The management is proud to announce the results of the VDU health and safety questionnaire. Sorry about the delay, but Denise couldn't key in the results any quicker because of the splints on her wrists.
In the RSI section, the winner was Mrs Doormat from bought ledger.
Most of you could muster two or three symptoms, but our Mrs D had the lot: pains, numbness, tingling, and spasms in her hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, neck and back, with tennis elbow and crochet thumb thrown in for good measure. Mrs D has purchased a wrist rest and an adjustable chair.
The buying department still has a few left, at reasonable rates. I'm told the profit they make is really quite small.
We all think it very game of Mrs Doormat to put in three hours of overtime each day to pay for the chair, even if it isn't doing her RSI any good.
After numerous requests, a sound-proof door is being installed to muffle her involuntary screaming as she types.
There were lots of contenders in the sore eyes and headaches category.
Miss Palette from the warehouse was impaled by a fork-lift, while suffering from a migraine, and might have won had she required a longer period of hospitalisation. But in the end, the rosette was awarded to Mr Bean from accounts payable, who has gone completely blind from not wearing spectacles and sitting too close to the screen. He is progressing well at his braille lessons - in his own time, of course.
In response to your complaints about eyesight problems, I'm happy to inform you that all windows have been boarded up to prevent distracting reflections, and the flickering strip lights have been removed.
In accordance with government regulations, the firm has arranged for an occulist to visit the office on a regular basis. She will be available in the disabled lavatory between the hours of 1.45pm and 2pm on the fifth Tuesday of every month - or at least every month that has a fifth Tuesday.
Mr Wobbly in customer services did well in the stress category, insulting four valued customers within the space of 10 minutes when slow response times prevented him from checking on the status of their orders. But, his dismissal for gross misconduct renders him ineligible for an award, so it goes to Miss Twitching in maintenance. She has developed a facial tic since the Spy-in-the-Cab automatic keystroke-counting software from Big Brother Systems was installed. But her keying rate has doubled - at least, on the two days a week when she is not on sick leave.
The hot and bothered section produced some interesting answers. The highest one-off temperature was recorded in stores, at 41 degrees celsius, but Mr Flange and his team were disqualified for frying eggs on top of their VDUs.
In the end, we decided to award the prize jointly to the IT department, which has taken to working in their underwear because of the intense heat from their PCs (even though it's their own fault for insisting on having all the network servers and printers in their office for security reasons).
Thankfully, the computers are more tolerant of the heat than their operators.
The trips and shocks category was small, but the injuries were serious.
Mr Sparks in the motor pool managed to electrocute himself twice on the same faulty PC connection, because he thought it had been fixed after the first electric shock. He should have studied the terms of our super premier service contract with Honest Arthur's Computer Maintenance Ltd.
Mr Sparks was only beaten by Miss Trust in the legal department. Ironically, her injuries stem indirectly from her concerns about radiation. What bad luck that she developed a stiff neck from the weight of her lead-lined apron, and that this meant she failed to see the floorboards which the network installation engineers had inadvertently left up. We understand that she is responding well to traction, and wish her a swift recovery (especially as she does not have enough length of service to qualify for sick pay).
Since this is the first year of the health and safety questionnaire, Mr Tight and Mrs Fisted, our proprietors, have generously offered a valuable prize for the overall winner. It was a tough decision, but the panel of judges (well, me, actually) has chosen Mrs Doormat. I'm sure the lovely plastic carriage clock will be much appreciated, as soon as her back is strong enough that she can sit up and look at it.
All the problems raised by the questionnaire will, of course, receive the appropriate management attention: we shall adjourn to a posh hotel for a two-day conference and conclude that we don't have the money for any new equipment.
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