Jim over at Major Conflict got me thinking about risk. When it comes to safety especially on a job I'm anal about safety. Yes I have tweeked the rules but only when it was impossible to complete a task otherwise and even then I look for a safer way to prevent injury to myself or others.
There was a time when helmets were for sissys and cars didn't have seat belts then somebody realized that maybe you could survive a head injury with a helmet and seat belts prevented people from flying through the windshield. A bruse around the middle was more preferrable than attending a funeral. There are people who whine about the "nanny" state and all the rules that go with it but they never stop to consider that the costs of dealing with the results of risky behavior are already built into our system. If a worker gets hurt there's workers comp. The cost of products include the price of shoplifters. Companies have product liability insurance. And even if these whiners were to drop all coverage, never wear a helmet, drink like a fish and race around like there's no tomorrow there's still a system to deal with their disreguard for others and themselves. The costs are well hidden however. To say I don't want to pay for some guy who's 100lbs overwieght or have some tax because it affects me is silly because the costs are already there and you will pay for it one way or another. You can pay upfront or pay later but you will pay. It's called looking out for each other even if that involves stupid behavior. And I haven't talked to one family who hasn't had a story about a brother or sister who did do some stupid thing like set the couch on fire or other dumb act. You Tube is full of "let's see what happens when" videos a virtual library of stupid acts all documented for your viewing pleasure. Maybe we should put a tax on those videos to help pay for the personnal damage.
Not to forget lost production and lost wages and the cost to the system there. Then there's the system itself the hospitals doctors police judges and prisons. All these costs must be considered with risky behavior but the whiners don't seem to care. That is until someone tells them the costs and then they don't want to pay until it happens to them.