1:51pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Romantical says...

When I saw that sign, I began feeling my way and taking no time I FILLED the ENTIRE tunnel with light and I said " let there be light at the end of the tunnel and a new switch for people at the beginning of the tunnel " and with immediate effect there was light at the end of the tunnel filling the entirety of tunnel and a new switch for people at the very beginning.

If I couldn't do that, I reckon I would just spend the rest of my time smashing all the doors of your beautiful heart in. All your existence in my story has ever done for me, is fill me with happiness.
When I saw that sign, I began feeling my way and taking no time I FILLED the ENTIRE tunnel with light and I said " let there be light at the end of the tunnel and a new switch for people at the beginning of the tunnel " and with immediate effect there was light at the end of the tunnel filling the entirety of tunnel and a new switch for people at the very beginning. If I couldn't do that, I reckon I would just spend the rest of my time smashing all the doors of your beautiful heart in. All your existence in my story has ever done for me, is fill me with happiness. Romantical
  • Score: 0

1:55pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Romantical says...

What sort of jobs are there for someone who smashes peoples hearts in ?
What sort of jobs are there for someone who smashes peoples hearts in ? Romantical
  • Score: 0

2:00pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Romantical says...

You need to feel as you are told to.
You need to feel as you are told to. Romantical
  • Score: 0

2:06pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Romantical says...

Some people need help to get a proper melt on.
Some people need help to get a proper melt on. Romantical
  • Score: 0

2:36pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Romantical says...

When you mend your heart, everything else is mended. There just isn't a sign for it.
When you mend your heart, everything else is mended. There just isn't a sign for it. Romantical
  • Score: 0

2:40pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Romantical says...

DONT MIND YOUR HEAD! - MEND YOUR HEART!
DONT MIND YOUR HEAD! - MEND YOUR HEART! Romantical
  • Score: 0

2:53pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Romantical says...

vicn1956 wrote:
A lot of people need to GET PROPER JOBS and leave us alone!
If we were left alone, you would get a proper job.
[quote][p][bold]vicn1956[/bold] wrote: A lot of people need to GET PROPER JOBS and leave us alone![/p][/quote]If we were left alone, you would get a proper job. Romantical
  • Score: 0

3:02pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Romantical says...

Even if you could hurt me, which you can't, but even if you could hurt me, you would still be worth it. You are just, well, SO worth it!
Even if you could hurt me, which you can't, but even if you could hurt me, you would still be worth it. You are just, well, SO worth it! Romantical
  • Score: 0

3:08pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Romantical says...

I saw another sign that said - BEWARE! Certainty of Fire!
I saw another sign that said - BEWARE! Certainty of Fire! Romantical
  • Score: 0

3:11pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Romantical says...

Signs that say Danger! suggest there is a method of avoidance people can take.
Signs that say Danger! suggest there is a method of avoidance people can take. Romantical
  • Score: 0

3:28pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Romantical says...

The best sign you will ever read will say "come here" without a whisper and without a warning, and the moment you see that sign, there will be nothing standing in your way, that can stop you from coming.
The best sign you will ever read will say "come here" without a whisper and without a warning, and the moment you see that sign, there will be nothing standing in your way, that can stop you from coming. Romantical
  • Score: 0

3:36pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Romantical says...

Now you are my woman, Romance is an unavoidable hazard.
Now you are my woman, Romance is an unavoidable hazard. Romantical
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree