Love it or loathe it, the Apprentice is a televisual phenomenon that is difficult to avoid. I have found myself sucked into this series and was very pleased last night to find the final scheduled as an amusing end to the weekend. Lord Sugar and his accolytes enjoyed tearing strips off the hapless four finalists. With business plans laying their limitations bare this was rather akin to shooting fish in a barrel. The winner, nodding Tom, proposed a business that had something to do with a chair that did something clever to alleviate back pain in the workplace. The details were never clear: the only two facts I gleaned about Tom's business plan were (a) it did not mention the word "chair" and (b) his figures were all wrong. Despite these rather profound limitations he was declared best of a bad lot and Lord Sugar announced "you're hired".
Putting my geeky lawyer's hat on though, my eyebrows hit the ceiling when Lord Sugar expounded on the subject of health and safety in the workplace. Proclaiming loudly that he is an employer of many and "a man for the big world" Lord Sugar listed his knowledge of obligations in respect of temperature in the workplace, to keep the floors clear, provide washrooms and fire extinguishers. He then blasted that he would "give up and emigrate" if employers had to provide employees with a "desk chair check".
Any of you out there who are loathers rather than lovers of the Apprentice and "S'rAlan" and wish he would take himself off to another jurisdiction to torture future "entrepreneurs" elsewhere might want to forward him the link to the HSE guidance on back pain in the workplace. As any personal injury lawyer well knows, back injury claims in the workplace are endemic and obligations on employers are many and varied.
It would seem he has potentially missed a trick with Tom's idea (assuming the "inventor" is as good as he says he is) because it has since been announced that the back care chair has been ditched and the two will be making nail files together...