Building’s Forum regulars don’t always focus on serious topics. This week, something from the busy General Chit-chat section
Q: Pencils behind the ear
Should pencils be allowed to be worn behind the ear or does one feel that this could be a serious breach of the health and safety policy and would one need to do a risk assesment?
A: Depends on if you are wearing hard hat, googles, gloves and safety boots.
A: I would rather wear a pencil behind my ear than where the chief draughtsman threatened to put it when I made a mistake as a young lad.
A: It doesn’t really matter in my eyes, but from a customer’s point of view it could look unprofessional and may be dangerous?
A: How can a pencil behind one’s ear be dangerous?
A: If someone fell over it could dig into them.
Or if they dropped the pencil it could make it a risk if they tried to retrieve it from a dangerous/unsafe position …
A: Richard, you have clearly understated the potential risk. The pencil-wearing operative could fall over launching the pencil into a parabolic trajectory over the parapet wall of the roof. The pencil would then attain near-supersonic speed as it descended towards the road below.
If the pencil had an H2 hardened engineer’s lead it would then enter and puncture a passing fuel tanker causing a huge explosion in an inner city area, causing a catastrophe.
A: A falling pencil from the ear is a fall from height and thus should have a risk assessment.
Imagine that one of your operatives is lying on the ground, working - you lower your head to have a look, and as he turns to look at you the pencil falls, pricks him in the eye and he
So yes, a risk assessment is necessary.
To control the hazard I prescribe banning the wearing of pencils behind the ear on site, or issue all persons on site with goggles.
A: Would a slim wax crayon used in place of a pencil alleviate your profound fears?
A: It depends from person to person. As Richard said, from a customer’s point of view it could look unprofessional.
A: Nah - trust me Punita, customers won’t care if you arrive nude, or with a Blobby suit on. All they are interested in is the lowest price, and then expect a Rolls Royce job.
A: Arrive nude with or without a pencil behind your ear? And Blobby has no ears. How the hell do you get round that one?
To join or start a discussion about sartortial preferences, go to www.building.co.uk and click on the Forum - then go to the General Chit-chat page