Archeologists discover ancient Health and Safety report slamming Odysseus

'Thank God there wasn't a minotaur about'

Classical scholars are celebrating the discovery of the damning Health and Safety report on the transport arrangements of Ancient Greek hero Odysseus. The scroll alleges a string of failures to observe safety protocols during his ten-year voyage back from the siege of Troy. ‘Like all citizens of Ithaca, I welcome the conquering hero’s return to his native land,’ said Eteocles head of the Ithaca Health & Safety Executive, ‘but there’s no denying his careless attitude towards his crew’s well-being.’

The report lists a number of issues that need to be investigated. Among the most serious were; ‘1) Failure to carry out an impact assessment before landing on the island of the beautiful nymph Calypso, when a cursory check of past trends might have led him to realise that she would fall in love with him and imprison him. 2) Breach of his duty of care to his crew in allowing five of them to be eaten by the Cyclops Polyphemus. 3) No life jackets or distress flares were on board when the ship sailed in between the sea monster Scylla and the whirlpool Charybdis causing several deaths and severe post-traumatic stress disorder among survivors. 4) Wilful refusal to use earplugs when sailing past the sirens. 5) Allowing the witch Circe to turn several of his crewmen into pigs without checking her licence to keep farm animals, and 6) Putting the palace at risk of structural damage by hanging twenty of his wife’s maidservants by their girdles from a beam that was not suitable to bearing such a heavy load.’

Promising a full public enquiry, Eteocles concluded; ‘People may laugh at today’s ‘excessive’ Health and Safety culture, but if the king hadn’t neglected it, a two-month journey wouldn’t have taken ten years. And waving that sword at me like that could be dangerous as weurrghh!’

(with thanks to 00Mark and Mary Evans)

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Posted: Sep 4th, 2009 by

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