The Health & Safety Executive has launched an ‘Immediate and urgent’ investigation into the circumstances leading to Brian Mullins, a 48 year-old management consultant from Manchester narrowly escaping death or serious injury after a pencil fell from a fourth-shelf stationery cupboard.
‘It was terrifying’ said Mullins ‘As I opened the cupboard to get a new notepad, the pencil rolled out of the cupboard and hurtled towards my right foot. Thankfully I was able to deflect it with a box of elastic bands and it landed harmlessly on the office floor. Makes you think though.’
The Executive's spokesman Jim Gooding commented ‘The injury could have been particularly nasty as it was an HB pencil and we normally recommend companies to use leads no harder than 2B as these are much safer since the softer lead crumbles on impact. It’s all well and good for people to complain about the working conditions of farm hands, soldiers and crane operators, but many forget about the harsh conditions under which management consultants and lawyers work.’
A two mile cordon was thrown around Mullins’ office when it was also revealed that a bottle of Tippex was perilously close to the edge of the fifth shelf. It’s not been used for ages since they introduced all those computers, so it may be dangerously unstable. Hopefully the bomb disposal guys will be able to make it safe’ said Gooding ‘But if they don’t then we’ll put a waste paper bin next to the cupboard and try and dislodge the bottle so it lands in there.’
‘Another possibility is for the SAS to do an Iranian Embassy type raid and attempt to grab the bottle whist swinging on ropes, but they’re not too keen on the idea in case they damage the water fountain as they crash-in through the windows. We'd have to fine them for that.'