The Health and Safety Christmas tree

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The Health and Safety Christmas tree

Yet another example of the craziness that is Great Britain. A Christmas tree that is totally safe for the public has been unveiled. However it looks like a giant cone covered in green doormats.

The 33ft structure turned out to be a Christmas tree in Poole, Dorset, designed according to the principles of health and safety, circa 2009.

Thus it has no trunk so it wonít blow over, no branches to break off and land on someoneís head, no pine needles to poke a passer-by in the eye, no decorations for drunken teenagers to steal and no angel, presumably because it would need a dangerously long ladder to place it at the top.

Last year Poole boasted a Norwegian fir draped with strings of coloured lights. It cost £500 and continued a decades-old tradition. The replacement, which is constructed on a metal frame overlaid with what appears to be artificial grass, cost £14,000 and comes with built-in fairy lights and hidden speakers to play Christmas tunes that will put shoppers in the festive mood. But the only mood apparent among shoppers who saw the tree yesterday was a bad one.

The tree was commissioned by the Poole Town Centre Management Board because of fears that a real one would pose a hazard to shoppers.

Richard Randall-Jones, the town centre manager, said that although a Norwegian fir might be cheaper, it still cost £3,500 to hoist into position, make safe and decorate.
... Quote:
People think you can just go into the woods, chop down a tree and put it up in the high street but if it blows over and kills someone then somebody is liable.

We are a coastal town and so we have strict health-and-safety guidelines around making the Christmas tree safe due to the high winds we suffer. We have to have guy ropes and hoardings to stop it from falling over and hitting somebody. The public didnít like all the ropes and hoardings so we came up with the cone tree.

Christmas trees are one of the most hazardous objects in the home, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. In 2002, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 1,000 people needed hospital treatment for injuries inflicted by trees. They ranged from being poked in the eye to back injuries caused by moving the trees around.

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By netchicken: posted on 28-11-2009

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