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Pint Glass Injuries Cause British Government to Leap Into Action

Homeoffice

Writing on his "Lowering the Bar" blog, Kevin Underhill brings us news of the latest effort to make life difficult for personal injury lawyers. On the heels of its ill-fated effort to control stabbings by banning knives that have a point on the end, the British government is now seeking a new design for pint glasses that it hopes will reduce the number of incidents in which people use them to attack each other. For whatever reason, the British Home Office, which is the lead government department for immigration and passports, drugs policy, counter-terrorism, police, and science and research, has taken a keen interest in the 5,500 people who are attacked with glasses and bottles every year in England and Wales.

The Home Office has reportedly commissioned a new design in an attempt to stop glasses being used as weapons and is looking hard at a plastic glass. The British Beer and Pub Association, however, is strongly against the idea of mandatory plastic glasses:

For the drinker, the pint glass feels better, it has a nice weight and the drink coats the glass nicely. That's why people go out for a drink, to have a nice experience. I would ask, is it necessary to replace the much-loved pint glass for safety reasons in the vast majority of pubs where there is no problem?

Underhill writes that "somebody who would otherwise be stabbing you with a broken pint glass is probably going to be enterprising enough to find something else, like maybe a pewter tankard, to attack you with." Based on accident data provided by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents ("RoSPA"), Underhill also identifies some other public health risks that may require some sort of urgent governmental action in England. 

  • 1,000 accident cases recorded under the category "Cardigan sweater"
  • 943 cases of injury due to "fairground punch machines"
  • 656 cases involving "sex or marital aids"
  • 615 injuries from gravestones or headstones
  • 308 magnet injuries
  • 205 "pie or tart" injuries
  • 82 injuries from chopsticks
  • 18 injuries from capes.  ("What are we doing to make our capes safer?" Underhill demands).

Underhill's "Lowering the Bar" blog is quite funny. Read his "about the author" bio here: if you like that, as I did, you'll probably find the rest of the blog funny, too.

Posted by Bruce Carton on September 30, 2009 at 11:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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