Health ‘n’ Safety

I’m on a three-day rest cure, sorry, training course this week and it’s in the city which means I can get there and back on foot if I don’t mind a forty-minute walk each way. So my commute was pretty relaxed with no hold ups until I got to the building itself. The training is on the lower ground floor and, once through reception, there was a bank of lifts to take you up or down. And a queue of people waiting to use them. And one lift out of order. We looked around for a staircase and could see nothing obvious so we waited for the lift. Come lunchtime, the scene repeated itself – waiting five minutes to ride one floor up or down just seemed ridiculous. Could we use the stairs we asked? Ooh, the receptionist responded – the stairs are complicated. We’d need to be shown how to use them (I suppose this is a training company). We should ask downstairs about using the stairs. So we asked downstairs (or should that be down lift?). Oooh no, they said downstairs – we don’t have access to the stairs. We’d have to be escorted. We might get lost. And then – because I think she suspected that we were a little sceptical about our ability to get lost going up a single flight of stairs – she unleashed the clincher. The great unanswerable of our days. It’s a health and safety issue.

Suitably chastened, we stuck with the lift for after all, what are stairs but one long series of trip hazards? And when the nation sinks finally into the rising sea levels of global warming with only our obesity to keep us afloat, we’ll have to remember that when we lost the use of our limbs it was in the noble cause of health and safety …


15 responses to “Health ‘n’ Safety

  1. Frazzled aunt


  2. Health and Safety? So supposing the building caught fire, you couldn’t use the lifts, and no-one had shown you how to use those stairs – hit her with that one tomorrow and see what she says!

  3. Grunt – I expect in a real fire we’d figure it out pretty quickly – after all I’ve been climbing stairs now all on my own for quite some time…

    FA – are you doubting my word?

  4. Unbelievable! It’s political correctness gone mad! And it’s all the fault of these nampy-pamby, Guardian reading, sandal wearing vegetarians. If Jeremy Clarkson ran this country, none of this would happen.

  5. The world has gone crazy. Let’s hope you don’t have to use them in anger in an emergency!

    PS. It’s always a pleasure to read your posts!

  6. That’s absurd. What if someone had a phobia of lifts? That’s actually disability discrimination. And what about the fact that they are encouraging obesity by insisting everyone goes in the lift. What’s the government going to say about that?

  7. C-side – thanks

    Angelfeet – the training is all done in underground windowless rooms so the claustrophobics aren’t going to be happy whatever, otherwise I’d have tried that one

    Ross – indeed. Probably

  8. Erm…what about crossing the stairs and a lift – i.e. like we have loads of escalators…?

    I’m sure you cant make up this sort of stuff. Next where are the instructions for using the toilet…lets face it – all that water might be a drowning danger?

  9. TubeDude – how any of us actually survived into adulthood is a mystery to me. And then they let us out into the street to play in traffic…

  10. Just as well you don’t work for a railway.

    Part of our training is we have to go on the “live” railway…that really goes against Mothers teaching -“Don’t go near the track!”

  11. I’d respond but there are Health & Safety issues with regards to typing and I wouldn’t want to die in some freak keyboard accident.

  12. TubeDude – never mind live rails, I don’t even like stepping on the cracks in the pavement

    Steve – as long as you do a full DSE risk assessment first you should be fine…

  13. HAH – I work in a building close to Moorgate, the staircases are permanently locked, and the only time you are allowed to use them is when there is a fire drill, then the fire warden unlocks the door to the stairs. Every evening we have to check that the doors are locked because this building is security mad – if you left them open, anyone could sneak into an office through the back door so to speak! I tread what woud happen if both lifts were out of order at the same time once!

  14. Beate – I can’t believe that’s actually allowed. What if there were a real fire and the warden was on holiday? That really is a health and safety risk…

  15. I thought t hat locking or blocking a fire exit is illegal

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