Roger Brownloaf, a health and safety inspector from Dudley, could hardly believe his eyes last Monday. For when he turned on his computer he found an email in his inbox telling him that he was suspended from active duties...because of a breach of health and safety rules!
A mystified Roger immediately contacted his boss to ask what was going on and it was only then that the reason for his suspension became apparent. It seems that for the previous six months he had been using his desktop computer in flagrant disregard of company health and safety guidelines; specifically without the leads and connecting wires being routed to the floor-based connection boxes in the manner prescribed by (ironically) the very manual he had helped to draft only last year.
Speaking from his home the former jobsworth told press. "Well it's health and safety gone mad isn't it? It's not as if I was doing anybody any harm really. So my printer cable was two millimeters out of position but it's not exactly a hanging offence. I mean the world wasn't going to come to an end because of it."
But Roger's bosses were adamant that the correct procedures should be followed at all times and were hearing none of his excuses. They issued the following statement:
"It is with considerable regret that we have suspended Mr Brownloaf pending an internal inquiry; but must stress that our action, although not taken lightly, was nevertheless necessary to protect both him and his co-workers from at the very least a minor mishap, to at the very worst, a slow and needlessly agonizing death. We cannot be expected to run a two-tier health and safety policy and have nothing further to add at this point until the outcome of the inquiry."
Meanwhile Roger is considering bringing a court action against his employers and is believed to have sought legal advice on the exact position.
Company MD who wished to remain anonymous said, "What old Brownloaf? We used to call him Adolph you know. But if he'd have been let away with it then where would we be? Everybody would want their cables running to suit themselves wouldn't they? And as we all know, down that rocky road lies total anarchy."