Remove Topless Calendars Or We’ll Close Your Business, Says Health and Safety Authority

HSA inspector gives garage owner very unsatisfactory experience

You might have heard reports of a garage here in Limerick that was visited by an inspector from the Health and Safety Authority.

It’s a small, one-man operation, and the mechanic had a couple of topless calendars in his workshop.  Pirelli, and that sort of thing.

The inspector didn’t like the calendars.

Take ’em down, she told the garage owner.

Excuse me? replied the mechanic.

Take ’em down or I’ll close you.  You dirty, dirty, dirty man with all that filthy pornography on your wall.

It’s just a few calendars, said the mechanic.  Classy, arty photography.  By top snappers!  It’s Pirelli.  And anyway I’m the only one working here.

Working indeed, said the inspector.  Thinking dirty, dirty, dirty thoughts, more like it.  Well I’m not feckin havin it, d’ya hear?  Dirty man.  Dirty!

But, said the mechanic, everyone has the same calendarsThey’re famous.

Dirty, dirty, dirty people, said the inspector.  Dirty feckin men!  Men, d’ya hear?  Dirty evil thoughts.  Dirty.

I thought you were the Health and Safety person, said the mechanic.

I’ll tell you what to think, said the inspector.  And I’ll tell you what not to think.  Dirty, dirty, dirty thoughts.  Dirty!


The HSA later wrote to the mechanic about his “display of pornographic material at the place of work”.  The HSA confirmed that the mechanic had been sent a written warning relating to “dignity at work issue”.

I was fascinated by this threat to close down the business because the mechanic had a couple of nudie calendars in his workshop, and so I sent the following query to the HSA.

Can you  please advise in a general sense what criteria your inspectors employ to determine whether displayed material is pornographic or otherwise?

Can you also please advise what training your inspectors receive to assist them in making this determination.

Also, can you please advise to what extent such a determination relies on an inspector’s privately-held views on such matters?

The reply soon came back in the form of a press release.

In the course of the Health and Safety Authority inspection referred to in the Irish Examiner article today (March 3rd), it is clear that the garage owner had a very unsatisfactory experience. A range of issues were highlighted and we will be in contact with the garage owner to clarify the specific issue in relation to the display of nude/topless images and to confirm to him that the removal of the images as indicated in our correspondence does not apply. We fully accept that the HSA acted in an over-zealous manner in this matter. In relation to the headline in the Examiner that the garage owner may face closure as a result of this issue, this is completely without foundation.

So there you have it.  The mechanic can continue harbouring dirty, dirty, dirty thoughts, the filthy pervert.

The language of the HSA statement is interesting though, isn’t it?  The garage owner wasn’t intimidated, threatened or bullied.  No.  He had a very unsatisfactory experience.  This is just as well, since the person giving him the unsatisfactory experience is also responsible for prosecuting bullies.

I was still a bit confused though.  What is this dignity at work business?  Is it part of a health and safety inspector’s remit?

I wrote to that HSA again, and they confirmed that dignity at work is not covered by any H&S legislation, and therefore the inspector was acting well beyond her brief.  She was, in fact, using her power as a HSA inspector to enforce her own personal views of what is tasteful on a small trader, and if he didn’t have the presence of mind to contact a newspaper, he might well have found himself facing prosecution.

I wonder what other personal views this inspector has imposed on businesses using the threat of HSA action?

Did she tell people to smarten up?  Shave off that beard?  Give up drinking?  Lose weight?

You’re a fat bastard as well as a dirty, dirty, dirty man.  If you still have that belly in six months, I’m closin’ ya down, ya dirty filthy man.

I’d like to know what other small businesses have been warned about things outside the remit of the HSA.  This inspector’s previous prudish activities need to be examined.

29 thoughts on “Remove Topless Calendars Or We’ll Close Your Business, Says Health and Safety Authority

  1. Over zealous my bollix. Interfering meddling cunt more like. A disgruntled applicant to Portmarnock GC mayhaps?

    Incidently the HSA cannot close a business, that is the privilege of the High Court.

  2. Thank you for securing that clarification, Bock.

    I began to think that every major art gallery in the world faced closure, what with filthy people like Renoir having pictures on the wall.

  3. I would imagine that the issue would have been harrasment under the Equality Act. The SHWW Act 2005 deals with H&S it mentions bullying but does not cover harrasment or dignity in the workplace. I think this inspector was acting above and beyond the call of duty or ultra vires as our learned colleagues may say.

  4. No 8,

    Does the legislation mean a female staff member at the National Gallery could have paintings removed? Presumably the defence of context would apply in the case of galleries, but garages have been a context for such calendars for years.

  5. some shower the HSA had reason to call them once, they never showed up. For a finish we could not even get past the receptionest.

  6. Sorry, but I find the language in the press release nearly as buttock clenching as the views of the silly cow who was first offended. “…it is clear that the garage owner had a very unsatisfactory experience.”? “A range of issues (Christ Almighty!) were highlighted…..” “..removal of these images…” “..over-zealous manner..” For the love of Allah, where do these people learn these phrases?
    Wouldn’t you just love it if they came out and explained this woman’s behaviour in terms that we could all understand?

  7. There is a bigger here issue Bock. The HSA have flipped on this one, quite rightly. But clearly a member of staff overstepped their authority. What is going to be done to discipline this member of staff. He / She publicly humiliated Mr Daly, surely they should get a taste of their own medicine.

    In addition to your thread on the Gardai in Limerick and this mornings brass necked attempt to get Alan Shatter to participate in a cover up. Surely its time to shackle the authorocrats that are ruining this country

  8. It is no surprise to me whatsoever that it was a female inspector, and not just because the nudies were women. Just as it was a Ban Garda who was involved in gettting that decent constituent of Trevor Sargent’s convicted of threatening behaviour. And remember the case a few years ago when a couple broke into Croke Park to have it off, and ended up being prosecuted for indecent exposure or something? Yep, Ban Garda again. the english have a saying: Put a cunt in uniform and you get a little Hitler, and I’m afraid it s true an awful lot of the time, they are often petty and vindictive officials when given a little power. In this case its not only petty and vindictive, but is well ultra vires, christ I’m surprised she didnt tell him to get a haircut or paint the walls while she was at it. A kick up the hole, metaphorically, is well warranted, and I’d love to see the guy sue for harassment etc.

  9. I think a sample from the topless calendar should be displayed at the top of this article, just for information purposes.

  10. i wonder if it was the same woman who visited my place of work. she had called out on a “surprise” visit the previous year. part of her report highlighted the absence of any risk assessment in the safety statement. she recommended the company start carrying out such assessments. a year later she called back to check on the progress that was made. she was presented with a report, in it was a list of areas in the factory detailing how many sharp blades were carelessly discarded about. no mention of the risk involved, how to solve the problem, who was responsible. nothing , just quantities. i expected the book to be thrown at the safety officer. instead she congratualeted him! i can understand now why the HSA do not have time to enforce real safety issues. much to busy pushing the pc agenda.

  11. Jaaaaaysis…Pirelli calendars arent should involve screaming and goats..its subjective..anywhoooo..moving swiftly along..Didnt that bloke get grief off ‘the man’ before because he changed the strret/alley way to Daly Avenue?..hehehehe..good man..fuck em

  12. there was also an issue with building work behind his garage. think it may be with the belltable. he raised concerns about asbestos being released during the work. makes you wonder if the inspector was not pointed in his direction by a builder/developer type.

  13. That’s about it for us though, 2 chest baring instances. Equal topless rights I say!

  14. Absolutely disgusting. I feel demeaned and objectified as a man. For fucksake, they aren’t even playing football in the picture. Just standing around half naked for every kind of pervert woman to leer at them.

  15. gosh, I must look again. I’ve forgotten the details. In a rush…bye!

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