I’ve taken on a new volunteer job where I get to smell like fish and risk tetanus every time I go (more on that another day). Before I could start I had to take a number of online training courses about chemicals and falling hazards and inappropriate touching. (Oh my!).
After taking the courses I feel well prepared to face the risks in my new volunteer role; and fairly certain I won’t touch anything or anyone inappropriately. (At least not on the job.) However, the safety training has had the side effect of making me feel decidedly unsafe in my normal job. Not because I’m really at any greater risk in my day-to-day life but because I’ve realized just how many things in an office can kill you if you eat them and how unprepared the rest of my office mates (who have not taken the fish-related-job online training courses) are to keep themselves and therefore me safe.
I used to think my boring office was a bastion of security. After all we have a health and safety committee that follows every rule there is; they really looks after us. (The committee once reprimanded me for storing something too high-up. They were worried it could fall in an earthquake and cause injury. It was bubble wrap.) So my office is safe right? Wrong. WHIMIS training made it very clear that I was in danger and I should have already had safety training (tsk, tsk, bad employer) to make me aware of the proper handling of workplace hazards like, wait for it, printer toner (which is apparently poisonous if swallowed).
What the training didn’t make clear is how I might accidentally swallow printer toner (I have some research to do), or if the risk is from disgruntled colleagues discovering that black toner blends right in with office coffee without effecting the taste (allegedly).
I’m sure my heightened awareness of risk will fade over time, but just to be on the safe side I think I’ll go make a list of everything at work I shouldn’t lick.
PS. There were so many jokes about inappropriate touching training I had trouble choosing just one. Please feel free to take a moment and tell yourself a few now.