Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Health and Safety, You See

Yesterday I visited ITN in Grays Inn Road. When I entered the building I was asked if I minded having my bag searched. No problem, I said. It's a large briefcase type bag, which has a lot of pockets and carries my laptop. I undid the two clasps and expected the man to have a good 'rootle' (as we say in Essex) but he just stood there and looked inside - not that he could see much as it was crammed full. I asked him if he wasn't going to search the bag. Oh no, he said. He couldn't put his hands inside - health and safety, you see. And then came the clincher. "You never know what might be in there!" There's not a lot you can say to that, is there?

19 comments:

Benedict White said...

Oh Come on, This is having a laugh isn't it?

Can't search a bag because there could be anything in there?

Classic.

Keep it up Iain.

Anonymous said...

Our local court has metal-detector arch, hand-search of bags but not too thorough.............Leeds Court occasionally has policemen with H&K machine-guns which is slightly more reassuring.................but then again...........

Anonymous said...

Love this story....wonder if the same rule apply at airports

Paul Burgin said...

Almost makes you wonder if there was any point in searching it!

Neil Craig said...

And they say TV comedy is dead.

vervet said...

There's certainly not a lot you can say, but one thing you can say is that this is perhaps the best example of the total loonacy of the fascistic Health n' Safety wonks.

Harry Basset said...

Perhaps he thought Gio was in there.

Andrew Zalotocky said...

It sounds as though "health and safety" has become the modern equivalent of "more than my job's worth".

Theo Spark said...

Having once been a security bod you would be amazed what people (especially women) carry in their bags!!!

Fruning Graplecard said...

You sound a wee be disappointed Mr Dale. A good "rootle" always relieves tension and provides a good conversation opener, e.g., "a banana for lunch, sir? good for you - goodness and sustenance without unecessary packaging!"

You see how it can develop?

Kipling said...

When flying to New York once they asked to search my bag, but used the same H&S excuse and asked me to go through it myself. I could have easily missed out anything I didn't want them to see...total madness.

Anonymous said...

I always think the 'Health & Safety' excuse is a red herring.

They know people with something to hide would generally avoid a bag search, however cursory. It is a deterrent measure only. Like those feeble 'steering locks' on cars, which can easily be broken, but it helps push the problem elsewhere.

Louise said...

I'm always annoyed by deliverymen who have problems delivering boxes to the correct address ie the office rather the building.

Instead they dump them at the bottom of the stairs/on the pavement snuffling "s'elf n safey innit?"

Bah!

Buster George said...

Watching Sky News at the moment, woman on plane with screwdriver, matches and vaseline.

Maybe your guy was moonlighting for BAA.

Ruth Bennett said...

Some years ago I attended a Party Conference in Blackpool.

At this conference was a friend of mine (who died very sadly of cancer only last month).He was a SE London wheeler deeler - real name Derek, but we all called him Dell for obvious reasons.

As we approached the Security Detector Arch outside the Imperial Hotel - he handed me a bag and said 'hold this for a minute'. Unthinking I walked through the SD arch. When challenged by the Security Guard as to the bag's contents, I pulled out a feather G String! The Security Guard then waived it around to the amusement the crowd.

Judging by Dell and his mates laughter - this was a regular stunt he had pulled on unsuspecting female conference goers.

So girls beware!

Anonymous said...

That is so 'nu' Britain. Dare you to stick a mouse trap in there!

towcestarian said...

I think I shall start using the H&S excuse around the house. 'Sorry, I couldn't possibly put my hands in that hot washing up bowl, Health & Safety, don't you know.'

I wonder how long it will take the Nanny State to make this little quip something more prescient?

macles said...

A colleague was on a Norwegian research vessel off Iceland. It usually blows a force 7 or above there - this voyage it was steady 8-9. The British-based contingent of researchers were not allowed on deck to work due to HSE regulations in anything above force 6. Not a lot of point in them going at all I'd say. Confined below deck, they were mostly appallingly sea sick. My German colleagues managed quite well to deploy their scientific equipment. It leads me to wonder if the UK nanny state would try to regulate my existence in such a way as I hold a UK passport though living and working abroad. If they ever dared try, they can .... off. And then there's id cards....

WmByrd said...

I too find it strange how bags are searched with a decreasing degree of thoroughness in public places in London. A quick disdainful fumble at the surface, that's it. There's a particular reluctance to open zips and unfasten straps. Perhaps they promised their mothers they wouldn't.

Over the same period I've also noticed that increasing numbers of Asian men of apparently South Asian origin are carrying out the -surely not unimportant - security checks in London. I'm sure the majority are entirely above board, probably just trying to rub along and make a living, but I wonder if security staff vetting and profiling procedures are carried out any more thoroughly than the desultory bag searches?