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Safety at Work

Tre arbeidere på stillas med hjelm. Foto.

Safety in the workplace is very important today. In all trades, new employees must become familiar with safety precautions and procedures as their first priority. Despite this, accidents and work-related illnesses still occur. Here are a few key figures from the latest UK statistics (2011/12).

  • 1.1 million people who worked during the last year were suffering from an illness they believed was caused or made worse by their current or past work.
  • 173 workers were killed at work, a rate of 0.6 fatalities per 100 000 workers.
  • 27 million days were lost overall (1.2 days per worker), 22.7 million due to work-related ill health and 4.3 million due to workplace injury.

(from UK Health and Safety Executive )

Before we continue with the tasks relating to work safety, let’s listen to an amusing song from a time when safety was of less importance. It illustrates what can happen when an employee tries to take a shortcut. Maybe this could even have happened today?

Listen to the song once, then do the task below.


The Sick Note by Pat Cooksey

The Sick Note by Pat Cooksey

Find the Words

Copy the text into your text editor and write in the missing words or note them on a piece of paper. Use the pause button ["] if you need to stop the playback and then continue from the same spot.

Dear Sir I write this note to you to tell you of my ___1 __,
For at the time of writing I am not a pretty sight
My body is all ____2___ and _____3___, my face a deathly ____4___
And I write this note to say why Paddy's not at work today.

Whilst working on the __5__ floor, some _____6___ I had to clear
To throw them down from such a height was not a good idea
The foreman wasn't very pleased, the bloody awkward sod
He said I had to cart them down the _____7____ in my hod.

Now clearing all these bricks by hand, it was so very slow
So I hoisted up a ____8____ and secured the ____9___ below
But in my haste to do the job, I was too blind to see
That a barrel full of _____10___ bricks was heavier than me.

And so when I ___11____ the rope, the barrel fell like ___12____
And clinging tightly to the rope I started up instead
I shot up like a ___13_____ till to my dismay I found
That ____14_____ up I met the bloody barrel coming down.

Well the barrel broke my ____15______, as to the ground it sped
And when I reached the top I banged the pulley with my __16____
I clung on tightly, numb with ____17____, from this almighty blow
And the barrel spilled out half the bricks, fourteen floors ___18___.

Now when these bricks had fallen from the barrel to the floor
I then outweighed the barrel and so started ___19___ once more
Still clinging ___20_____ to the rope, my body racked with pain
When half way down, I met the bloody barrel once again.

The force of this ____21_____, half way up the office block
Caused multiple abrasions and a nasty ___22____ of shock
Still clinging tightly to the rope I fell towards the ground
And I landed on the ____23____ bricks the barrel scattered round.

I lay there_____24___ on the ground I thought I'd passed the worst
But the barrel hit the pulley ___25____, and then the bottom burst
A ____26_____ of bricks rained down on me, I hadn't got a hope
As I lay there bleeding on the ground, I let go the bloody rope.

The barrel then being ___27_____ then started down once more
And landed right across me as I lay upon the floor
It broke three ___28___, and my left ___29___, and I can only say
That I hope you'll understand why Paddy's not at work today.

hod – a container shaped like a box and with a long handle which is used for carrying bricks. (bærekasse)
awkward sod – an impolite expression about a person, usually a man, who is difficult and annoying.
pulley wheel – a wheel over which a rope can be pulled in order to lift something heavy. (trinse)


1 plight, 2 black, 3 blue, 4 grey, 5 fourteenth, 6 bricks, 7 ladders, 8 barrel, 9 rope, 10 building, 11 untied, 12 lead, 13 rocket, 14halfway, 15 shoulder, 16 head, 17 shock, 18 below, 19 down, 20 tightly, 21 collision, 22 state, 23 broken, 24 groaning, 25 wheel, 26 shower, 27 heavier, 28 ribs, 29 arm.

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