Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ne’er Be Well

I had to accompany the council’s Health & Safety Officer on a Health & Safety Inspection of the building yesterday.

It’s one of the many joys of my job.

2 whole hours of looking for trip hazards, checking for correct fire safety signage, electrical service conformity to various regulatory bodies, recommended lighting levels and ergonomic workstation risk assessments... oh bliss.

As you can imagine, I could barely contain myself.

Why is it that all H&S officers are not so much devoid of a sense of humour but lumbered with one so socially inept that they refuse to laugh at anybody else’s jokes while making determined efforts to constantly crack their own?

And why is it that I feel obliged to play along with it?

Anyway, I had to give up faking my laughter about half way round. The cold / virus / bug thing that has plagued me for the last 5 weeks has now plummeted down to my chest and is forcing me to cough and hack up my lungs like an asthmatic coal miner. There was so much sputum flying around the H&S guy ended up looking like Dan Aykroyd from Ghostbusters.

However, inspection-wise we did ok. The guy had to find something to pick us up on – naturally – but it was all minor stuff; easily sorted. Generally though we passed muster.


I on the hand, handkerchief pressed to my mouth like a consumptive, was condemned as a H&S hazard. If I don’t get better soon I just might find myself Risk Assessed out of a job.

Hmm. Every cloud has a silver lining.


Anonymous said...

oh dear poor you. H&S inspections do indeed sound dull.

I once had a big crush on our H&S Officer when I worked in Bradford. I volunteered to go on all sorts of courses which were entirely irrelevant to my job just so I could sit and oggle this bloke - some of them even sounded like they might involve something a bit juicy (one on Manual Handling springs to mind) but none were.

You have been ill for a long time now, Steve. I think you definitely need to take a little more time off work and rest up.

Take care of yourself

The Sagittarian said...

Oh dear, I really must have upset you with my Kath and Kim comment eh?
I feel obliged to say that the H and S people here are very funny, witty, talented, laugh at others jokes all the time, and pay for a round at the pub on a regular basis. Hoorah.

Steve said...

I'm sure you're right, Gina... thankfully I have the day off today anyway as it's Karen's birthday and I'm taking her out for a meal at lunchtime - a "day date" as we call it. I've been looking forward to it as much as she has.

I believe the council is planning some Manual Handling for us too... apparently it's all to do with how you bend your knees...

Hi Amanda, not at all: I love Kath and Kim and think that Gene Hunt would be a perfect match for Kimmy. Soul-mates, mate.

Your H&S people sound ace. Room in your house for one more?

Anonymous said...

Oh happy birthday, Karen! Hope you have a lovely day and that Steve didn't buy you lego?

Try not to spray too much snot over the lunch eh, Steve?

You know I googled that guy I used to fancy after I wrote that comment and he is still there doing the same job. I had very bad taste in men back then is all I can think now. Although it was a long time ago -perhaps he WAS more handsome at the time. Perhaps working in H&S leads to premature aging as he looks about 90 in the photo I found yesterday.

Right I ought to do some work.

The Sagittarian said...

Sorry Steve, we are also a jealous bunch who guard our patches...I am the only H and S person allowed in my house. You can come and visit if you have the appropriate safety clearance 9and large buckets of wine and whisky....)

Steve said...

Hi Gina, not just Lego know but a goodly selection of choice DVDs, books, jewellery and an antique singer sewing machine...

Not sure if working in H&S leads to premature aging but it certainly leads to premature senility given how porridge-like my brain is this morning. Coherent thought? Who me? Not likely!

Hi Amanda, "large buckets of wine and whisky"... now that is someone who doesn't stand on ceremony! More power to your elbow!

Old Cheeser said...

I once did a health and safety unit on an NVQ I took in my last workplace - mmmm, so exciting!! And quite pain-staking having to gather the evidence - "Oh look at that cardboard box hanging precariously from the top of that cupboard! Hazard ahoy!" I suppose it was quite enlightening though and it does make you think that all employers should be adhering to certain rules, in order to ensure the, erm, health and safety of their staff. I'm sure you follow the regulations to the letter, Steve!

And yeah, why does no-one comment on the fact that flu-ridden, sneezing, coughing individuals in the office are actually a H&S hazard?!

Steve said...

The sad thing is, OC, the whole country seems to be getting swept up in puritannical H&S/Risk Assessment mania. It'll get to the point where you won't be able to use a paperclip without reading the Risk Assessment on how to use one first...

On the other hand I'll be quite happy to be forced to stay at home because of infectious sniffles...!

-eve- said...

> that they refuse to laugh at anybody else’s jokes while making determined efforts to constantly crack their own?
LOL! That's terrible of them! It shows a lack of social training :-)

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Sounds like you had the same bloke I did last week Steve - in a manner of speaking of course! Not from a company called Penninsula by any chance? Though I do suspect our BRIT H&S officers are all cloned frankly.

Mind you, you should see my emergency evacuation plan for zombie attack - second to none - took me hours!

Steve said...

Certainly a lack of something Eve, though I'm not sure that social ability is covered by the H&S!

No Laura, our H&S guys are all "in-house"... to stop them breeding I suspect...