The EHO read my blogs!
Several weeks ago, I wrote a blog entitled “It is safe everyone, the EHO are back!”, which described the return of the officialdom that is the EHO making their rounds and visiting us at TPS to make sure we are playing by the rules on COVID procedures that all businesses have to adhere these days. I had described in the blog how ridiculous the questions that were asked by the EHO were, and what a total waste of time it was. “Box-ticking” at its very best!
Well, guess what? I received yet another visit the other day, twice in 5 weeks! They must be reading my blog!
Now I know the EHO do a valuable job in keeping us safe from unscrupulous vendors, but I thought it was rich of them to hide for over a year, leaving the staff in the food & meat trade to risk their lives every day to keep the nation fed. Now it is safer and less of a risk to them, they want to get their self-importance back. To have two visits in 5 weeks to a company (TPS) that is “on the ball” health & safety wise, was very wrong in my eyes.
The same scenario played out like last time; in they come, full of their own self-importance, with no clipboard these days but with iPhone/Android in hand, wanting to ask the same old stupid questions. Not in the mood for this nonsense, I explained to the EHO representative that we had been audited not 6 weeks ago by them and that we had been given a COVID assessment from Peninsula, the elite Health & Safety auditors, and proudly showed him our 5-star rating hanging on the reception wall. He proceeded to puff out his chest and say smugly, “Well you could get an audit every week if we choose!” but when I replied that was a ridiculous statement, he retorted “ I can report back that you are refusing to co-operate then!?” Well… let’s just say the gloves came off at that comment!
If you ever want to light a fire under my ass, then threaten me! The civility I showed them on their last visit was well and truly gone!
With some anger in my voice, I told him not to threaten me, then proceeded to ask him a few questions of my own, like “Where the ^%& were you this time last year when shit was hitting the fan? Sitting on full pay watching Netflix no doubt! Are you satisfied being a jobsworth?” I really went for him verbally as he had really pushed a button, however with nothing to hide and fully compliant, I reclaimed my composure and asked him to comply with all our safety checks to gain entry: filling out the COVID form and temperature checks, etc before letting him into the office.
He got on with asking his ludicrous questions, but this time I gave different answers, so when asked “ Does your staff know about COVID procedures?” “No mate,” I replied, “I opened a branch on Mars, and that’s where they been this past year…how the hell do I know what they know?” That set the tone for the next few minutes, and lets’ just say after he completed all his box-ticking, he was very keen to leave!
Why did I get so upset? Well, let me tell you! I have been in the meat trade for over 40 years, and anyone that knows me can vouch that I take H&S very seriously, but never once have I had an EHO come in and say “well done”, or “tweak this, sort this and we are fine” No! They just seem to want to find things to get you on, or find fault on the most innate things, just to fuel their little power trip, and feel important. We, the food specialist, are the real important ones, keeping the country going through a major crisis, not them.”
If the EHO are indeed reading this, I look forward to your next visit!