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BOFH and the workplace hazards

Bloody lucky we had a health and safety bloke

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Episode 20

What the hell's that?" the PFY asks as he enters Mission Control, narrowly missing a huge pile of paper just inside the door.

"That would be the identified hazards in our workplace," I reply.

"What the BLOODY HELL are they playing at?!" the PFY snaps, echoing my own frustration. "They've been annoying us for more than a bloody year now!"

"They claim that the IT Division’s injury rate approaches that of a small civil war so they're paying particular attention to the Division, and our office in particular."

"So that' the office covered then?"

"No that pile is just for this room!"

"You're joking!"

"No, they've really gone overboard," I reply, grabbing several sheets of paper. "These bookshelves, >tap< >wobble< >wobble<, are not fixed to the wall and have heavy objects at a height which raises its centre of gravity dangerously."

"But they made us put them there because they said they were too low before and would cause back strain in lifting!"

"Uh huh. >flip< And this table >clank< >clank< has a wobbly leg, which could mean that if someone stumbled into it, it would collapse, dropping that machine onto someone's foot."

"It was them who made us turn the table around because they said it blocked an egress path."

"Again, yes. >flip< These boxes of tapes are also dodgy, bump into them and they might topple down on top of you..."

"But they said the tape room was too overcrowded for people to access and that we’d have to store some tapes in a different location!"

"Uh-huh. >flip< The table top bulk eraser has no electrical earth."

"It’s double insulated! It’s not supposed to have an earth! The only way it’d cause a problem unless you poured water down it! Anyway it's isolated on the deskside UPS."

"AH HAH!" I cry ">flip< Overvoltage warning lamp on deskside UPS unit."

"It's done that since we bought it. It's perfectly alright. Anyway, it's only an eraser."

"You're talking to the wrong man. >flip< That >scuff< carpet tile in the doorway has lifted, causing a trip hazard."

“THEY BLOODY LIFTED IT WHEN THEY WERE TESTED THEM TO SEE HOW WELL STUCK DOWN THEY WERE."

"Again, I am not disagreeing with you."

"So you're just going to fix all these things now so that the solutions will be next inspection's problems?" he asks sarcastically.

"Not at all. I rang the inspector bloke, who, it has to be admitted, has the personality of a tamponvending machine, who told me that once we read the 150-page newly-revised safety-in-the-workplace manual, we'll know all we need to about making the place safe."

"I don't do manuals," the PFY snips.

"Yes, that's what I said, but he told me that it's our responsibility to have a safe workplace. He also said that he'll be doing fortnightly inspections to ensure that we comply with the company's new work-safe policy."

"What new work-safe policy?"

"Buggered if I know. Anyway he said he'd walk us through the main points today so that we could make a start and avoid the non-compliance penalties."

"Penalties?" the PFY says

"Yeah, in the work-safe policy. It's a carrot and stick idea, with more of the stick than the carrot. Apparently, the company's considering moving to a deferred bonus for staff and contractors, and this could be one of the things that puts the kybosh on your bonus. You know, too many accidents, no bonus."

"The bastard!"

"No, no, he's just doing his job, keeping us safe. Anyway, he should be here anytime to..."

>Knock Knock<

"Just thought I'd grab the bull by the horns and get down to business as soon as pos.." he starts, tripping on the aforementioned carpet tile, then regaining his balance momentarily by standing on the large stack of H&S violation reports ...

...which slides out from under his foot.

"Whoops!" he says, ploughing into one of the aforementioned bookcases.

>Wobble<

>CRASH!

"Hey, they were right about that bookcase!" the PFY cries, surprised.

>Clank!<

>Crash<

"And that table!"

>Topple<

>Crash< >crash< >crash<

"And the boxes of tapes."

>KZZZZZEeeerrrrrt!<

>ZZzzzzzzzzzap<

>Bang!<

"Maybe that overvoltage light was actually working after all," he mumbles as the smoke clears. "Bloody lucky we had a Health and Safety bloke to point it all out to us..."

>slam<

"What the hell is going o..." the Boss starts, crashing into Mission Control to see what all the noise is about.

>trip<

>Wobble<

>CRASH<

>BZZZERRRRRT!<

>Zip< >Zip< >zzzzap<

.. one ambulance ride for two later . .

"This place is a BLOODY DEATHTRAP!" I gasp, recounting the past half-hour.

"I'd agree," the PFY responds. "We definitely need to be putting some things into place."

"Warning signs?" I suggest.

"I was thinking more of a video camera. I almost pissed myself when the boss faceplanted the bulk eraser. A memory like that would have been priceless on tape."

"Yeah. And we could have made a tidy little sum from those bloopers shows too."

"Ah well, there's always next time," the PFY sighs, picking at the corner of a floor tile...®

BOFH is copyright © 1995-2004, Simon Travaglia. Don't mess with his rights.

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