I promise, after this one, I won’t mention Health & Safety until next year. It’s just too easy a target.
So anyway, at our office we have a large open green area – originally intended as a cricket field, it more often plays host to a series of football pitches of varying sizes. There’s a stream that runs around the edge of it (ok, a manufactured stream) with a path along the edge that the Powers That Be encourage us to walk around at lunch (10,000 steps and all that). Now, there are four places where this path crosses water, and there are wooden walkways in place. But over winter, when it’s wet and rainy and cold and dark all the time, the wood gets rather slippery. So they rope off these sections and make us walk in the road instead. Like this:
Note the “Danger – Deep water” sign as well. The water is deep. At least a foot, maybe two. Definitely possible to drown in that if you’re a particularly small hobbit.
Now, you’ll note that the wooden slats look dry, and this is, believe it or not, because they are dry. At the time of taking that photo, it hadn’t rained in weeks. So I got hold of our friendly facilities folks, and inquired as to whether they had a plan to open up the walkways again. They said, and I’m typing this slowly to make sure you get it, that they were waiting for it to rain again so they could see if it was going to be slippery when wet. But it’s not wet! It’s dry! And therefore it’s not slippery! And there are ways of getting water onto a path without waiting for rain. Listeners with keen eyes and socks to match would have noticed a ready supply in the photo above. Sod the Beatles: a bucket is all you need.
Since that exchange, it has rained, substantially. And the path was dry the next day, and not slippery. But I just don’t have it in me to go back and ask again, so I just move the rope out the way and walk on the boardwalk. You know me – taking my life in my hands, living on the edge – I’m all about that.
However, this got me thinking: surely there has to be a way to take Health & Safety at the office so far past the bounds of what is acceptable that the whole system will break down in a flat spin? Witness the following:
We have the space, the tools, and the obstacles to make an amazing office chair racecourse. Those ladders could be put in Vs to funnel and guide, causing bad decisions and accidents galore.
However, having written this here, I’m afraid I can’t be seen anywhere near it. So if you’re reading this, and you recognise those pictures, go on and do it. I’m thinking the afternoon of 28 June would be ideal…