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OFF BEAT: British city bans use of common office supplies over risk of injury


The National Health Service in Manchester, England, has banned a sharp metal instrument that has been impaling workers recently: the file fastener.

Workers at NHS Manchester can rest assured that their fingers are safe after officials issued a memo this month to all employees banning all use of the office sabers known in the United Kingdom as paper fasteners, typically metal pieces that fold over with a sliding closure to contain papers within a cover.

“Due to recent incidents, NHS Manchester has decided to immediately withdraw the use of metal paper fasteners,” the health care system reportedly said in the memo. “The use of metal fasteners is prohibited and must be carefully disposed of immediately.”

Instead, NHS Manchester recommended that the binders be replaced with similar plastic fasteners.

An NHS Manchester spokesperson said the ban was imposed after an employee cut his or her finger, but offered to no other comment, according to new reports.

Some employees reacted negatively.

“It is ridiculous. They’re vaguely sharp, like drawing pins (thumbtacks) and fountain pens,” an NHS staff member reportedly said. “I can only assume that the top brass think that they’ve employed idiots who need nannying through the working day.”

It could be argued that paper itself is a hazard as it’s been responsible for cut fingers for decades.

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