Friday 1 June 2012

The Health and Safety Comedy Show

I wasted just over an hour of my life at work today.

It was called Health and Safety training. And I think, in order to pass it with a mark of 80%, all I needed was the IQ of a cat; and before you say it – yes, I know I can be stupid but even I am not that dumb.

The web-based course consisted of watching a few videos and then taking a quiz. I would have passed even if I hadn’t watched the videos – the questions were so simple.

In fact, as I watched it at my desk, with my earphones, I found myself chuckling. In order to illustrate how to be safe and healthy at work, they showed situations with people who had removed their brains and consequently stumbled about the place, driven by their own idiocy.

For example, in one scene, somebody had spilled a small amount of liquid at the top of a staircase. The video showed four people, whose combined IQ must have been less than that of a slug, sliding all over the place in full view of each other.

Idiot number one slipped over as idiot number two approached. As idiot one lay on the floor, idiot two gawped at idiot one and then slipped in the same place and fell down the stairs. At the same time, idiot three was coming up the stairs and when he reached the top having seen the other two idiots slip and fall, he too slipped spectacularly.

I had to answer questions like this:

It is OK to leave you laptop in your car with the window open while you pop into a shop. True or False?

It is OK to climb onto a chair with wheels at the top of a staircase in order to change a light bulb. True or False?

For a laugh, I have decided to publish my own ten point plan for morons as a primer for tests similar to the one I had to take. If you are so stupid that people wonder how you manage to dress yourself in the morning, this is for you.

(1) When making yourself a cup of coffee, do not under any circumstances plunge your hand into boiling water as this may cause pain and severe burning and may stop you carrying on with your work.

(2) Whenever you need to go to the toilet, do not wait at your desk until it is too late. You will wet yourself. Always go to the toilet when you know that you can get there without an accident. Such action minimises the prospect of people slipping in the trail of urine that you leave as you run in a state of panic to the toilet.

(3) Do not throw yourself down the stairs. First of all there may be somebody else coming up and as well as injuring yourself you may injure that person too.

(4) If you work on the first floor or above, do not leave the office by leaping out of the window. Even though this may seem to be the quickest way to exit the building, you will almost certainly injure yourself and anybody who is unfortunate enough to be walking beneath.

(5) If you see a fire, do not stand there pointing at it or attempt to warm up your lunch in the flames. You must leave the building – preferably not by hurling yourself down the stairs or out of the windows, as described above.

(6) Under no circumstances should you pour water into electrical equipment to clean it.

(7) However tempting it may be, do not hit your manager with a blunt instrument.

(8) Do not use your laptop while driving. You may crash the car.

(9) If there is a fire, do not stop to make a coffee because it may be cold outside.

(10) Hitting your colleagues over the head with a laptop will injure them. It may also damage expensive company equipment.

You may chuckle at that list but the training I received assumed that I had no common sense whatsoever.

The whole world has gone mad when it comes to Health and Safety. Here is an example from work; I’ve mentioned this before but this time I thought that photographic evidence was required to show normal people how absurd Health and Safety can be.

This notice is on the mirror in the gents toilet at work.

It’s a good job they told me – my IQ usually plummets when I’m in the toilet and I wouldn’t want to spread germs.

Actually, I had to be very careful taking that photo. Walking into the gents with a camera, no matter how innocent the reason, could have been taken the wrong way.

I hope nobody saw me.


Anonymous said...

I'm in a lot of pain today (bad back) and reading this just made it worse because I was laughing so hard...So good job on the funny and thanks heaps for the little extra stab of pain...

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Grace,

Oh no! I'm sorry about that!

I hope the pain wasn't too bad ..




Er sorry that should have been ...


Cheers PM

River said...

"The whole world has gone mad when it comes to Health and Safety"

yes, yes, yes!

At my workplace we are subjected to a yearly viewing and quiz of safe work practices. We are shown that the proper way to lift things is by keeping our elbows tucked in close to the body, to minimise shoulder strain. This is known as "wings in". The number of times I hear 'wings in' during the short video makes me want to scream and throw things at the screen. There's more, but you get the idea.

drb said...

Mr PM, you are lucky that you don't work with Idiots.
There must be more of them in my industry.

Someone (identity remians unknown) at work did spill coffee on the top of the stairs and someone else slipped on it, fell down the stairs and broke her leg.

Other idiotic acts:
Climbing on chairs with wheels to reach for things on the top of the shelves. I did it once or twice myself because we were too lazy to grab the step stool.

Spilling huge quantity of radioactive stuff on the floor or ground and didn't alert anyone.

Eating/drinking in a room full of carcinogen compunds and radioativity.

Handling liquid nitrogen without mittens or goggles.

We need to make our students/staff watch your he idiot-proof video!!

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

"Wings in" - how funny is that?

Oh I get the idea alright ...




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi drb,

Health and Safety in a lab really IS important - I remember at school all of the dangerous things we could (in theory) blow up easily. :-)

Handling liquid nitrogen without mittens and goggles?

You really would have thought that common sense would prevail ...




MedicatedMoo said...

Love it!

Here's a few more:

Never use the stapler to pierce your face, or those of your colleagues. It is painful and likely to result in a bad annual performance review.

Always replace the toner with a new cartridge when your photocopies are too pale grey to read. Failure to do so will most likely result in grievous bodily harm and permanent exile from team cake mornings.

Be sure to walk over to the waste paper bin to deposit your rubbish instead of throwing it, missing and leaving it there. You and others risk nasty paper cuts when forced to walk over and pick it up.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Bonjour Kath,

I agree totally with all of them - and I might suggest that we actually start having team cake mornings (though Health and Safety would find SOME reason to prohibit them).