Oil and gas firms may have to charter boats or hire bigger helicopters to accommodate overweight workers after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided obese people can be classed as disabled. Businesses are being warned to expect widespread and expensive consequences after law chiefs in Luxembourg ruled that being overweight qualifies as a disability. The judgment follows the sacking of Karsten Kaltoft, a 25-stone childminder from Denmark.
The European Court of Justice has ruled obesity can constitute a disability. The EU’s highest court was asked to rule on the case of a male childminder in Denmark who said he was sacked for being too fat. Legal experts had warned that the move would offer crucial protection to offshore workers who fall foul of new helicopter safety legislation limiting the size of people travelling to North Sea platforms. The court said that if obesity could hinder “full and effective participation” at work then it could count as a disability.
Safety checks have been ordered on Super Puma helicopters after it was warned cabin doors could jam shut in an emergency. The airworthiness directive, issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), was given for the Airbus AS332 and EC225 aircraft. Operators will now have to carry out an inspection within three months for aircraft more than a year old and within the next 15 months for more recent models.
CHC Helicopter is set to invest millions of pounds to transform its facilities in Aberdeen. The company plans to deliver the expansion of its hangar capacity, passenger terminal and provide for a new operations centre. The development will be delivered in two phases.
A helicopter with seven people on board was forced to make an emergency landing in Shetland yesterday. A full scale emergency was declared at Sumburgh Airport, and the emergency services were called to the busy airport.
A North Sea helicopter carrying eight gas platform workers descended to within 50ft of the water after the pilots mistakenly thought the aircraft was not performing correctly, an air accident report has said.