OHS Canada Magazine

Time Out (September 13, 2010)

September 13, 2010

Health & Safety Health & Safety

ARREST POOH-POOHED: Getting busted for drinking and driving is bad enough, but throwing feces at a police offi...

ARREST POOH-POOHED: Getting busted for drinking and driving is bad enough, but throwing feces at a police officer is sure to make matters worse. In April, QMI Agency reported that a man in Sarnia, Ontario was none too pleased about having been dumped in the drunk tank. Officers certainly had reason for doing so, having investigated reports of a truck leaving a rural road and rolling over into a field. The driver, 52, was retrieved and taken to hospital for treatment of minor injuries. He refused to give a breath sample, but drinking and driving charges were laid nonetheless. Then, it was off to jail where officers were treated to drunken stylings such as smearing a security camera with excrement, urinating all over the cell and throwing feces at an officer. For that, a charge of assaulting a police officer was added to the list.

SAY ANYTHING: There is political correctness that can obscure language into near-meaningless blather, and then there is just being daft. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown did well to sack a Labour Party candidate during the recent election campaign after the latter’s nasty tweets about slavery and his unkind reviews of the Commons speaker, elderly voters and even a tennis star became public. “Twit,” “coffin dodgers” and “d*ck” were among the non-PC descriptions used, the London Evening Standard reported in April. The 24-year-old parliamentary candidate was given the heave-ho for his display of questionable judgement (in 140 characters or less). No worries now, though, with the Labour Party falling to the Tories when the ballots were counted.

PROTEST LAUNCHED: A Chinese farmer recently opted for a more “proactive” approach to protest than simply pitching a sign. Reuters, quoting state media, reported in June that the farmer had fashioned a cannon from a wheelbarrow and pipes to counter eviction teams looking to confiscate his land. To make his point, the farmer used the cannon to fire rockets, made from fireworks. As of June, he had dissuaded two groups from getting hold of his land on the outskirts of Wuhan. Hoping to avoid direct hits, he aimed the rockets – which can travel 100-plus metres – over visitors’ heads.

HOME BUILDERS: Talk about a strong work ethic. Beavers right here at home have achieved a feat so big that it can be seen from space. The Toronto Sun reported in May that their dam measures about a kilometre long and is located on the southern edge of Alberta’s Wood Buffalo National Park. Experts suggest that several beaver families joined forces over a number of months to construct the spacious digs.

MAUL COP: A worker at the Great Bear Adventures tourist attraction in Montana – perhaps buoyed by a recent puff – thought it a good idea to feed the animals. His brilliant plan unravelled soon after he entered a grizzly’s pen on November 2, 2007 and was mauled, requiring that he be hospitalized, The Associated Press recently reported. The owner of the attraction argued the man was a volunteer and that the incident was caused by his marijuana use. However, a Montana judge extinguished that argument, ruling that because the man was paid, he was an employee. He further noted that even if the worker did smoke some pot before arriving on the job, this was not the main cause of the bear attack.


PACKAGE DEAL: This package was all but tied up with ribbon when a passerby snapped a picture of a Canada Post worker in Toronto catching some Zs inside a postal box. The snafu was captured at about 10 am one day in late June, the Toronto Sun reports. The box is meant to hold sorted letters to be picked up by mail carriers for local delivery.

SPECIAL ORDER: A woman in Dayton, Ohio could not help but be satisfied after receiving her order from a local Taco Bell. When she rolled up to the drive-thru window in mid-May, instead of her meal, the woman was handed a bag of cash, QMI Agency reported at the time. An employee mistakenly handed her the restaurant’s morning bank deposit, which amounted to US$2,000. It is store policy to put the deposit in a Taco Bell bag and hand it to a manager through the drive-thru window. Another customer, this time at a Wendy’s in Daytona Beach, Florida, was considerably less happy with her order. In mid-May, she and a female employee began arguing at the drive-thru window about an incorrect order, The Associated Press reports. The woman left her vehicle and entered the restaurant, carrying a pink stun gun. She chased the employee while a friend cheered her on. The manager threatened to call police, putting an end to the so-called fun and games. Police were able to track down the women, a task made considerably easier when one of them called the restaurant to complain about its service, thereby leaving a trail.

BUS STOP: A Calgary bus driver chose a bad time for a pit stop last May. It was about 5:50 am on a Sunday when he stopped at a fast-food joint to use the facilities, CBC News reported at the time. But when he emerged from the restaurant, his bus was nowhere to be seen. That’s because two men had boarded the unattended vehicle and taken it for a half-hour spin. The bus hit at least two parked vehicles, resulting in minor damage to both. City transit policy allows a bus to be left running if a driver is away for fewer than five minutes.

DELIVERY OPTIONS: Postal officials in Philadelphia discovered 20,000 pieces of undelivered mail, but Mr. “neither rain nor shine” was nowhere to be found. Visiting the postal carrier’s home after he had missed several days of work, the officials found the mail in his garage, CBS News reported in May. The surreptitious stash contained items dating back to 1997. The worker was officially reported missing in April. At least he didn’t have to move in with his mother, which seems to have been the only option for a 38-year-old carrier across the pond who had stored so much undelivered mail in his flat that there was no space left for him. The Daily Mail Reporter noted last May that, over a two-year period, the worker stole or delayed more than 76,000 items. He has since pleaded guilty to several charges.


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