“For the want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the message was lost. For want of a message the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.” The proverb is something I recall from childhood; my websearch - to brush up on the words and to ‘honour’ the author - taught me that similar versions are recorded in many languages, so although I daren’t attribute it, I feel you’ll likely be familiar with it and its message that we all need to be aware of the potential grave consequences of doing something, (or not doing something) that may initially seem inconsequential.
My play on this today is that if young people were educated by their parents and in their schools, to have respect for their environment and other people, and if the judiciary got tough on those who ignored those teachings and properly punished those who think it's ok to drop litter, a man wouldn’t have died, a couple wouldn’t have lost their only son and Serco wouldn’t have just been fined almost a quarter of a million pounds for causing the man’s death. Yes. Serco has been fined £240,000 after Tony Skerratt, 44, from Enfield, was killed when the lorry in which he was a passenger crashed into litter picking vans on a dual carriageway in Norfolk. The vans had been moving along the road slowly, stopping from time to time to allow bags of rubbish to be collected by Serco employees. The Health & Safety Executive found Serco failed in its health & safety management of litter picking activities on high-speed dual carriageways, by not providing its employees with appropriate work instructions to ensure the litter picking activity was safe and by failing to supervise and monitor the high-risk activity to ensure it was carried out safely.
Tony’s family has been quoted as being relieved that justice has been served while the HSE inspector involved in the case also seems blissfully unaware that the Serco team shouldn’t have needed to be litter picking in the first place. And while I agree that safe working practices should be followed at all times, my personal view is that the real culprit/s, i.e. whoever dropped the litter - got off scot-free and left someone else to carry the can. What’s gone wrong with society and when are we going to wise up?