Magazine article Management Today

WEAK AT THE TOP: John Weak's Diary

Magazine article Management Today

WEAK AT THE TOP: John Weak's Diary

Article excerpt

MONDAY: We're having a big Health and Safety push at Smokehouse. If you ask me, a big push is the last thing you want - someone could get hurt. We have a safety rep called Donald McIver, a young Trotskyite union activist who's discovered you can virtually run the company from the bottom if you wave the Health and Safety stick. Every department in Smokehouse has to do a safety audit. I'm taking it very seriously indeed. If McIver can take half a day off to come up with the audit, I can take a week to fill it in. To be honest, I always get slightly mixed up between Health and Safety and Health and Efficiency. I've told my team we're having a Health and Efficiency audit and they should all dress accordingly.

TUESDAY: Presentation from young McIver to the board. He told us that if all the time taken off in the country due to back pain was worked instead, it would represent an economy the size of Slovakia. I told him that if all the hours wasted due to little pains in the arse were actually worked, it would be an economy the size of Japan. Sir Marcus gave me a look that threatened both my future health and safety. The next part of the presentation was the revelation that 96% of accidents were the result of unsafe acts. I wondered what the other 4% were caused by. Maybe by people injuring themselves putting safety goggles on or dropping steel-capped safety boots on their foot. McIver tried to prove that capitalism was basically an attempt to kill off the working class. If it was, he'd be top of the list.

WEDNESDAY: Got in late due to extremely safe driving on way to work. Sat down with H&S audit and realised that sitting down was just about the most dangerous thing you can do in the office. First in the audit was our chairs and whether we were sitting comfortably. In marketing we've always instinctively known that desks were a health hazard, which is why we try to avoid them. …

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