back to article BOFH: Their bright orange plumage warns other species, 'Back off! I'm dangerous!'

BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns I'm already in a bit of a foul mood when the Boss calls me into his office for "a quick word". The office Health and Safety enthusiast is there too so I know the meeting will be neither quick nor a single word. "It's about the ladder," he says. "What ladder?" I ask. "The ladder in the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hazard creation

    Ahh, the fun of Health and Safety.

    We had a good one here a couple of years ago. Someone leaving a meeting room dropped a cup of water on the floor. It's carpet, so no slip risk, but H&S insisted on popping one of those yellow "slippery floor" sandwich boards right in the middle of the corridor, just to the right of the meeting room.

    Half an hour later, another meeting ends, someone leaves the room and turns right whilst chatting to a colleague, doesn't notice the yellow board, trips over it and is sent flying.

    When you are trying to alert people to a non-existant hazard by creating a much more blatant hazard, you have to ask if you've really thought things through...

    1. GlenP Silver badge

      Re: Hazard creation

      Genuine extract from an accident record:

      Cause of accident?

      Tripped over First Aid box.

      1. Chloe Cresswell

        Re: Hazard creation

        Friend of mine is banned from filling out an accident report at work, it has to be filled out for him.

        The reason? When they had a physical accident report book, he had an accident. When filling out the book, he managed to cut himself on the accident book...

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Hazard creation

          We got a several hundred page safety manual at work. The somewhat OCD safety guy was informed that I got a paper cut from the manual and a week or so later the post boy got a hernia delivering a laminated version of the same.

      2. Unicornpiss Silver badge

        Re: Hazard creation - ironies abound

        I poked myself in the eye with the tail piece of my safety glasses once..

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Hazard creation - ironies abound

          "I poked myself in the eye with the tail piece of my safety glasses once.."

          I'm not surprised. Most of the ones I've had to wear over the years of site visits, the arms seem to be much closer in than normal glasses and tend to leave marks where they tightly grip your head above the ears. A glasses wearer used to proper glasses could easily mis-judge when putting them on.

        2. rskurat

          Re: Hazard creation - ironies abound

          I've had the same trouble. I think the inexpensive ones are one-size-fits-most, and I have eyes like a hammerhead shark.

      3. wallyhall

        Re: Hazard creation

        It’s not quite as ironic, but we had a set of health and safety training “online learning” videos pushed upon us a few years back.

        The first was slips spills and trips. The first director to complete it proudly announced he had achieved the highest possible score of 100%, only a matter of hours before he slipped on a dead squirrel while walking between the two office buildings.

        I kid you not.

        (Your first aid box story reminded me think of that.)

        The one which really sticks in my mind though was when the new head of HR turns up for the first (and as recall, almost only) visit to the “not the London office” where she caught sight of me sitting on a gym ball at the desk.

        “Why are you sitting on that?” she asked somewhat snappily.

        “Ah you must be the new HR director?” I politely replied. “Lovely to meet you. I suffer from back pain, this is more comfy.”

        “But we supply chairs. You must sit on those. That ball thing isn’t approved.”

        “But my back hurts less on this than the chairs you supply. And I bought it and brought it to work as my own seat with my name inscribed on it.”

        “I’ll see about this...” and with that she charged off.

        Never did hear another peep about it.

        I think she was actually quite a nice person, but took her job VERY by the letter of the book.

    2. Mycho Silver badge

      Re: Hazard creation

      At my last job I took H&S duties for the hundred quid a year bonus. My favourite was when someone had left a plastic wet floor sign at the foot of a staircase and it had folded up, meaning coming from upstairs you couldn't see it until you were standing on it and hope like hell it didn't slip under you.

      Needless to say that one got written up in great detail.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Hazard creation

        I had to fill out the accident book when the old lighting panels in the corridor were switched to LED. The old fixtures were left on top of a trolley in the corridor, and I happened to pass by at the exact moment that someone came out of a side door, so I half-stepped to the right and sliced a good three inch long cut into my arm from the lethally sharp corner of the old fixture.

        Two days later, the trolley was still there, still piled high with razor sharp fixtures, but now the corridor was even more narrowed down by a little line of newly purchased plastic figures linking arms with the words "Danger - men working overhead" emblazoned on their torsos.

        Queue a complaint from the diversity champion that the figures displayed a gross and implicit gender bias.

        Queue a complaint from the H&S rep who pointed out that if the overhead work was actually a danger then the risk assessment should have been filed, and a more appropriate mitigation strategy might be a partial closure of the building. Had this risk in fact been classified as a hazard rather than a danger?

        Next week the trolley was gone and the working practice had been changed to "Take the old fixtures down to the skip straight away instead of leaving them in the corridor."

        Now the next task... persuading them to sweep the corridor properly and check the operation of the automatic firedoors daily before clocking off - they seemed to care little if they dropped a screw during the fixture change and that screw got kicked along the corridor until it wedged under the firedoor stopping them from closing properly, as was revealed by the weekly test.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hazard creation

          at my last place we had to deal with a scald. Nothing odd there.

          Apart from the scald was caused by some opening the box to treat a minor cut, knocking over a cup of fresh coffee over the person that had called the first aider. If that wasn't bad enough for the poor soul, lets just say it was a "delicate" situation trying to cool the afflicted area and her sex life may have been put on hold for a few weeks.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
            Flame

            Re: Hazard creation

            There was a guy in Israel who had my favourite accident. Wife saw cockroach in toilet and sprayed entire can of insect spray down it. Hubby went for a cheeky combined poo and cigarette break. Dropped lit butt, got burns to naked butt.

            The ambulencemen were laughing so hard that they dropped him down the stairs and broke both his legs. Oops.

            Does laughing at that make me a bad person?

            1. Jemma Silver badge

              Re: Hazard creation

              No, no you're not..

              You could say he was hoist on his own peturd..

            2. Cpt Blue Bear

              Re: Hazard creation

              My Grandad loved to tell the story about the sanitary orderly of some WWII era camp in the middle of nowhere running out of whatever it was he poured into the long drops to keep the flies down. He has a bright idea: petrol. Enter an unsuspecting victim in search of relief. He lights a cigarette while thus occupied and drops the match into the pit. The result: second degree burns to the bum.

              1. magickmark
                Mushroom

                Re: Hazard creation

                That story is in one of Spike Milligan's war biography's, "Adolf Hitler: My part in his down fall"

                They had just arrived in Algiers and were stationed in the secret "Camp X" if I recall, and the Latrine Orderly, named as one Gunner Liddle in the books, if I recall correctly, did not have any quick lime so used a mixture of petrol and diesel. Some time later a Sargent Major, attending to his ablutions drops a match down the pit after lighting his pipe and suffers second degree burns on his 'parts'.

                A sort of British loss of face. He was our last casualty before we actually went into action. Next time it would be for real. (p. 146)

            3. ShadowDragon8685

              Re: Hazard creation

              Well... That escalated quickly!

              Oh man, you're not a bad person, you're just human. I'm giggling here.

          2. Jemma Silver badge

            Re: Hazard creation (delicate)

            Fire in the hole?

            We never had any health and safety issues - but there was the director who reversed a 1.6 ton Saab estate over the laptop he'd put behind the back wheel... Twice... In the space of a month.

            ... And the PHB who thought a porn filter was a fine upstanding idea... Until he was the first and only one in the entire company to get caught by it.

            ... Or the new IT director that replaced a £120 quad modem card remote access system (which worked perfectly) with a god-alone-knows-how-much VPN (£x hundred thousand) that only ever vaguely worked with Windows 98, and nothing else in the history of computing before or since - even then you were more likely to get a useful result from Automatic Writing.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Hazard creation (delicate)

              "We never had any health and safety issues - but there was the director who reversed a 1.6 ton Saab estate over the laptop he'd put behind the back wheel... Twice... In the space of a month."

              Sounds like a promoted ex-BOFH who wanted a new laptop and wasn't happy with the first replacement.

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Hazard creation

        I did take the opportunity to make a point of falling over the middle of the pedestrian area sandwich board advert place in the middle of the rod for an opportunist legal company in town once.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Hazard creation

          There was one of those Negligence Claims companies operating from an office block in Stanmore next to the tube station. Their sign, about three feet high made from perspex and aluminium shaped into chunky illuminated 3D letters, for months had the letter C swinging in the breeze held up by one remaining screw. Now if that had fallen on someone's head, they'd have had a claim for being injured in an accident that wasn't their fault.

    3. Rusty 1
      Unhappy

      Re: Hazard creation

      A train station I frequently use has a penchant for putting so much salt down in winter on surfaces people walk on that there is a serious skid risk - it's like walking on ball bearings.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Hazard creation

        A building I frequently walk through has a group that specializes in placing wet-floor signs in the worst possible locations. I think I'm pretty close to knocking my hundredth one over. My favorite is the one they place right at the top of the stairs, on the side you walk down. Instead of moving it about three inches to the right, where it would be up against the banister and basically impossible to topple, they've placed it where people frequently knock it all the way down the staircase. So far, nobody's gone falling down after it, although I do believe the falling sign has hit perspective stair climbers on various occasions.

      2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Hazard creation

        Skid risk on grit - Welcome to Calgary's LRT stations in winter.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hazard creation

        Didcot Parkway by any chance?

    4. Tim99 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Hazard creation

      I was attempting to stay awake in a recent hour-long H&S induction, before I was allowed into a business to conduct an assessment of their technical competence. We had been told to comply with a number of important safety procedures including moving our cars because we had driven directly into the marked visitor parking parking spots instead of reversing in. My colleague asked an obvious question, which was: What the greatest cause of accidents that had caused injury or lost time. The answer was that two people had been injured, one seriously with a broken ankle and wrist, and another person had a back injury, both caused by them falling off the kerb outside the emergency exit when they were evacuating the building as a result of the most recent H&S practice evacuation that had been arranged by the person running the induction - He seemed unaware of the concept of irony...

      1. DougS Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Please stop!

        I can't take any more, I'm all laughed out. It is rare that the real world comments are more outrageous and hilarious than the antics of the BOFH and PFY!

      2. Diogenes

        Re: Hazard creation

        a result of the most recent H&S practice evacuation that had been arranged by the person running the induction

        Many many years when I was young and stupid (as opposed to old & stupid now) I was an Officer in the Army Reserve, and had to go to the 2MD pay office at Victoria Barracks (Sydney) to sort out a pay issue . While I was there, the WHS people decided to do a fire drill, and as visibility s reduced, they decided to pop some cans of coloured smoke to mimic the stuff produced by burning. I understand that they discovered a lot of equipment was in places it shouldn't have been, net result a few broken/twisted ankles and arms...

        At my current workplace I have two routes from my classroom/office to the emergency evac area (school oval) . One leads through the centre of the school (which could be on fire), or right past the 2 big propane tanks.

  2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    hang on....

    So does this mean that the Dutch go really big on the health and safety thing considering their national colour?

    1. Grikath Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: hang on....

      About as much as the PFY, yes.....

    2. Martijn Otto

      Re: hang on....

      You think we all wear bright orange all day?

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: hang on....

        You don't?

        1. Dr. G. Freeman

          Re: hang on....

          Our accident reports have a ticky box for "Annoyed the guy in the orange football shirt".

          Seeing as I wear Dundee United shirts (which are predominately orange) most days, and wrote the accident form.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: hang on....

        You think we all wear bright orange all day?

        Yup. And that you all live in windmills.

        Here's a Youtube link to documentary proof...

      3. harmjschoonhoven

        Re: You think we all wear bright orange all day?

        No, but Thrianta rabbits have to - WWII and all that, you know.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efJb9Xov4xU

    3. hplasm Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: hang on....

      Nothing as safe as an Oompaloompa.

      And nothing as hazardous as an Oompaloompa in a cabbage patch...

      1. Bangem

        Re: hang on....

        "Nothing as safe as an Oompaloompa.

        And nothing as hazardous as an Oompaloompa in a cabbage patch..."

        There's no earthly way of knowing...

  3. Horridbloke
    WTF?

    One evening about ten year ago...

    I was staying in a hotel in North Carolina. The fire alarm went off, possibly due to a lightning strike, so I grabbed my beers and eeepc and sat on a bench outside. Shortly afterwards the fire engine turned up. This was very large, very red and very gleamy with all the chrome bits on it. It also bore flashing lights.

    The first thing the driver did upon leaving the vehicle was open a storage compartment, remove half a dozen traffic cones, and arrange them in a straight line a couple of feet from the front of the vehicle.

    I have a lot of respect for the jobs firefighters do. Not so much for the pen pusher who'd decided those cones were needed.

    1. Mycho Silver badge

      Re: One evening about ten year ago...

      I dunno, I wouldn't put it past some prats to think it's okay to box in a fire engine if those cones aren't out.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        I am totally convinced that there will always be some arsehole who thinks it's perfectly all right to park right in front of a fire engine - with or without cones.

        1. Mycho Silver badge

          Sure, but the cones mean what happens when the fire engine tries to leave is their own fault.

          Spoiler: A fire engine that wants to push a fancy fucking bmw out of the way can do so. Ramming it into a nearby lamp post is entirely optional.

          1. Jemma Silver badge

            It's not optional at all, it should be written into the manuals as a general principle with the fireman's equivalent of the Blue Max awarded once you've destroyed 20.

            Mini Clubfoots and C*ntryman score double points.

            The Fiat 500 triple - 4 points if you manage to improve the gene pool at the same time.

            The cretin who ok'd the new 500 for production should have been indicted for cruel and unusual punishment under Human Rights.

            1. Mycho Silver badge

              Disagree completely.

              It needs to be weighed against the risk of depriving the area of sufficient lighting. Sometimes you have to ram it into a ditch instead.

            2. TRT Silver badge

              Fiat 500

              Do you have specifics on that? I tried one in 2009, and rejected it due to the seating configuration which was really basic and basically crap for load carrying - you'd wreck anything that sat over the hinges - but on the whole it wasn't too bad for a little city runabout, albeit at the higher end of the price bracket.

              1. Jemma Silver badge

                Re: Fiat 500

                Where do I start.

                They eat brake pads, discs, and lines as if they're finest caviar.

                The interior is extremely unsafe if you are basically over 5ft - I really want to have both knees amputated in a crash.. Not to mention if you are in the back in an accident you are basically a corpse if it burns. Which means the kiddies in the back will be the equivalent of a hog roast before the emergency services have found their keys. And my 4 door Wolseley is, and I quote, "dangerous". I'd like to introduce you to a fantastic new feature - we at BMC call them back doors.

                The engines are fairly flaky, especially the MultiAirLeaks (from head and intake gaskets). You can guarantee that the owners have not the slightest clue about oils so just pick up 20w50 and go with it (which to paraphrase Robin Williams is "great when you're in a landcrab, but not so great when you've got VVTi") or (and my neighbour actually killed one doing this) top it up to the valve gear.

                Amazingly for a FIAT however, they don't appear to rust.

                They ride like a Bedford truck circa 1938 and the convertible is apparently worse..

                But what makes me want to commit violent murder every time I see one is the turdulicious pastiche of a real classic burbling around the place with an owner who thinks they're the bees bollocks because they bought (or even worse, deliberately leased) the automotive equivalent of an iPhone that's just been run over by an M1 Abrams.

                And THEN they turn up their nose at a proper classic, even the original 500 for being old fashioned (did you actually *look* at your car) and polluting! - or play the "Let's test the Wolseley brakes" game by pulling out 2 feet in front of me on a 50mph road. God alone knows what would happen if I hit one at speed in the 'crab, it'd probably go straight through.

                But worst of all, even than the Italian kretinwagen, is the Mini. You know the one - the tribute that's bigger than my Wolseley and bigger than an SWB landrover. It's like a 30st tranny truck driver doing a cover version of Dolores O'Riorden in a PVC sheath dress and fuck-me-heels (I've actually experienced this, don't ask, but the counselling is going well). Poor Alec Issigonis must be spinning in his grave fast enough to light the whole of the Midlands..

                1. TRT Silver badge

                  Re: Fiat 500

                  Fair comment. I'm glad I didn't go for one really. I thought the drive was OK, not quite as good as my Rover Metro, I also tried a Smart car which was utter shite - the automatic shift was all at the wrong ratios, but it turns out that if you tried to use it in manual there was no power at all at the point you would usually change. I couldn't actually find the engine's power band, it just didn't seem to have any at all.I ended up with a Pious, which oddly drives exactly the same as the Rover Auto excepting it's almost twice the length.

                  1. Shane McCarrick

                    Re: Fiat 500

                    + 1

                    I have the dual inclination to cry and burst out laughing- anytime I see one.

                    You didn't mention its appalling turning arch- I mean, come on- a three point turn, is a three point turn- if you need more than 3 points- you're either an appalling driver- or your car deserves to be driven off a bridge. Occasionally- its a combination of both- in which case- don't exit the car, after driving it off the bridge.........

                    1. TRT Silver badge

                      Re: Fiat 500

                      I didn't actually get to try that. Odd. I thought it was under 10m for both the Fiat and the Smart 4 4. The Rover's was a shade under 11m, the Pious is 11 point something. It doesn't seem to make that much difference, to be honest. The length does, though. The Pious is a total ball ache to fit into most on-street bays around London.

                2. Gordon JC Pearce

                  Re: Fiat 500

                  I was astounded to notice that the new Mini Countryman is just about the same size as the first-gen Freelander, and not a whole lot smaller than my old work's Berlingos.

                  1. TRT Silver badge

                    Re: Fiat 500

                    The best thing about them, though, is the incredibly generous crumple zone. It extends all the way from the back of the front bumper to the front of the back bumper.

                  2. Trygve Henriksen

                    Re: Fiat 500

                    Did you ever see the 'design' of the 2CV that some students hacked up for a competition?

                    http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/car-news/24297/legend-returns-2cv-reborn

                    Yeah, the comment about the Mk I Berlingo is mine...

                    Some legends are reincarnated with new names but the same spirit.

                    1. ectel

                      Re: Fiat 500

                      @ Trygve Henriksen

                      Well if you want to improve on the 2CV then you have to go Dyane, 2 extra HP, More aerodynamic, higher trim levels. (Just don't mention that production started after the 2cv and finished before it)

                      I have had my Dyane 28 years so far.....

                    2. rototype

                      Re: Fiat 500

                      Can't see that page, it's complaining that I have adblocker on and wants me to turn it off, which is NOT going to happen.

                3. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Fiat 500

                  Jemma> Where do I start. <Blah blah blah blah>

                  Wow. People post some random old bollocks on here, but that has to be the most bollocks anyone has ever put in a single post on El Reg. Ever. Well done you.

                4. tiggity Silver badge

                  Re: Fiat 500

                  Mine did not eat brake pads, but then again I drive anticipating situations so emergency style braking is rare & it was fine with standard gentle in advance braking.

                  Surely all (non leccy) cars have petrol and so can catch on fire? Given all the ludicrous tests cars have to go through I doubt a car with a massive fire hazard would be allowed

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Fiat 500

                    Electric cars are packed with Lithium Ion batteries; which, if ruptured, have a habit of going into thermal runaway and catching fire for several days after the fact. Battery technology needs to be vastly improved before electric cars can really take hold.

                5. cream wobbly

                  Re: Fiat 500

                  "You can guarantee that the owners have not the slightest clue about oils so just pick up 20w50 and go with it (which to paraphrase Robin Williams is "great when you're in a landcrab, but not so great when you've got VVTi") or (and my neighbour actually killed one doing this) top it up to the valve gear."

                  So, you don't like the Fiat 500 because someone once didn't know how to do an oil change?

                  Maybe there ought to be warnings. Just saying....

              2. Shane McCarrick

                Re: Fiat 500

                Its not the worst.

                For the worst- think of a Smart For Four- that a 3 point turn- turns into a 15 point turn- because its turning arch is so appalling..........

                To say nothing of how underpowered it is- when you come to a gentle hill on the motorway- it slows down to a crawl..........

                Rented one in Portugal a few weeks ago- after 2 days I brought it back and they gave me a Seat Leon 2 litre estate instead. I looked like a US soccer mum- but hey- the thing actually did what it was supposed to do.

              3. tiggity Silver badge

                Re: Fiat 500

                I had one and it it did its job well (small car so great for areas with limited parking), minimal tax in UK, frugal on petrol. Basic small run around

              4. darklord

                Re: Fiat 500

                I know too people who have had an accident in the 500.

                I will never work again in her profession as a teacher as she can no longer stand for any length of time due to severe neck injuries.

                The other was seriously hurt agin neck injuries. and no not whiplash

                Both rear enders the seats are not safe under rear impact clearly.

          2. KLane

            Or this could happen!

            From a US movie, but accurate!

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTWvE7TdjuE

      2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: One evening about ten year ago...

        I dunno, I wouldn't put it past some prats to think it's okay to box in a fire engine if those cones aren't out.

        They have other ways of taking care of problems like that.

        https://cbsboston.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/bmw2.jpg?w=420&h=236

      3. 2Nick3 Bronze badge

        Re: One evening about ten year ago...

        "I dunno, I wouldn't put it past some prats to think it's okay to box in a fire engine if those cones aren't out."

        Living in North Carolina I'd have to say you're on to something there - I've seen someone park blocking the doors to an ambulance, get out of their truck(1), and tell the cop who told him to move "It's a free country." (2) and proceed into the store.

        1: Yes, the truck had a big confederate flag sticker on it

        2. The tow truck was there promptly, and they weren't very gentile.

        1. dmacleo

          Re: One evening about ten year ago...

          if they were not gentile were they gentle?

        2. Shane McCarrick

          Re: One evening about ten year ago...

          Should have just got the closest thing with a winch- and drop the truck off the closest bridge.

        3. Hazmoid

          Re: One evening about ten year ago...

          I'm surprised the cop didn't use the police car to proceed depositing his truck in the ditch

        4. Horridbloke

          Re: One evening about ten year ago...

          Thanks 2Nick3 for clarifying the local situation. I guess I have too much faith in human nature.

        5. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

          Re: One evening about ten year ago...

          2. The tow truck was there promptly, and they weren't very gentile.

          Autocorrect is your enemy.

        6. 's water music Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: One evening about ten year ago...

          The tow truck was there promptly, and they weren't very gentile.

          Was that deliberate to annoy the redneck even more?

      4. Gordon JC Pearce

        Re: One evening about ten year ago...

        You're close, actually. Without the cones, Mrs. Get-Me-The-Manager in her Audi Q7 will see the Old Folk's Home with smoke coming from the kitchens, street blocked, pumps four and FFs in offensive mode, hoses everywhere, and sit right at the arse of one of the pumps hooting her horn and shouting at them to move because Ollie and Mungo are late for their capoiera lesson.

    2. ZPO

      Re: One evening about ten year ago...

      Often those cones define the edge of the "scene" that they control. In some cases the whole rig has a cone perimeter.

      1. dmacleo

        Re: One evening about ten year ago...

        correct. in my time as firefighter they were used to let the individual firefighters where safe spot was as I was hooking up hoses/etc as needed.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: One evening about ten year ago...

      Not so much for the pen pusher who'd decided those cones were needed.

      In this case I suspect it's not the pen pushers: in the land of freedom unlimited liability you have to warnings on cups that coffee is hot and on knives that they're sharp. So, the firefighters have been told that if there are no cones and Bubba and Emmylou drive into the engine then they're liable…

      1. Jemma Silver badge

        Re: One evening about ten year ago...

        I hope that's plastic cutlery there, metal is usually above their pay grade...

      2. cream wobbly

        Re: One evening about ten year ago...

        I knew this would come up in some capacity or other...

        "you have to warnings on cups that coffee is hot"

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebeck_v._McDonald%27s_Restaurants#Burn_incident

        That Wikipedia article is well-researched. The elderly lady in question took off the lid to add cream and sugar and ended up with third degree burns. She had an eight day stay at the hospital while she underwent skin grafts. She lost nearly 20% of her body weight: 20 lbs.

        You might want to adjust your prejudices so you don't sound like a prat in future.

    4. kurios

      Re: One evening about ten year ago...

      It was North Carolina. I've stayed there, too.

      Believe me, the cones were essential.

    5. Hazmoid

      Re: One evening about ten year ago...

      I had to chuckle the other day, talking with our HSE manager and he was telling me about the first job he attended as an ambulance officer. A group of teenagers had taken a car on a high speed chase, missed a corner and half of them had exited the car because they were not wearing seatbelts. Apparently when the fire brigade turned up to extract the ones still in the car, they ran over one of the deceased bodies on the road. Their comment was, "You should have marked it with cones" to which the HSE manager replied," I'm an ambo, we don't have cones"

  4. Bill M

    Best BOFH in recorded history

    That is the best BOFH in recorded history

    1. Steve Gill

      Re: Best BOFH in recorded history

      If not THE best, definitely one of the best

      1. Bill M

        Re: Best BOFH in recorded history

        Wow!!!

        Are you saying there is a better BOFH ?

        If so then please post the url.

        1. Keven E

          Re: Best BOFH in recorded history

          That is a good one...

          ... this one screams... slightly louder, methinks.

          https://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/11/15/bofh_2013_episode_11/

  5. Si 1

    GDPR

    I'm surprised the boss wasn't rushing into mission control to beg the BOFH to help sort out the mess he's made of their GDPR preparations. I'd imagine taking a fire axe to the marketing email server and blocking Mailchimp would prevent most of the organisation's drones from breaching the rules.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: GDPR

        "I'd rather they went on a road trip to Brussels and arranged an 'accident' for the shit that dreamed up GDPR in the first place."

        I wouldn't. Marketers proved they couldn't be trusted to police themselves. GDPR is the result.

        If you don't like it, then blame the assholes who made it necessary.

  6. Bassey

    Mind your head

    I once cracked my head on a "please mind your head" sign at a Doctor's surgery.

    No better place to do it!

    1. Camilla Smythe

      Re: Mind your head

      I once cracked my head on the ceiling whilst paying attention to the "mind the step" notice.

      -

      -

      -

      -

      OK I just made that up.

      1. wallyhall

        Re: Mind your head

        I’m 6’2”, so tall, but not a giant.

        I was in a shop many years ago when I bent down to avoid the clearly labelled (with yellow and back stripes - the full works) low head hight ceiling transition where presumably they’d knocked through to extend the shop floor.

        In doing so I missed the equally well signed trip warning on the floor transition.

        True story.

        I also once walked into a full height mirror in B&Q which happened to be angled reflecting the shower parts in the adjacent isle I was desperately looking for...

  7. Maverick

    "always carry a carrot for self-defence" another classic

    1. Jedit
      Pint

      "always carry a carrot for self-defence"

      Sounds to me like someone has never seen Shoot Em Up.

      (Beer, because it's about the only thing someone isn't killed with in that movie.)

    2. Jemma Silver badge

      Funny, that's never what my ex girlfriend used them for..

    3. Graham Dawson

      Jokes on him, I took a self defence against fruit class

      1. Martijn Otto

        Jokes on you

        Carrots aren't classified as fruits.

      2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: self defence against fruit

        It was a VERY pointy mango.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Coat

          Re: self defence against fruit

          PHB in an era of orange hair?

      3. Hero Protagonist

        What about pointed sticks?

    4. tiggity Silver badge

      Indeed - referencing a classic movie too

  8. Chris G Silver badge

    I used to have a few mates who were firemen in East London, one of them told me about a shout to attend a factory fire.

    The fire was in an office where there was one double socket that had, IIRC a PC,a printer, a kettle, a walkie talkie battery charger and a fan heater connected to it via multi plug adapters.

    Unsurprisingly the wiring eventually gave up and burst into flames it set a box of old files alight along with a box of new nylon mesh orange hi-vis vests that produced a lot of toxic smoke, the office had no fire extinguisher but had a sign on the door saying Health & Safety!

    1. really_adf

      The fire was in an office where there was one double socket that had, IIRC a PC,a printer, a kettle, a walkie talkie battery charger and a fan heater connected to it via multi plug adapters.

      Unsurprisingly the wiring eventually gave up and burst into flames

      As long as the kettle was in one socket and the rest connected to the other, that should be fine...

      If all hanging off one socket, it might not be quite enough to blow a 13A fuse (20A?) but surely still shouldn't be a problem unless the wiring is faulty (poor contact, incorrect conductor size), the cable is damaged or similar.

      I'd guess the most likely candidates are faults in the battery charger PSU or the heater, but the latter would probably be obvious.

  9. TRT Silver badge

    "So the real problem appears to be employing people who don't watch where they're going?"

    I'm going to have that framed.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: "So the real problem appears to be employing people who don't watch where they're going?"

      In my experience on the average street, it's less about employment and more about general existence...

  10. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    Orange Safety Gear.

    The H&S fellow didn't take the elevator. Okay -- overall stats actually prove elevators are safer than stairs. (No, pretty much *everywhere*, there are a couple of exceptions but they aren't G20 countries, I've checked, don't ask why). I claim that the H&S fellow was a millennial with GAD, on three types of medication and carrying an exotic, expensive overtorqued vape device.

    Hiding in a dark corner and saying BOO! at the appropriate moment wasn't needed. Just being in the stairwell would have sufficed.

    YAY! friday BOFH. Now, how many LPAR migrations from 6's to 8's can I get away with scheduling each weekend.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Orange Safety Gear.

      If one were to blend into the colour of the walls, of course...

      1. Evil Scot

        Re: Orange Safety Gear.

        Don’t forget the orange body paint. That would be <wretch> ... enough to <wretch>... startle any one. Especially if a lot were <wretch >... needed.

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Orange Safety Gear.

      Pretty sure the elevators in the BOFH's building don't have a stellar safety record. I'm surprised they have the budget for all the elevator refits. (Or surprised any elevator supplier will still give them business)

    3. DropBear Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Orange Safety Gear.

      So... did the PFY just pull a Gotye...?

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Orange Safety Gear.

        "did the PFY just pull a Gotye...?"

        Perhaps more like this version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJlbPXZEpRE

        He's a geek after all.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Orange Safety Gear.

      One the subject of exotic, expensive overtorqued vape devices.

      A pipe gives a man (or a woman) that look of studious ernestitude. (as a rule).

      A chrome plated box with blue LEDs stuck in someone's face gives them a look of serious dickitude.

      Whatever happened to class?

      Probably health and Safety.

      1. DiViDeD Silver badge

        @AC Re: Orange Safety Gear.

        "A chrome plated box with blue LEDs "

        Oh, we vapeheads have the pipe thing well covered, thanks

        https://i.pinimg.com/originals/0c/9e/24/0c9e24158c0419d997ac02910bd9a005.jpg

    5. TSM

      Re: Orange Safety Gear.

      In the BOFH's company, elevators are definitely more dangerous. Not that there haven't been stair incidents as well, of course, but at least if you take the stairs you're not going to find yourself locked in them for the weekend after having somehow accidentally consumed a large dose of laxatives...

    6. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Orange Safety Gear.

      "there are a couple of exceptions but they aren't G20 countries"

      This might give a clue as to the kind of country the BOFH lives in.

  11. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Pint

    Excellent BOFH.

    Pub o' clock it is then!

  12. Sartori

    Excellent BOFH

    One of the best BOFH's in a long while, an absolute classic, brightened up my day no end.

    I have never been unfortunate enough to have a work accident, thankfully. However, like AC said earlier, the one and only time i *almost* did, I was chatting to a colleague, and as someone needed to get past us, I backed up a little to give them space, and very very nearly went flying over a 'Wet Floor' yellow sandwich board. It does make me wonder what % of accidents in the workplace are caused *BY* Health & Safety....

    1. Remy Redert

      Re: Excellent BOFH

      At the animal shelter I work at we had enough incidents with the wet floor warning boards that we got rid of all but 1 and just plastered "Warning, floors may be wet" stickers on all the doors leading into areas that get mopped regularly and aren't open to the public without an escort anyways.

      The only remaining board is to be hung from the meeting room door when the meeting room is or has just been mopped. We haven't had any tripping accidents since.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Meh

      Re: Excellent BOFH

      Is your measure of a BOFH the number of deaths or serious injuries involved?

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Excellent BOFH

        Is there any other measure of succes for a BOFH than the number of HR, beancounter and management cretins removed?

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Excellent BOFH

      "very very nearly went flying over a 'Wet Floor' yellow sandwich board. "

      If you're going to put shit on the floor to warn of hazards, how about making the fucking things tall enough to be at EYE HEIGHT?

    4. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Excellent BOFH

      It does make me wonder what % of accidents in the workplace are caused *BY* Health & Safety....

      IF there were no accidents, H&S wouldn't be needed, would they? So it's job security for them.

  13. chivo243 Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    A bit of a tumble

    (That story sounds so much better than "waited in a dark corner of the stairwell then shouted 'Boo!'")

    Reaches for a tissue and wipes a tear, and then the cuppa off of the keyboard!

    Really, I can't stop smiling...

    Good one Simon!

    1. A. Coatsworth

      Re: A bit of a tumble

      That phrase always reminds me of The IT Crowd, and make me smile. Although that was probably the idea

      And now I'm humming the emergency number song...

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: A bit of a tumble

      "Really, I can't stop smiling..."

      The thing that springs to mind is that with a bright orange PFY in a bright orange stairwell the boo would be even more startling than from a darkened corner. The second thing that springs to mind is how many seconds the H&S twit was airborne.

  14. Dabooka Silver badge

    Seems to be a theme

    Those yellow 'wet floor' signs.

    They're left here all day long after the floor has dried from mopping, placed in between double door ways, bottom of stairs, landings etc. I think I'm the only one who moves them to the edge and closes them up. I still get people telling me I shouldn't move them as it's a safety precaution.

  15. Roger Greenwood

    Yellow vs Orange hi-vis

    I recently had reason to question why we had to change to orange hi-vis, when for decades it has been yellow. Apparently the orange is less attractive to insects. You live and learn.

    1. -tim

      Re: Yellow vs Orange hi-vis

      I was speaking to a retired tailor who was looking for a project for a apprentice tailor when the question of orange vs yellow came up. I was hoping to get a nice custom tailored suit made. If the jacket is orange, should the shirt be yellow and the tie reflective? Just how thin should the reflective pin stripes be?

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Yellow vs Orange hi-vis

        I prefer black.

        Yes, black hi-vis is a real thing.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Yellow vs Orange hi-vis

        " I was hoping to get a nice custom tailored suit made."

        Make it out of THIS stuff: https://www.macculloch-wallis.co.uk/p/21086/technical-fabrics/mw/reflective-tweed

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Yellow vs Orange hi-vis

      "Apparently the orange is less attractive to insects"

      That's a big apparently - but it depends where you are and what the work type is.

      In daylight, HiViz yellow blends into green backgrounds. This is doubleplusplus ungood if you happen to be working in an area with a lot of greenery - such as outdoors on the side of a road, or amongst trees or on a railway line (which tend to be lined by trees) - in a lot of cases you may as well be wearing camoulflage.

      It also disappears on very light/white backgrounds - such as when you're up a mountain, or on a polar icecap or even when sitting on the surface of the sea. This is why SAR and polar transport aircraft are painted orange - it makes crashed ones much easier to see (and why liferafts are orange, not yellow)

      On the other hand. HiViz yellow works best at night (headlights) and indoors (low light levels)

      Of course if you're the PFY, any colour can be camoulflage if you want it to be.

  16. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Absolute classic!

    Superb episode!!

  17. sisk Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    "Which is why I always carry a carrot for self-defence,"

    And now I need a new keyboard.

    On a related note, coffee ejected through the nose does not feel wonderful. But hey, I must have absorbed some of the caffeine through my nasal cavity cuz I'm definitely awake now.

    And yes, I do know better than to drink my coffee while reading BOFH.

    1. -maniax-
      Pint

      >..coffee ejected through the nose does not feel wonderful

      I have a friend who has complained about the "world smelling of beer" on a number of occasions due to me making him laugh just as he's supping from his pint

  18. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
    Mushroom

    > ...coffee ejected through the nose does not feel wonderful.

    Did that once with pasta and hot sauce (watching "The Fog").

    1 star, do not recommend.

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Coat

      The Nissan Story

      Nissan factory in Newcastle area...

      Automated mail truck with flashing light, beeping as it moves (Helen Keller would have been aware of it's approach) & overly sensitive sensors that stop 100 meters away from a insect in its path then wait before resuming moving. Stop at each location to allow mail to be loaded\unloaded.

      With the sensors being frequently tripped it, mail delivery was quicker by hand so someone disabled them & mail delivery got to the expected performance.

      Executives from Nissan turned up with local dignitaries, MP's & the like & given a factory tour.

      Partway through the tour, along comes the mail truck & to prove how safe it is, local manager sticks out his foot to prove how it's H&S compliant & half a ton of metal, motors, mail & batteries proceeded to run straight over it while it suffered no damage at all*, which was more than be said for the managers foot.

      It was at that point in the story that I managed to cough up & painfully eject through my nose a chunk of strawberry cheesecake & the beer I was drinking while laughing uncontrollably.

      *Paraphrased from DNA - THHGTTG as it's Towel Day

    2. onefang Silver badge

      'Did that once with pasta and hot sauce (watching "The Fog").

      1 star, do not recommend.'

      Is that 1 star for the pasta and hot sauce, or The Fog?

      1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

        > Is that 1 star for the pasta and hot sauce, or The Fog?

        For the painful nasal ejection. Hotness takes looong to go away.

        IIRC the film (the original version) was decent.

  19. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    So True

    All of it. The HSE wonks really are that crazy... but then you all knew that anyway.

    Time for (another) beer.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: So True - All of it. The HSE wonks really are that crazy... but then you all knew that anyway.

      No, I didn't.

      I have always had helpful and sensible advice from H&SE people. In fact I've been involved with them professionally in a number of areas. They know their stuff.

      They also know to facepalm at H&S (no E) numpties in companies who got the job because of their near-OCD and desire to order around people higher up the ladder.

      Credit where it's due, it was an H&SE person who once advised me (after the Council told me I couldn't) to put a stack on an exhaust and refer them to me when they complained because "I'm here to help you create a safe workplace, and if I need to overrule stupid planners I will."

      1. MJB7 Bronze badge

        Re: HSE

        The real problem with the current H&S legislation in the UK is that it requires people to actually *think* - and we all know how popular *that* is.

      2. Tim Hines

        Re: So True - All of it. The HSE wonks really are that crazy... but then you all knew that anyway.

        "and desire to order around people higher up the ladder."

        I hope there were cones round it ...

  20. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    I love this mag

    never change.

  21. A. Coatsworth
    Alert

    Great episode!

    I particularly love the "safetyconesUSA[dot]com" ad to the right of this article. Sometimes Google Ads really hits the unintentional comedy motherload.

    Although I don't know (and not sure if I *want* to know) what does "Certified Woman Owned for 17 Yrs." mean

    1. KLane
      Headmaster

      Should have been punctuated properly:

      Certified Woman-Owned for 17 Yrs - IOW, certified as owned by a woman for 17 years.

  22. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Pint

    After

    a foul day involving mindless customers, a brainless (and very nearly dead) apprentice and a manager who believes in the 'seagull' method of management, a decent BOFH is just what I needed.. along with one of these >>>>

    1. Blade

      Re: After

      "a manager who believes in the 'seagull' method of management"

      Never heard of the seagull method of management, please elaborate.

      1. Korev Silver badge

        Re: After

        >Never heard of the seagull method of management, please elaborate.

        "Seagull managers fly in, make a lot of noise, dump on everyone, then fly out"

  23. dmacleo

    "Which is why I always carry a carrot for self-defence," the PFY chips in.

    ********************************************************************************************

    PFY is a real treasure, might say he/she is a caret....

  24. Walter Bishop Silver badge

    Ninety three comments and counting

    "BOFH: Their bright orange plumage warns other species, 'Back off! I'm dangerous!'"

    As usual the Register exceeds itself in creative title creation.

  25. OssianScotland

    At my kids primary school there were some steps in the playground. For "elf 'n' safe tea" reasons, they had a 3 inch fluorescent orange strip carefully painted on each one.

    A couple of winters ago the school was closed because (this was in the message that was sent out) the snow had covered the steps so the orange strips were not visible. You couldn't make it up!

  26. dbtx Bronze badge
    Pint

    Orange you glad

    that you had that 'quick word' with us?

    Eh?

    yeah okay so it's worn out, low-hanging fruit, etc. Not sure which fruit.

    beer because among our choices it is the closest to ...that colour

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Orange you glad

      Thatcher's Cheddar Valley is a bright orange colour. Closest thing to scumble I've seen outside of a Pratchett novel.

    2. onefang Silver badge

      Re: Orange you glad

      "Not sure which fruit."

      An orange obviously, unless you are citrusly challenged.

  27. Alperian

    It is NOT health AND safety

    In this instance it is just SAFETY!!! Not Health AND safety. I happen to know that it is easy to spot people who have NO idea and no knowledge when they say H&S, and never stop to differentiate.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: It is NOT health AND safety

      I dunno. Bright orange skin doesn't sound healthy to me.

  28. Jeff Green

    So now we know ...

    the reason for Donald Trump's fake tan!

  29. swm Bronze badge

    My father told me of a case where a car parked in front of a fire hydrant. There was a fire so the firemen chopped a hole in each door and ran their hose through the car. After the fire was out the firemen packed up and left. Person returning to their car learned not to park in front of a fire hydrant.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm always amazed that buildings with highly polished marble (or similar) floors can simply put out a sign saying 'beware slippery floor' as if it can prevent them getting sued. You know you have a H&S problem... don't blame the general public, get it fixed!

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So Appropriate.......

    This title is far more appropriate than people can imagine. I live in a major metro are in the U.S. I ride my bike on the busy streets as exercise, always wearing safety gear, including a traffic (visibility) vest. I also have a permit to carry a firearm and have a good size pistol on me at all times. It is amazing how many people try to threaten me for riding on the road, which I have a legal right to do....... :)

  32. GilesO

    Best H&S advice

    Ultimate respect for those who do H&S properly...

    I once had a member of staff who worried that her time spent in front of a VDU would harm her unborn child. I consulted our H&S manager who replied "What? Send her home to spend her days in front of the TV? Less risk here. laddie" (I was a young and relatively inexperienced manager then).

    On many years of reflection, he was probably humorously and technically correct - flat screen VDU, full annual emissions checks (public sector, natch) and a desk shielding the baby. Whereas at home - big, buzzy 28" cathode ray behemoth.

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