I have a niggling suspicion that Health and Safety legislation is being used, especially by lily-livered deskbound, risk-averse managers at large companies, as a smokescreen to ban things they just don’t like.
Take the above sign from Shepherd Neame‘s Prince of Wales in Cleaver Square, London. It would be exceptionally surprising if this were actually the case. It’s not as if the dogs are running round the kitchen. The two dogs I saw in the pub (whilst it had the sign up) were contentedly dozing at their owners’ feet.
This sort of sign is detrimental: it stokes up antagonism to valid H&S rules that exist for very good reasons. We need Health and Safety regulations but if they seem petty, widespread or too nannyish then people start going all ‘Clarkson’. And that’s bad.