Here at work they’re looking into the exciting world of PAT Testing (Portable Appliance Testing Testing (because you can never have enough testing testing testing)). This is because we have to comply with Health and Safety regulations.
Despite the name, Health and Safety has nothing to do with either health or safety and is, instead, a governmental system designed to keep employed people who would otherwise hold clipboards in shopping centres or walk around with sandwich board signs on their bodies proclaiming ten percent off imported Romanian gold-plated jewelleryesque items. It does this by introducing new laws requiring certain standards are met that have never caused any trouble in centuries, producing armies of Health and Safety "inspectors" to randomly "inspect", and then issuing fines for non-compliance that are funnelled back into the system to employ new "inspectors" and top-ranking Law Imagineers.
Keeping clipboard-holders off the streets is good. Health and Safety is, however, bad.
For our Portable Appliance Testing Testing we will need to decide between allowing a qualified tester (tester?) to come around and check all our electrical appliances every year or two – there are a lot of them and you get charged per appliance tested – or pay for someone in the company to attend a course and buy a testing kit. The kit costs over five hundred pounds for – we believe – a voltmeter, rubber gloves, and a label maker. But it’ll be worth it all to know that the plug on the desk fan is working, something we wouldn’t be able to tell for certain without one of these kits at all. Oh, yes.
Health and Safety laws, as you’ll no doubt be fully aware now, are yet another means designed to earn money for the government. But you may not be aware just how many health and safety laws your company might be breaking – and, hence, how close your company is to being fined into liquidation – at this very minute.
The following are genuine British Health and Safety Laws.
- Companies employing greater than six employees must have a trained Maypole Guardian whose job it is to ensure that other staff are aware of the dangers of Maypole dancing – falling maypoles, ribbon strangulation, flirtation with paganism, etc.
- Cats brought in for Bring Your Cat To Work Day must be kept on an elastic leash and fitted with muzzles.
- Buttons for intercoms must be located at four inch intervals from the floor to the ceiling so that nobody ever has to stoop or stretch.
- Company premises that span two or more storeys or that are situated above ground level should be surrounded by trampolines or crash mats to protect employees and visitors who get confused between windows and doors.
- Lightbulbs must be painted black to prevent moths from needlessly finding themselves attracted to the brightness and killing themselves.
- All hinged toilet seats must be replaced with childproof caps.
- Cage-fighting can only be performed by employees who have completed a six-week Octagon Awareness Programme.
- All company signs must include hieroglyphic translations to avoid discriminating against ancient Egyptians.
- Staplers may only be used in a designated Safe Zone. Employees in the Safe Zone must operate the dangerous equipment from within the protection of a Zorb ball.
- Employees must wear sombreros at all times to catch any moths that still fly into lightbulbs and kill themselves.
- Keith Chegwin requires a special permit to visit. Don’t even let him in to use your lavatory unless he has the permit. He can go outside just like Freddie Starr.
- Signs warning of the danger of choking hazards in the bottled water should be located near the bottled water, on the bottled water, and in the bottled water.
- Companies are required to designate a Horse Warden to ensure that all hedges and bushes are free from the vicious pests.
- Businesses with fewer than ten employees must produce Loneliness Risk Assessment documentation annually.
- Company hold music must be opt-out if Nickelback is used.
- Fully-trained moth grievance counsellors must be on hand during the end-of-day sombrero-emptying.