Eradicating risk Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 7 July 2017

Eradicating risk

Judges, Chairman, Members of the Floor. Life is full of risks. Even in our day to day lives we encounter many situations which could include risk: playing sport or travelling to and from school. And it is of course important to understand this risk, whether that is by merely educating yourself of the risks attached to a specific activity, or by taking small steps to try to reduce that risk. Using the example of driving, there are hundreds of thousands of traffic accidents that occur in the UK each year.

You could therefore say that it is purely common sense to wear a seatbelt when travelling in a car. However, I would argue that there is a huge difference between taking the sensible action of wearing a seatbelt and condemning the roads as just being too dangerous and deciding to stop driving altogether. I feel that, in our society, we are too quick to see the downside and the negative aspects of risk and not sufficiently tuned in to the need to see risk as something that occurs naturally and simply needs to be understood and taken wisely into account.

School trips are arguably one of the most enriching parts of your education as they help to reinforce the curriculum that you learn in the classroom. However, there is a risk that the numbers of school trips will fall due to the huge amount of paperwork required. Before a school trip can take place, an extensive risk assessment has to be carried out, outlining all the possible hazards that might occur during this trip. And the claims culture that exists today only serves to worsen this problem.

Teachers are rightly uneasy to participate in school trips as they are immediately liable for any injury, however minor, that may occur. We are at the point now where schools are considering removing playground equipment to avoid being sued when children suffer minor injuries. Kent County Council has paid out ? 700,000 to children since 2008 and claims have become so common that schools face mounting bills, even when children get hurt while breaking school rules by climbing walls or trees.

To quote Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, “Schools become so risk-conscious they no longer present children with challenges and they are wrapped up in cotton wool”. The staggering number of personal injury lawyers offering “no-win no-fee” deals will attest to the fact that claims are so commonplace in our society that they only way for any organisation to reduce their liability is to attempt to eradicate risk involved.

The huge popularity of insurance nowadays is just another example of how we have become obsessed with eradicating risk. There are not only many insurance companies, but also a huge number of different types of insurance. Gadget and mobile insurance, a relatively new industry, is now estimated to be worth ? 1. 24 billion across Europe. Even the scandal over PPI (payment protection insurance) was essentially due to banks frightening their customers into thinking that they needed insurance to ensure that they paid off their debt.

In conclusion, risk is not something that we should fear, nor is it something that we should seek to eliminate completely from our lives, as I believe we, as a society, are increasingly in danger or doing. As I have demonstrated, risk is simply a consequence of the combination of a set of circumstances and this combination simply needs to be understood so that sensible precautions can be taken to manage or mitigate the risk, but there is certainly no requirement to eliminate this. Indeed, a life without risk would be a very boring life indeed. “This House believes society has become obsessed with eradicating risk”

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