Health & Safety dusted off again

747You may have noticed that the subject of Health & Safety, or rather the abuse of Health & Safety as some sort of global catch-all to rule something out, us a recurring subject. It’s use when somebody can’t find a legitimate law or rule with regard to something they want to control continues to grow, and is does little more than make a mockery of it real value.

I don’t intend to go into the details of the most recent use that was just spotted in the news, where it was called up by some jobsworth when the subject of the legality of people having sex in aircraft was reported, and various legislation was considered.

The carrier was unsure, considering it to be a ‘New’ subject, and legislation wasn’t really available or tested. They’d have a quiet word, rather than create a scene (wouldn’t that already have happened?) and attract attention, but would call the police if passengers were upset or complained. The carrier itself couldn’t enforce fines or the like, but could ban anyone it deemed as behaving offensively from flying on its aircraft.

While no-one has yet used it, there are existing laws regarding sex in public places such as toilets, whether it would apply on aircraft remains unclear, and there is also the serious question of precisely which laws might apply – country of origin, country over which the aircraft was flying at the time, law of the country or countries in which the ‘offenders’ reside etc.

Transport and Civil Aviation law don’t appear to have specific content to be applied to the situation, so the bold spokesperson for that side of things came away with the old ‘Catch-All’, and stated that passengers were required to comply with Health & Safety legislation, and have their seatbelts on during take-off and landing.

Either a new comedian has been born, or they need to get a new spokesperson with a bit more knowledge.


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