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Wheezy question, iffy answer: should we sue for mould at work?

Two men crouching2
Wheezy mould at work is a misery you don’t have to live with

Wheezy, wheezy – isn’t it?

You’re coughing your guts out, that cannot be good.

Your mate’s in agonies, why shouldn’t you have a go?

Not so cut and dried, though – is it?

You sue, and they sling you out on your ear.

Even though there’s mould there, plain as day. Big black marks, right next to your desk.

Sure, it’s hazardous to your health – and sure, you should do something about it.

Health & Safety on your side

But there’s channels for this – big guns on your side.

And there’s no point putting your job on the line.

You already know the score. Mould triggers asthma, chest infections, allergies.

Which means you’re protected by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002.

Not just against mould, but all kinds of germs – because of the stuff you do and the things you work with. Or just plain germs at work that make you ill.

One phone call to Health & Safety and things start rolling.

Scoring brownie points

But before you make it, there’s maybe things you can do to soften the blow.

No point making enemies if you don’t have to.

Like for instance, you live with the mould every day. But does everyone else?

Maybe the brass don’t know about it and your report is the first.

Thing is though, mould is expensive to fix. And time-consuming.

Like, what’s the cause?

A leaky pipe? Rain seeping through the wall? Busted roof? Or is it ventilation problems? The whole place airtight to hold in warmth, not enough circulation, humidity climbing through the roof – bang, mould everywhere.

In which case, tell the brass there’s a quick-fix way to take the mould down. Get relief from it now, today – before all the hoo-hah of getting inspectors in, building consultants, and ripping the place apart to get rid of it permanently.

The overnight quick-fix

Mist the place up with ionised hydrogen peroxide after everyone’s gone home. The stuff permeates everywhere and oxidises ALL germs to nothing – bacteria, viruses and fungi, which of course includes mould.

Next day, you can tell straight away that it’s worked. Those black marks are now grey – and there’s no pong. Breathe easy instead of wheezy, the air’s safe now. And all that grey stuff just brushes away.

Oh, yes. And doing a non-invasive hit like that is a lot cheaper and faster than hammering and plastering with Bob the Builder all over the place. A real short-term money-saver.

You might even get a raise for it.

Easy, right? And not so wheezy any more.

You really want to sue for fast food making you fat?

Gob-stopper
Sentenced to obesity – driven by antibiotics

Actually sue?

Just don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Because if any Tom, Dick or Nina walks in off the street and orders a burger, you don’t see them get fat do you? They don’t get fat tomorrow either, or the next day – so it’s not a residual thing.

Time to get real

One burger won’t make you fat. Twenty burgers might.

But it’s not the burger people forcing them on you is it? It’s you, ordering however many you’re lusting after.

Of your own free will. It’s you eating them too. Nobody’s holding a gun to your head.

So why are you fat?

You never used to be like this. Always ate responsibly, good balanced meals. Stayed off the fast food too. A burger maybe once a blue moon. So how come this sudden ballooning up to Size 18?

Yes, you are what you eat, but most of the time it’s salad. Cottage cheese maybe, dry bread crackers. Where’s the fatness in that? It’s not fair, your body’s not meant to be like this. Someone has to pay.

Hold that thought – your body’s not meant to be like this.

No it isn’t. But it’s not the burger people’s fault.

Nor is it yours.

Nor is it any of the two-thirds adult population of Britain who are reluctantly becoming overweight, hating every second of their unwanted, unjustified and entirely blameless obesity.

Blameless?

But aren’t those people fat because they eat too much? Pigging out on junk food all the time, no self control, careless people who let themselves go?

Not like you at all.

The unexpected truth

Actually, exactly like you. And yes, entirely blameless.

It’s perfectly true most of them eat too much. You may well find your own body dragging you that way soon enough. You eat like a bird now, but the terrible cravings will come and your system will demand it. Power up for a big effort ahead, rest ready for the big push.

Except the effort never comes and the lazing around becomes indulgent. Overnight you’re a couch potato.

NO!

No wonder you feel like suing. And maybe you should. Because SOMETHING has made you fat, you were never this way before. Somebody ought to pay.

Might be difficult to make it stick though. Because the SOMETHING that’s made you fat is antibiotics. Not the stuff you get from the Doc, though that could have triggered the start of it all.

Unseen growth promoters

We’re talking the stuff you unknowingly eat every day, contained within your ordinary meals – the background antibiotics present in nearly all farm-produced foods – regularly fed to livestock as a prophylactic to stop them getting ill, but really shovelled in because they’re proven growth promoters.

You’re getting fat from the same source that fattens up farm animals for market. From the manure they produce that’s used  to grow everything else – fruit, vegetables, grain crops, animal feed – laced through with growth-boosting antibiotics, without the farmer or anyone else knowing a thing about it.

The antibiotics mess with your gut bacteria, upsetting the fine balance that controls digestion, your immune system and yes, hunger control.

When you’re hungry, your bacteria produce ghrelin, a hormone that tells the brain it’s time to eat, the tank is empty. When you’re full they produce leptin, which says that’s enough, stop, the tank is full.

Hunger Glitch

 

Trouble is, with constant exposure to antibiotics, your system becomes resistant to leptin causing the brain to ignore the STOP signals. The ghrelin hunger signal is still loud and clear, causing you to crave food – high octane stuff that can fill you up, the sooner the better.

Fast food junkies

Which is where the addiction to fast food comes from. Not junk food at all, the body knows it’s the fastest way to to get high powered energy. But eat all that stuff when there’s no real demand and that power has got to go somewhere.

You bulk up, not meaning to, and hate yourself doing it – “junk food” is your way of showing it contempt. But to a starving child a Big Mac is a nutritious bonanza, the quickest way back to healthy living again.

OK, so who are you going to sue? You bought food in good faith, thinking it was healthy, unaware it was loaded with antibiotics. Maybe you should sue the supermarkets.

Except wait a minute, they can’t afford people like you raising health issues – and they probably don’t know either. They bought from suppliers in good faith that their produce was healthy. Look how quickly they whip things off the shelves if there’s the slightest alarm – products recalled for impurities, contamination, deterioration, insecure packaging. They should sue their suppliers.

It’s always the poor farmer that gets it in the neck isn’t it? Yes, he uses antibiotics – and has to account for them meticulously with every animal he sells. Has to keep records that prove antibiotics were withdrawn from diet for a safe period before sale. He uses them in good faith that they’re safe. He should sue the manufacturers.

How far do you take this? The manufacturer sells antibiotics in good faith that they will be used properly and responsibly – world demand is currently anywhere between 63,000 tonnes and 240,000 tonnes. There are hungry people to feed, how can they be culpable? It’s the politicians who are responsible, sue them.

Yeah, right. Sue politicians. Like when is that ever going to work? Best you can do is vote them out – then get down to the gym and switch to salad. Yeah, you’re fat and it’s not your fault, but it’s unlikely you’ll nail anyone for criminal negligence.

At least you know sweat will work – no pain, no gain. And you won’t be fat any more.

Good luck, we’re on the treadmill next to you.

Picture Copyright: poznyakov / 123RF Stock Photo