Blog: Dave LeggettBe careful in the office

Dave Leggett | 17 July 2008

It's become very fashionable to mock the 'Health and Safety' culture, but if H&S procedures and systems can reduce accidents, that's no bad thing. Accidents can blow up out of nowhere.

I was talking to Mark Bursa earlier - he's been at the Farnborough Air Show this week turning his hand to producing copy for an aero publication. As he typed away, he noticed the bloke sat next to him was trying to adjust his chair. The seat and the seat 'chassis' had, unknowingly, become separated due to the failure of some component. As the poor chap moved the seat closer to the table, his fingers entered the gap between the flat bed you sit on and some metal that forms part of the structure. He then brought his whole weight down on the end of a finger that was duly sliced off, guillotine style.

Blood was gushing everywhere and Mr Bursa - who spent the rest of the day with blood on his shirt - rescued the tip and gamely took charge of getting it frozen for a possible sewing back together later. Salutary tale though. Accidents often happen in the most seemingly innocuous of circumstances. This one was down to a slightly faulty chair, no more than that.

The gent concerned was apparently a trooper and back on the job a couple of days later, alas minus some index finger. It wasn't funny, of course, but some black humour of the 'give me four-and-a-half' variety was fairly inevitable. I got a finger caught in the hinge of a car door once (daft I know, I had hold of the B-pillar from inside for some reason) - I was really, really lucky not to be permanently injured; the door was not being closed too forcefully. Very painful. Digits and apertures are not to be taken for granted.  


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