They’ll Spray Anything To Get Time Off

, , , , | Working | May 18, 2018

(I used to have a boss who, at times, had a… unique approach to work. One still, damp, and foggy day, he has been spraying the roses with fungicide in the garden centre. Two staff members on his team that work in that area while he sprays develop headaches and nausea a couple of hours after he finishes. I then have this conversation with him:)

Me: “Wow, that’s bad. I guess we’ll need to report this as an incident. Are [Sick Staff Member #1] and [Sick Staff Member #2] going to get checked out at hospital?”

Boss: “Oh, they’re just faking it. They just wanted a day off. I’m not reporting this; that would be overkill.”

Me: “Well… it was a foggy and still day. That makes the spray just hang in the air, and they did say they could smell it all morning.”

Boss: “But that chemical is completely safe! It says so on the packet!”

Me: “Did you check the MSDS sheets?”

Boss: *gives me a sneering “you’re such a pain” look* “The what?”

Me: “Material Data Safety Sheets. You know, for COSHH risk assessments.”

Boss: *loftily* “Oh, that’s not my job. Someone will have done that, I bet.”

Me: “Okay…”

Boss: “Hey, I know! I’ll spray again next Friday but not tell them, and if they feel sick again, we’ll know it was the chemical!”

(Frankly, I simply did not know how to reply to that. I was too flabbergasted that he wanted to deliberately poison his staff. The two people in question recovered and were fine, and I warned them of what [Boss] was thinking of doing. They, understandably, flipped their lids, but kept quiet about it to keep me out of trouble. The really scary part? He was the site’s health and safety officer. He eventually got disciplined when a coworker got a back injury and the company realised he had done no manual handling training of anybody for the past three years. He still works there to this day.)

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