Daily Failwatch 09: Tesco bans girl with helium baloon under H&S rules.

Blind_Io

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...girl-carrying-balloon-health-safety-risk.html

Alex Pearson was thrilled with the balloon she had been given while having a meal at a restaurant. She was happily carrying it as she walked into a nearby Tesco store with her mother.


But the nine-year-old girl, who has learning difficulties, was left bewildered when a security guard told her she could not come inside with the helium-filled balloon because it was a health and safety risk.


Alex's mother, Marion, said: 'This whole health and safety thing is just getting silly. You keep hearing more and more reasons why you can't do this or that.


'This is just another ridiculous rule that we have to follow. Why is it that Tesco sells balloons if they are such a risk?'


Alex had been given the balloon by staff at the Chiquito Mexican restaurant on the Tower Park retail park in Poole, Dorset.

She had been having a meal there with her mother and grandmother, Martha Talbot.


Afterwards, Alex wanted to spend her pocket money in the Tesco superstore, which is also on the retail park.


Mrs Pearson tied the balloon to her wrist so it would not blow away. As the family tried to enter the store at 5pm on Monday, they were told it was 'company policy' that the balloon could not come in.


Mrs Pearson, 44, a carer, from Upton, Poole, said: 'Alex loves balloons and she was desperate to keep it. The security guard stopped us and told us we couldn't come in because of it ? some idiotic reason about security.

'Alex didn't understand why she wasn't allowed in and I told the security guard to explain it to her. He couldn't even look her in the eye ? I think he was too embarrassed.


'She would have been so upset to let the balloon go, so we had to go home. I won't be using the shop again.'


A Tesco spokesman said: 'A restaurant near the store was handing out helium balloons. A number of children had come into the store and released them inadvertently or on purpose.


'Unfortunately they were getting trapped on the ceiling and blocking the sprinkler system, and they are pretty difficult to retrieve. The managers decided to use their discretion.

'There is not a set policy on helium balloons at the store ? it's just common sense really.'
 

ediesbra

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OH FOR FUCKS SAKE! Common sense my arse.
 

NecroJoe

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"You're invited, but your balloon can't come."

"they are pretty difficult to retrieve" Oh no...so they stay there, and 2 days later, you find them on the floor. Or, you buy a 6-pack of darts, and enjoy yourself for a few minutes after you close and buy a coffee for whoever can get it down with a dart. Or, tape together 2 broom handles, and put a thumbtack on the end. Trust me, all of those work.

They aren't blocking the sprinklers...they aren't made of stone. The moment the sprinklers kick in, the balloon will be washed away by the spray. It's not blocking any sort of "sensor" on the sprinklers, because (mostly) they are triggered by heat...the balloon isn't going to block 250-400*F (121-204*C) air...

Man...the US may be lawsuit-happy, but England is a joke when it comes to lawsuit paranoia...
 
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Dogbert

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Erm, blocking the sprinkler system? If your sprinkler system can be defeated by a helium balloon on it, you should probably increase the pressure.
 

BlaRo

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When I was in 2nd grade and getting out of the hospital after an appendectomy, my father gave me a helium balloon. I played with that thing the entire car ride home, but when I got out of the car I accidentally let go and couldn't reach it again. I cried and yelled as I watched it float up past the trees, kicking and screaming at my parents. "Go get in an airplane and get it back for me!" I yelled at my dad, and got angrier when he just laughed at my naivety.

The moral of the story? Little kids fucking love their helium balloons, goddammit. Those people at Tesco might as well barge into the kid's house and stamp on her toys. :x
 

NooDle

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I read it wasn't the sprinkler, but rather a smoke detector.
As we all know, balloons are so hard and impenetrable, that smoke cannot get to the detector, and possibly MILLIONS OF PEOPLE COULD DIE!
 

Matt2000

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They should let people bring balloons in and release them, then they can create a new job for a bloke with a ball-bearing gun. :D
 

WillDAQ

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A simple "yeah, we fed up of retarded children letting go because then some poor retard has got to go retrieve them" would have sufficed.
 

DarkReaper

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Yeah, I wouldn't want my store cluttered with stupid baloons. Especially by all those children who will let go of the balloon as soon as they try to grab their favorite snack.

Also trying to pop a baloon when you have a very high ceiling can be difficult.

They should just have told the women the real reason. They just threw some H&S nonsense into the room to make it seem necessary , instead of it being at the discretion of the managers.
 

Jay

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Maybe Tesco's took the "99 Red Balloons" song a little to seriously.

srsly.
 

Crazyjeeper

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http://pic.armedcats.net/c/cr/crazyjeeper/2009/02/19/p1780065dt.jpg

That would fix the balloon, assuming Health & Safety wouldn't take it away immediately.
 

freeferrarisdonotexist

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OH FOR FUCKS SAKE! Common sense my arse.

Agree. What the hell are they thinking?! Health and safety is starting to tell us not to do any damn thing. We're going to end up sitting in our houses watching telly all day for fear of some idiot spokesman telling us we're unsafe if we move our bodies/eat/drink/etc. :?

:mad:
 

Top Geek

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Health & Safety, my arse: some lazy slob can't be bothered to tie a couple of broomsticks together and put a needle on the end.

I can understand if you want to have a policy of "no helium baloons" for this reason, but the least you could do is not lie about it.
 

Dogbert

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Do you guys even have the litigious health and safety "I'm gonna sue you if I spill my hot coffee on my lap" atmosphere that we do in America?
 

Peter3hg

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Health & Safety, my arse: some lazy slob can't be bothered to tie a couple of broomsticks together and put a needle on the end.

If the store is anything like the supermarket I work in, the ceiling is about 60ft high.
 

gtrietsc

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I think the Fail you guys are missing is that she got the balloon from a Mexican restaurant in Dorset.

I have never had good Mexican food outside of Texas/Oklahoma. I ate at one in Auckland in 2004, and it was cute what they tried to do, but not anywhere close to the real thing.
 

alihaig

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I can see the store managers point - if the store is full of kids waving balloons about it would be really annoying for all the other customers. Plus the kid will let it go and the scream for 2 hours - and thats before they have the problems of balloons messing up the ceiling or lying on the floor or half dead balloons being stamped on by idiot children every 5 minutes.

However, it does seem this whole thing could have been handled better by both sides - the tesco staff should have just explained that they were a nuisance not brought up H&S and suggested a sensible alternative and the mother should have had some thought for others and realised people don't want her idiot child waving a balloon in their face, put the balloon in the car and then gone shopping.
 

Crazyjeeper

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I think the Fail you guys are missing is that she got the balloon from a Mexican restaurant in Dorset.

I have never had good Mexican food outside of Texas/Oklahoma. I ate at one in Auckland in 2004, and it was cute what they tried to do, but not anywhere close to the real thing.

I ate at a fantastic Mexican restaurant in Butte, Montana, but the chef was Mexican, so no surprise there.
 

Whappeh

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As an American, my mental stability was better before I started watching Top Gear and learned what "health and safety" is.
 
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