A man who suffered a mental breakdown at work has blamed the condition on his employer’s Health and Safety programme. In particular, Mr Ian Murrell argued that he had become paranoid about workplace injury as a result of the amount of gratuitous mutilation and bloodshed in the series of industrial accident training films entitled ‘You’ve Been Maimed’.
An employment tribunal heard that Murrell had been off work with severe stress and anxiety since being made to watch ‘Don’t Risk Losing a Limb - Use Your Head’ and ‘Amputation, Amputation, Amputation’ six months ago. “I still have sleepless nights over the horrifically graphic scene of someone’s head being crushed by an industrial press like it was a watermelon filled with minestrone soup,” explained Murrell. “I became too scared to go to work, even though I admit we’ve never been asked to operate heavy machinery in the Corporate Audits department.”
Murrell’s employer, Surrey accountancy firm Dodge & Ledger, defended their Health and Safety programme, expressing the view that the training videos delivered clear safe working practice messages. However, it was acknowledged that the video on fork-lift truck accidents ‘Fork Safety Advice’ had limited applicability to the company’s day-to-day activities.
As a result of the tribunal, Dodge and Ledger have agreed to carry out a full Health and Safety Assessment of all current and future Health and Safety activities, and have introduced a stress counselling service to discourage people like Mr Murrell from going to tribunal in future. “Our people are our greatest asset,” lied a Dodge and Ledger spokesman. “We really do love everyone who works here,” he continued, and to complete the set of three great lies, added, “and our Health and Safety programme is not just a means of protecting the Company against employee litigation.”
The Company was also keen to point out that not everyone was as badly affected as Mr Murrell by the explicit nature of their training videos. In fact, Dodge and Ledger explained that many of their staff had volunteered to attend multiple screenings of a film warning of the hazards associated with watching porn during working hours.
hat-tips to beau-jolly and waylandsmithy