If you have ever visited a playground in the recent past, you might notice rubber mulch laying on the ground. In fact, rubber mulch has become an extremely common thing to see in most playground settings and has largely replaced wood mulch.
There have been many studies about the rubber mulch, and it has been known to contain toxic gasses and to be made of materials unsafe for children. However, it has been advertised for so long as extremely safe that it is generally acceptable. For some reason, society is in an ever-evolving environment focused on being safe.
We wish to be safe from others, we wish to be safe from the weather, and we want to be safe from ourselves. In fact, there is so much focus and emphasis on being safe and on protecting things that people seem to become overzealous about the practice.
Keeping someone safe from every single thing that could ever harm them is not only impossible, it could as impede their mental growth and could cause them to be less effective adults in society. It could actually cause a huge backlash in the years to come, and it is likely that a generation or two from now will be unconcerned with safety because of it.
Safety and precautions have gotten to the place where they almost seem absurd, and it is nearly impossible to guarantee the safety of a large group of people unless those people are willing to give up their freedom. Lawsuits have been a huge thing in the recent past, with people suing large companies over things like the coffee being too hot.
If there is coffee, and if that coffee were to be freshly made, one would assume it is common sense that the coffee would be hot. However, if a person then spills the coffee on themselves and can prove they were not warned that the coffee was hot by any label or verbal caution, they can seek for repayment of damages.
There is a lot of logic in the way things started out. Rubber mulch was softer than wood and didn’t give children splinters. It was a good way to recycle. It didn’t seem to get too hot in most weather. It didn’t sink into the ground.
There were lots of benefits to it, but we are starting to find that it might actually be extremely dangerous. It may be possible that by trying to make our world a safer place we are actually inviting more dangerous things in.
There is a big difference between protection and over-protection. This is the reason for safety engineers and safety consultants. To be able to tell which things are truly important and which things might really be able to help people is imperative. Lewis Barbe worked as such a safety consultant for many years and was extremely effective in his career.