Kids at a Wairarapa primary school will no longer be able to climb trees on school property because of fears the school could be fined if there was an injury.
The new Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA), a response to the Pike River mine tragedy, comes into effect next week.
It will have a big impact on the legal liability of schools and especially the principal – who could be fined up to $600,000 if someone is hurt.
The cure is often an over-reaction to the problem.
Because people died at Pike River (which happened due to breaches of the current laws), the Government is told it must have much stronger safety regulation in every aspect of NZ life – workplaces, schools, voluntary organisations and the like.
The result is kids can’t climb up trees anymore, because somehow this might stop another Pike River.
I recall at school once s piece of 4 by 2 fell out of a tree structure onto my head. It hurt, and I needed stitches. I think the tree fort was made safer.
Today there would be a full OSH inquiry, consultants hired, and somebody fined for it.
UPDATE: Worksafe NZ advises the school has been advised by MoE they are over reacting and absolutely no need for tree climbing ban.