A Warm Glow

According to this news story, bosses at the Liverpool Echo Arena have banned glow sticks at a forthcoming gig “for Health and Safety reasons…to prevent a repeat of a recent episode where a plastic beer bottle was thrown at Morrisey”.

I’m not quite sure what the connection is between plastic beer bottles and glowsticks – admittedly they’re both made of plastic and contain liquid, but I can’t see how being in posession of a glowstick would make you want to throw a beer bottle. Listening to Morrisey might well make you want to throw things but not being in posession of a glowstick.

The usual caveat about commenting on news stories has to apply here – we don’t necessarily know the whole story, only what the Liverpool Echo has chosen to tell us. But if I was keen to prevent a repeat of a thrown-beer-bottle incident, I’d look to ban beer bottles. Would it be cynical of me to wonder how much the venue makes from the sale of alcohol, compared to the sale of glowsticks and other ephemera?

There’s a suggestion that they’re concerned about glowsticks being dropped, splitting open and leaking, causing someone to slip on the spilled fluid. Again comparing to beer bottles – how many glowsticks do you have to drop and split to equal the volume of liquid from a dropped beer bottle?

Given my comment about only really knowing what the paper is telling us, I’m hoping this turns out not to be a health and safety story after all. The thought of a major entertainment venue having a “competent” health and safety person who thinks is is a reasonable, proportionate response makes me shudder. Needless to say, this story was a major discussion point on the health and safety forums yesterday afternoon – and not surprisingly (to me at least), the huge majority of health and safety professionals think it’s a ridiculous over-reaction.

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