Are sweets a health and safety factor?
When you think about airplane flying then you probably will not consider boiled sweets as a health and safety factor. Neither did Sandra Scott from Kingston until she was denied a boiled sweet on take off by a member of the air cabin crew on the grounds of health and safety.
Despite many frequent flyers sucking on a boiled sweet to alleviate air pressure during take off, the airline company deemed it necessary to tell Sandra that boiled sweets were a health and safety risk as children could choke on them. This is despite the fact that Sandra was 46 at the time of the flight!
Myth Busters Challenge Panel
This case is yet another that an independent panel, the Myth Busters Challenge Panel, set up by the Health and Safety Executive, have investigated. The panel have looked into one hundred different cases in which health and safety has been wrongly blamed for certain decisions within UK organisations.
Analysis from the panel’s investigations shows that 25 cases involved an over-interpretation of legitimate guidelines and one sixth were a result of communication failures.
“Air pressure playing tricks with my ears!”
In the case of the denied boiled sweet, the Health and Safety Executive found nothing in relation to health and safety guidelines, and even the Civil Aviation Authority does not stop boiled sweets being given out on flights if they are asked for. Therefore in this instance it is only the airline that knows why they made that decision.
Sandra Scott commented, “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing when the cabin crew refused me a sweet. I thought the air pressure was playing tricks with my ears! I knew there was no way this was a decision based on any health and safety law… I’d now like the airline to tell me the real reason for this mean minded ban.”
Health and safety at work
Although the boiled sweet ban case may seem ridiculous to certain people, actual health and safety guidelines approved by the Health and Safety Executive are very serious. If you have been a victim of health and safety failings or an injury at work within the last three years then you may be entitled to compensation.
Date Published: November 19, 2013
Author: David Brown