back to article BOFH: Elf of Safety? Orc of Admin. Pleased to meet you

There's a small-scale war going on between me, the PFY and the folk in Health and Safety. Now your normal, run-of-the-mill person would rather perform a root canal on themselves with a hammer action drill than take on a Health and Safety role in any organisation. The position itself has all the prestige of an unflushed turd …

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  1. Dave K Silver badge

    Nice twist!

    Excellent episode! Must admit, I wasn't expecting there to be a sweepstake running, I wonder who chose over-voltaged cattle-prod...

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Nice twist!

      In the case of a H&S I think everybody is on the BOFH's side…

    2. Scroticus Canis
      Unhappy

      Re: Nice twist! - Damn! My money was on the lift shaft.

      Always a favourite in my SOP - well if a garotte would be too obvious.

    3. Daniel B.

      Re: Nice twist!

      I would've lost. I was expecting a high voltage encounter with an Eastern European cattle prod...

    4. Marshalltown

      Re: Nice twist!

      I would have had money on a high-voltage accident involving a UPS in server room.

      "We didn't see what happened. We couldn't see at all until the emergency power kicked back on. Then there was this strange, almost overwhelming smell of barbecue. We've no idea what he did to that UPS; he was only supposed to be inspecting things visually as we understand his SOPs."

  2. Alister

    Hah, brilliant!

    Was not expecting that ending at all, loved it!

    1. Robert Helpmann??
      Childcatcher

      Re: Hah, brilliant!

      A boss who is aware of what the BOFH is up to isn't as worrying as the as yet unnamed person who pointed the H&S blowfly to the server room... perhaps we have someone to play Sherlock to the BOFH's Moriarty.

      1. Deimos

        Alas no

        Moriarty or to be exact Artie Murray (the bastard contractor from hell) met a nasty end in 1999. I seem to remember some reichenbach fallers being involved. The incident was so traumatic that the Bastard took many months to reboot.

  3. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    OOOOohh

    A Boss who understands and respects the BOFH? No doubt he will die horribly in the next instalment after accidentally stealing the PFYs beer, or somesuch :-)

    My money was on an accidental strangulation by CAT6 entanglement.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: OOOOohh

      Or the boss come to an "arrangement" with the BOFH in terms of dealing with problems he has versus supplies of new equipment and the odd jolly to conference events in high-alcohol areas?

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: OOOOohh

        seems the BOFH has now become a sort of black ops hitman / merc / arms dealer to do the jobs the authorities cant admit need doing

  4. Toltec

    Addition to the H&S policy

    Section 17.1, sub-paragraph 14a, codicil 3.1

    Interfering with the BOFH is not recommended on the grounds that ones health can be severely compromised. This entry overrides all other policies.

  5. TRT Silver badge

    Ah yes...

    Risk Assessment. Surely an activity that must itself be assessed for risk?

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Ah yes...

      We had a rather large H&S manual produced by an overenthusiastic OCD bloke. When asked if I'd read it I facetiously said 'Yes but I got a paper cut' and not long later took delivery of a laminated version that would have given an olympic weightlifter a hernia. I nearly filled out an incident form to complain of hysteria pains.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon
        Coat

        Re: Ah yes...

        A sharp slap round the mouth often cures that :P

      2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: Ah yes...

        "When asked if I'd read it I facetiously said 'Yes but I got a paper cut' and not long later took delivery of a laminated version ..."

        You know, some H&S guys do have a sense of humour...

    2. Marshalltown
      Pint

      Re: Ah yes...

      Heh. Used to work for the Forest Service long ago. I returned one day from the field with a slightly sprained ankle. The H&S person asked me to detail the accident. I wrote it up. It was immediately returned as an unacceptable explanation. I had explained that while in motion, the safety helmet, which we referred to as micrometeorite protection - totally useless for real world hazards, slipped over my eyes, and I reacted poorly to being unable to see, misplacing a foot and twisting the ankle while straightening the helmet. I was informed that I could not blame safety equipment. So, when I asked what lie the H&S person preferred they left and a report was never filed.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Ah yes...

        So the H&S person was later involved in a terrible helmet accident?

        And are they aware that they are breaking the H&S at Work Act?

        A badly-fitting or unsuitable helmet is dangerous.

        But yes, I have encountered many such H&S idiots. The HSE have spent a lot of time and effort trying to deal with that type of imbecile.

  6. imanidiot Silver badge
    Pint

    Loved it

    A good way to spend the time waiting for my system to finally finish it's testing routines..

    My money would have been on the old "rack tipped forward and hit him in the head" spiel. Maybe they've used that one too often? --> Because, friday

  7. adam payne

    I was expecting something to fall out out of the rack hit him and then for him to stumble into an unearthed electrical cable.

    1. Captain Scarlet

      :O that would be considered a H&S failure.

      Everything that happened could have been averted if the said person had doned safety gear as instructed.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Explosive extension of mounting rails.

    You have the storage RAID array mounted at head-height and the system is designed to extend clear of the rack, into the cool aisle, in the event of power failure. This maximises passive cooling, protecting the data.

    1. Spoonguard
      Alert

      why explosive?

      If you used Linear motors instead you could do it multiple times to multiple people...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        just spring-loaded. Solenoid holds it in place, solenoid controlled by appropriate SNMP trap ....

  9. Evil Auditor
    Pint

    The position itself has all the prestige of an unflushed turd and, as such, tends to attract the human version of the blowfly.

    Have to remember that line.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks Simon

    That's a worryingly aware boss.

    Just once?

  11. IglooDude
    Pint

    Well played, sir!!

  12. Chronos
    Alert

    Damn.

    I had a fiver on "excessive potential difference between rack door handle and floor plates." It looks like my BSc (Bastard Systems certification) needs updating.

    1. Mark York 3 Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Damn.

      Well it worked for the Tomb of the Cybermen on Telos.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Best Line

    The position itself has all the prestige of an unflushed turd and, as such, tends to attract the human version of the blowfly.

    Thanks Simon, you started my Friday off on the right foot!

    1. PNGuinn
      Go

      Re: Best Line @ac

      So, you put your best foot forward, trod on a blowfly and discovered you'd just put your foot in it?

  14. Korev Silver badge
    Boffin

    Reminds me

    We used to have a H&S lady like that working on our site... She decided to audit the datacentre, one of her findings was that one of the servers (a Sun Fire x4200 which liked to forget its HBAs) was a noise hazard - turns out she stuck her measuring device right up to the exhaust grill on the back...

    She also once asked us what the bottle of oil for the shredder was and where its safety data sheets were. We prevented another "finding" by making sure it was kept in the cupboard below...

    Safety googles because Health and Safety ->

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reminds me

      To be completely fair, the noise level in some server rooms is loud enough to do damage to your hearing over time, and certainly gives me headaches in the short term. I used to have a set of earplugs for that reason.

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: Reminds me

        ...the noise level in some server rooms...

        ...is NOTHING, compared to the noise from the "low environmental impact" turbofan hand dryer in the Gents'

        // it may save the environment, but at the cost of your hearing

        1. Alister

          Re: Reminds me

          ...the noise level in some server rooms...

          ...is NOTHING, compared to the noise from the "low environmental impact" turbofan hand dryer in the Gents'

          This!

          I swear, I think our hand dryer is designed to work by sonic waves, and doesn't actually have a fan in it.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Reminds me

          ...is NOTHING, compared to the noise from the "low environmental impact" turbofan hand dryer in the Gents'

          For most air-dryers, the reduced environmental impact is because the dryer is so feeble that we give up on in and wipe hands on shirt or trou instead of running it for the full five minutes required to actually dry hands.

      2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

        Re: Reminds me

        Just you wait till a power failure requires the room to restart.

        Dust, noise... (smoke even one time)... and that's before the day to day rats nest of cables strung across the room and floor on top of the stacked late 90s hp laser jet printers.

      3. Glen Turner 666

        Re: Reminds me

        I have a plane pilot's headset with bluetooth and it's excellent. Keeps the noise out and you can use the phone whilst in the datacentre. They come up on the auction sites every now and again at a reasonable price. Recommended.

        1. Mark York 3 Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Reminds me

          I use a set of bluetooth headphones, not noise cancelling but it helps when in a server room & talking to a remote network operations bod.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Reminds me

            I use a set of bluetooth headphones, not noise cancelling but it helps when in a server room & talking to a remote network operations bod.

            Used to work in a microcomputer lab in college. Had a pair of non-bluetooth headphones that weren't plugged into anything. Kept the annoying users away

      4. Korev Silver badge

        Re: Reminds me

        To be completely fair, the noise level in some server rooms is loud enough to do damage to your hearing over time

        That is true. It was just odd that she picked on the Sun Fire and ignored my HPC cluster which was a lot louder; not to mention some of the big Sun Sparc boxen we had in the room too.

  15. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

    .... with Advanced IntelAIgent MMORPGasms

    I trust El Reg is/would be equally diligent and erring on the side of extreme caution should/when officious officialdom comes calling and trawling for information on commentards with views sharing an altogether different live picture with networked events horizoning.

    The Great Game is Changed with NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive Commanders in a Vast Space Control of Multi Media Presentations of Practically Virtualised Realities ........ Novel Orderly World Orders that Create Destruction and Disruption in/of/with Dystopia ........... ergo IT is/is IT a Greater IntelAIgent Game Play to Play?!.

    1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

      someone's got into the "special" mushrooms again...

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

        Thats just amanfrommars. I'd be worried if he said something all of us could easily comprehend.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

          Do you think special mushrooms might make him more comprehensible? And would that be with them administered to him or to us?

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon

            Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

            Parsing amanfrommars is a bit like seeing those stereogram thingies. You have to kind of absorb it as a single picture rather than as a series of words in a sentence.

            Having said that, I think El Reg would sell us out faster than a sheep in vacuum (I'm debating on whether it would require an initial inquiry though - no canary's round 'ere)

            1. Mark 85 Silver badge

              Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

              What you say about parsing is true and also about being sold down the river although I'm not sure if the speed would be equal to or greater than said referenced sheep. Have an upvote.

              1. Anonymous IV

                Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

                Puts me in mind of the olde saying:

                Parsing is such sweet sorrow...

            2. PNGuinn
              Go

              Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

              Think of him as a new form of super secure CAPTCHA.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Right Royal Softly, Softly, ...... Catchee GCHQ and Assorted Monkeys ....

            Kind of like the Bursar from Discworld taking dried frog pills to hallucinate that he was sane?

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