The onions are just the beginning

  • Department of Homeland Security Occupational Health and Safety Division
  • Memo: Operatives nationwide.

Following the successful intervention in the onion vis-a-vis sausage on a slice of bread incident by Bunnings, the division is issuing the following guidelines to be acted upon by operatives nationwide, effect immediately. We would like to applaud the store for its initiative and repeat here the words of chief operating officer Debbie Poole: "Safety is always our No.1 priority and we recently introduced a suggestion that onion be placed underneath sausages to help prevent the onion from falling out and creating a slipping hazard."

Bunnings has advised its sausage providers to change their onion distribution method.Photo: Supplied

The following guidelines have been workshopped by a committee of expert and lay people, then vetted by a sub-committee of division managers before being given the go-ahead at senior level in the department.

Tomato sauce on a pie. This is no longer deemed a safe practice. The sauce must be placed into the pie. Controlled experiments were carried out into the consequences of applying the sauce on top, around the crust, and in varying amounts. Notwithstanding the tradition of this application, it has been decided that the safety of the apparel of those using this method comes first. Following the onions incident, of which we are sure you all are aware, the dripping of sauce is a health hazard. If a fellow Australian can slip on an onion, they can slip on something more fluid, such as sauce.

Hot coffee or tea. The dangers in partaking in this practice are obvious. Coffee and tea are forthwith to be regarded as cold drinks. The placement of boiling liquid near one’s face is clear. Coffee is usually served at about 70 degrees. The temperature in Melbourne on Black Saturday in February 2009 was a mere 46 degrees. On that terrible day almost 200 people died and 400 were injured. Visits to the burns units of hospitals can be arranged if any feel the need to be persuaded of this edict. Beware, you may come across resistance to this measure. Do not be daunted. It is for the health of your fellow Australians and the wellbeing of this great nation.

Barbecues. Again, the perils to the population should be evident. Barbecues are powered by gas cylinders or wood. Both of these fuels have potential for devastation. Only recently cylinders were used in an attack in Melbourne, and wood, of course, is the fuel of bushfires. Again there will be resistance, especially coming into summer and the holiday season, but safety must be paramount. The BBQs must be disabled. Australians will adapt when they see it is for the greater good.

Last, remember the onion, and good luck.

Warwick McFadyen is a Fairfax columnist.

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