My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Is changing a lightbulb risky at the CBC too?

I bet the CBC is similar...
With a few simple precautions, thousands manage it every day. Yet BBC staff have been stopped from replacing lightbulbs because of concerns for their health and safety.

Instead, the corporation is paying up to £10 for each replacement bulb to be fitted.

The situation came to light when Louise Wordsworth, a learning project manager with the BBC, complained.

"I called up to ask for a new lightbulb for my desk lamp and was told that this would cost £10," she wrote in a letter to Ariel, the corporation's magazine.

"On telling them I'd buy and replace the bulb myself (bought for the bargain price of £1 for two bulbs) I was told that it was against health and safety regulations. So guess how many BBC colleagues it finally took to change a lightbulb (risking life and limb to do so)?"

A BBC spokesman confirmed that there had been a number of complaints, but said that each request was judged on its merits to save staff time.

As for Ms Wordsworth's unanswered question, three years ago it was calculated how many people it takes to change a BBC lightbulb.

The member of staff left in the dark would need to find a clerk to get a reference number so that the repair could be paid for, then report the fault to a helpline. An electrician would ask the store manager for the part and install the bulb, making a total of five people.


Anonymous Len said...

I have a similar story. A number of years ago I popped in to have a coffee with a friend who worked in the security department of a local steel mill. As fate would have it, when I got up to use the washroom the light burned out as soon as I flipped the switch. I asked my buddy if there were any spare bulbs laying around so that I could put a new one in. His reply to me was "Don't worry about it. I'll page an electrician." I asked him why summon an electrician from the other side of the plant simply to change a bulb - something I was more than willing to do. He said that I didn't understand. As silly as it is, he said that according to union rules only plant electricians could change light bulbs. If I attempted to do it myself I would be taking work away from a union member. How bloody ridiculous is that?

12:43 AM  

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