Friday, August 14


When religion and health/safety crash directly into each other, religion seems to lose. First was when the French lady was banned from swimming because staff said that it was unhygienic.



Looking at the outfit above, i am not really very sure what’s the fun in swimming in that, but on the other hand, i can see somewhat the issue with health and safety. If i am in a public pool and mind you, this outfit does not look anything like the full body swimming suit like shown below, then yes, i can be asked to leave.


or this:

But if fully clothed people are allowed, then this should work as well:

doesnt really work, does it?

Its like the arguments Sikhs have with wearing a turban when helmets are compulsory on bikes. See here for an example. Health and Safety overrules requirements for religious observances. And you end up with a silly situation like this one

I quote:

A police force spent £100,000 on a failed attempt to find protective headgear that fits over Sikh officers' turbans. West Midlands Police started its search after one Sikh constable decided he wanted to join the counter-terrorist Operational Support Unit.

The man, thought to be in his mid-20s, was refused a place because he was unable to fit the necessary helmet and respirator over his turban and beard, both of which are requirements for strict adherents to his faith. According to a police source, the unnamed constable claimed he was being discriminated against and was then assigned the task - while on full pay - of sourcing new equipment that would fit.

A helmet and respirator would be needed for certain counter terrorist operations to guard against possible chemical and biological weapons.  The officer contacted manufacturers across the world to see if they could adapt their gear but after 18 months his search ended in vain and he was restored to regular duties.

A few weeks later he is said to have gone on long-term sick leave suffering from stress. The source, who estimated the total cost of the failed project, including the officer's wages, at £100,000, said: 'This was a shocking waste of taxpayers' cash.'

And now, the final example is from Italy where labourers are being forced to drink water during Ramadan. I quote:

Muslim day labourers working on Mantova melon and tomato farms will be obliged to drink water even during the month of Ramadan, as decided by the Mantova Committee for Safety in Agriculture, made up of representatives from the Coldiretti and Confederazione Italiana dell'Agricoltura agricultural-entrepreneurial organisations and the CGIL, CISL and UIL trade unions.

The document, in reference to the legislative decree number 81 of April 9, 2008, "obliges" Muslim farm labourers to drink water during the work day under the sun to avoid heat strokes even in the month of Ramadan, which this year will begin around August 20. Those not following this regulation "will be temporarily suspended from activity and, if recurring, will be fired". Agricultural organisations have also begun handing out informational brochures to workers in four languages to explain the possible risks from sun stroke. "We made this decision because we want to safeguard workers' health as much as possible," said Roberto Cagliari, Coldiretti director and chairman of the Safety Committee. "Last year, the refusal by many workers to drink during the month of Ramadan in the melon fields created a large number of problems."

The representative of the Muslim community in Mantova, Ben Mansour, is against the decision: "No work contract and no judicial regulation provides for the obligation to drink during Ramadan. If Muslim workers are fired for this reason, we will raise an objection. If a Muslim does not feel well then he can take a break and if he feels that it is not simply a fleeting sensation but something more serious then he can drink, since it would then be his decision which no one can impose on him."

Go figure. When Health and Safety has managed to defeat individual rights and liberalism, religions are simply no contest.

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