The Xmas health and safety fairy

2nd December 2005 at 00:00
Christmas is becoming an increasingly risky time of year. To add to the dangers of sitting on elderly strangers' knees in exchange for presents, there now comes news of a very real threat to the lives of college staff.

Newcastle college - fresh from imposing new contracts on an unwilling staff - is showing its caring side by protecting the poor wretches against the threat from Christmas trees.

The college has issued a memo snappily entitled: "Safety considerations regarding Christmas trees inside college premises; guidelines and advisory information based on a risk-assessment approach."

It includes the following nugget of advice: "Accessing higher levels of the tree to decorate it may not be within comfortable reach. Staff may improvise their means of access." According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, there are 1,000 Christmas tree-related injuries each year, including falls, electric shocks - and one person who fell while putting the fairy in position.

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