Weekly News Review | 13 August 2018 | Automotive Purchasing and Supply Chain Automotive Purchasing and Supply Chain

Talking Point

Logistics can be bad for your health

It’s the silly season again. That month of the year when everyone’s on holiday and poor old scribes like me are sitting in front of a blank computer screen wondering what on earth to write about. Surely not Brexit again. The NAFTA negotiations seem to have gone quiet, so no help there. We’ve not learnt anything new about Donald Trump’s tariffs and their consequences for the automotive industry, so that’s also a non-starter. I imagine the young and impoverished English poet, John Keats, sitting in his garret scratching his head with his quill and suffering the same dilemma. Suddenly, inspiration dawns. “I know,” he says. “I’ll write about a Grecian urn. That’s bound to top the best-seller list.”

Whilst delving through the seemingly never-ending flood of press releases that I receive every day, most of which are destined for a quick demise courtesy of the delete key, I came across something slightly bizarre. A variety of sources including the UK’s Office for National Statistics, the Department for Transport, the Health and Safety Executive, the U.S. National Center for Biomedical and Genomic Information and, strangely, the CIA have contributed to a report on how dangerous your life is. Apparently, if you work in logistics, commute by motorcycle and enjoy playing American football at the weekend, you’re doomed!

Yes, logistics has been rated a more dangerous occupation than mining, quarrying or working in the energy and water supply industries, the next three most hazardous. Now, we all know that riding a motorcycle, particularly in city traffic, is no guarantee of a long life. That playing American football is judged to be more risky than, say, car or motorbike racing is somewhat surprising however. Although, if I must, I’ll accept it. But logistics! Surely not. Okay, there’s a certain risk attached to being a truck driver, but at least you have a lot of metal around you in the event of an accident. According to the report, however, an office-based job is only marginally safer than swimming, canoeing or ten-pin bowling! Who ever heard of someone being killed or maimed at a bowling alley? But wait, does being a bomb disposal expert qualify you as working in logistics? If it does, then I can understand how the risk factor might rise exponentially.

“O for a draught of vintage that hath been cool'd a long age in the deep-delvèd earth. O for a beaker full of the warm South. Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, with beaded bubbles winking at the brim, and purple-stainèd mouth.” Maybe Keats was right all along.

Like I said, it’s the silly season.

Sam Ogle

Sam Ogle

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