Blundering Benjamin and the Steel Caps

Jason Plum shares a scenario about the blunderings of an employee called Benjamin… 

A Lucky or Unlucky Escape… You Be The Judge!

A smart, cocky, eager, and young first time employee decided that Workplace Health & Safety did not have to apply to him since his Dad was the Director of the Company.

He thought it would be more comfortable to turn up for work in Mountaineer Boots instead of the required steel caps that was company policy. As these boots looked very similar, until myself as workplace Health & Safety Representative inquired if they were new boots, we would all have been none the wiser! His reply was that they were new boots and very comfortable.

I told him I really liked them and asked what size was he. He replied that they were size 10.

“Great! Can I try them on? I am looking to buy a new pair.”

I only said this because I knew he would not let me inspect them, and that he would lie and tell me they were steel caps even if they were not!

As he handed me the boots I simply placed my hands inside and knew immediately that they were not steel caps.

“These are nice boots Benjamin but they are not allowed to be worn at this workplace. So you had better put your old boots back on if you want to continue working for the day.”

After minutes of whinging and whining, Benjamin resigned to the fact that he had been beaten this time and left to go find his old boots.

On his way back to the car to fetch his old work boots, he mumbled, “Why do we need steel caps anyway? It’s not as if they would do anything to protect you!”

As usual work continued on that day with Benjamin doing his usual ‘as little as possible’ and try to distract as many other workers for a chat as possible.

Forklifts were busy loading and unloading trucks in the yard. Benjamin had decided his job description entailed getting in the middle of a couple of forklifts so he could have a chat with the drivers about his weekend plans and how much he had been bench pressing this week at the gym.

Benjamin must have known that his defence to his work ethic was poor because as he spotted the foreman coming towards him, he decided it was time to finish up the conversation. However, one of the forklift drivers must have been thinking the same and decided it would be best to get out of there in a hurry.

As the Forklift pivoted and went to take off, Benjamin did not realise how close he was and still wanted to finish his story to the other driver, who had not seen the Foreman! The next words from Benjamin’s mouth were, “#$%@!*!&?? Get it off my foot, my foot, my foot, get it off!”

The forklift had stalled as it took off at a 180 degree angle right on top of Benjamin’s foot. Luckily, the forklift driver did not panic and slowly moved the forklift off the foot. Benjamin hopped, jumped, skipped and limped off to the First Aid Station.

By the time he got to the First Aid Station and had settled down from the shock of having a 3 tonne forklift on his foot, Benjamin realised he was not in any actual pain. We took the old steel cap boot off, and believe it or not, there was not a scratch, not even a red mark to see. However, where the steel caps end in the boot, the end of the steel had been bent downwards and was just touching the skin on the top of the foot directly behind the toes!

Benjamin looked at the boots and although realising they had probably saved him from a major foot injury, commented, “Well these boots are buggered now. Looks like I better go get my new ones back out of the car!”

Since this incident, pedestrian free zones, barriers, signage, line markings, Safe Work Method Statements that detail persons using forklifts in relation to pedestrians, and a relocation for Benjamin have all improved the Workplace Health & Safety procedures within our company…

Stay tuned for “The Return Of Benjamin!”

Jason Plum
(company name not submitted)

About the Author

Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

Comments (1)

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  1. Eileen says:

    Surely even his dad would of had him removed?

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