Without a Net – it’s safer

21st January 2014

The trampoline and its add on for idiots – the trampoline safety net – continues to provide the most brilliant example of both the unintended consequences of over intensive societal wimpishness coupled with our striking inability to learn from mistakes.

The ODT of 21st Jan 2014 reports that accident claims arising from the safety enhanced trampolines now touted as “protecting your child”, a clear sign of “responsibility” and adding a mere $150 or so to the cost of a trampoline have risen and risen remarkably – from 298 to 451 in the last year in Otago and 10% nationally.

It seems that in a fit of enthusiastic confidence engendered by these “now safe” pieces of sports equipment, children throw caution to the wind, leap aboard and go for it. Not just kids either. The number of 64+ “masters” doing the same has also risen. An “expert” pronounced that users need to “learn”, “establish rules” and otherwise use their brains.

A startling revelation indeed. 

Apart from manufacturers and retailers of these safety enhanced products it is likely that the original intention was to enhance safety (for the former an optimal level of injury entices just enough safety net purchasing as to breeze up margins without turning consumers off completely – a delicate balancing act – but if one tries it is doable evidently).

Far from from enhancing safety, the reverse appears to have occurred. The unintended consequences of this and like plonker intervention will continue while we take comfort in fooling ourselves that risks can be eliminated, that we can do better than learning from experience, and for as long as we refuse to accept that attempts to protect people from themselves is a near certain means of harming them.

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