As a co-op student, I’m required to fill out and submit a wealth of paper work that would drive even the most staunch office worker to new depths of sadness. Nobody likes paper work. Especially when the paper work is worth marks.

This week, I was required to answer a selection of questions pertaining to health and safety at my co-op placement for school. As everyone knows, literary types are expected to do copious amounts of hard labour in grueling conditions where safety is rarely guaranteed. Given the perilous situations in which I’m often required to perform, I was unsure whether I would be able to answer some of the questions truthfully, lest my teacher fear for my safety. However, after much fretting, humming, and hawing, I wrote a modest and truthful evaluation of health and safety at my co-op placement in response to the many silly and barely applicable questions. I’d like to share them with you so that you may learn to live safer lives as well.

In an office or bookstore, the potential for danger is great. Most people don’t understand that bookworms are really daredevils. Risks such as paper cuts and falling books are a constant threat. In fact, I carry a bottle of lemon juice with me at all times when I’m working just in case a rogue book happens to break free from a shelf and slice my finger.

I often wear a hard hat at work, for protection against falling books. I also wear heavy duty work gloves in an effort to reduce my chances of being attacked by books. But the only fail safe precautionary method is constant vigilance. I always keep my eyes peeled. I’ve taken to training my peripheral vision in my off time so I can spot falling books and torn pages even when I’m not looking directly at them.

My supervisor explained the company’s health and safety precautions on the first day. She did this by unleashing a submission from its three inch thick blast steel box. As it approached us, she threw my a paper clip and I was able to pin it to the ground and sedate it with a heavy dose of filing.

PPE stands for personal protection equipment. As a registered macho man often I don’t wear any personal protection equipment in this hazardous environment. I prefer to let my chest hairs blow in the wind while I wear a muscle shirt and tackle sly paper stacks that attempt to escape filing. When I’m required to write, I work out before hand to warm up my body. I like to use elastic bands between the thumb and forefinger because it stretches out my palm. I have to buy the rubber bands myself.

If I get injured at co-op I can expect to be ridiculed. Following this treatment, I will be kindly treated for any wounds I have sustained (probably paper cuts) and if the damage is considerable I will likely get to ride in an ambulance. The injury will probably get reported, but we only use carrier pigeons so I may be dead by the time the report reaches its final destination.

The first aid kit is kept with the shark tooth saw we use for amputations, in the boardroom supply cupboard. That’s really the extent of our emergency equipment, aside from the Hazmat suits that are kept in the bomb shelter.

All of the hazardous substances that exist in the office are kept in a folder dubbed “secret”. No-one knows what’s in there, but legend has it that the previous managing editor once opened it after hours when everyone had gone home. They found the folder lying on the floor the next morning. Next to a finger.