Thursday, 31 July 2008

Lovely is not the only one having a joke at work

Well, I must admit I was well and truly wound up today by a health and safety joke. We all received this email:



Dear All,
I am sorry to ask you to consider risk assessment at such a busy time of year. However I would be grateful if you could cast an eye over the enclosed risk assessment which includes the areas of manual handling and infection control. Should you require more information on either the manual handling involved or infection control please do not hesitate to contact me.
Many thanks for your kind assistance
Best wishes Miranda


I must admit I felt a little peed off and didn't look at it immediately. However, temptation got the better of me and I looked at it at this afternoon! I was straight away on the phone to colleagues saying "can you believe this...." and then when I had nearly been incontinent with laughter I saw the fist line and realised it was a joke! I was had!

School / Department: Health Date of assessment:July 31st 2008
Activity / area: Movement of Mugs to the dishwasher\kitchen

Next review date:July 31st 2009 Assessed by:Miranda Cupp RA Ref No:1/J/O/K/E

What are the hazards?
  1. Movement of Mug to dishwasher.
  2. Infection due to non washing or incomplete washing of mug. Example 6 unwashed mugs removed from the “clean” cupboard on one occasion.

Who might be harmed and how?

  1. The user of the Mug
  2. Any innocent subsequent user of the Mug particularly those with poor immune systems

What controls do you already have in place?

  1. and 2. The Provision of a dishwasher

Risk (H/M/L)

  1. Very Low
  2. Very high

What further action is necessary to reduce the risk to Low?

  1. a.Weight training to increase the Power and endurance of the dominant upper limb of the mug user. b. mobility exercises for the joints of the dominant upper limb for the user of the mug.
  2. Movement of the mug from the sink/drainer to the dishwasher (See advice above)

Action by whom?

  1. and 2. The user of the Mug

Action by when?

  1. and 2 Immediately


This of refers to the bad habits in the staff kitchen of leaving dirty mugs on the drainer rather than putting them into the dishwasher! As a post script, Miranda got a lot of replies but the best one was sent around for us all to see and is duly reported below!


From: Carlton Ruth Sent: 01 August 2008 08:53 To: Cupp Miranda RE: Risk assessment


Thank you Miranda for a most comprehensive report which highlights some very interesting concepts surrounding one of our most important tasks.


I feel that the issues raised should be formally discussed at the appropriate committee meeting. I therefore humbly propose that we form a sub group immediately to consider the issues you have raised and report our findings to the relevant committee who can then forward potential solutions to the relevant school sub group who in turn may formulate a plan which can be taken to the divisional board for amending before it can be produced for the school management team in readiness to present to the relevant University management group. I envisage that we should have an answer for you in approximately 18 months to 2 years depending on the dates when the groups meet and how many are in each group who like the sound of their own voice.
I hope this time scale meets with your approval.
Ruth