Paperstone – The brilliant office life, work and fun blog

Office Hazards # 37 – Drawing Pin Injuries


The office is not the most dangerous of working environments – it’s much more risky working outside as a builder or an engineer.

But the office is not 100 per cent safe. Look out for a common stationery-related injury – treading on a drawing pin!

It doesn’t matter so much if you’re wearing shoes with thick soles, but be warned if you’re working at home in your dressing gown and slippers!

A dropped drawing pin often lands with the point facing upwards, calling out ,“Here I am, tread on me.”

Old fashioned brass-plated drawing pins (known as thumb tacks in the US) are the worst culprits, so watch out for those in particular. They have caused much blood shed among office workers over the years, and also at home when people have been putting up Christmas decorations.

The American pushpin is a better option for the office notice board: it has a smaller head and a longer body, so when it is dropped on the floor, it tends to land on its side, posing less of a danger.

Probably one of the worst accidents with a brass-plated pin happened to an English woman, Mrs Doris Nichols, in 1932. The Barrier Miner newspaper reported that Mrs Nichols was ill for five weeks after swallowing a pin with a pork pie (her butcher admitted negligence for allowing the pin to get into the snack).

Mrs Nichols’ husband was a famous Essex cricketer and had to cancel a tour to Trinidad and stay at home to look after his wife.

Luckily the Nicholls were awarded £200 in damages from the butcher. But it’s unlikely they went there for any more pork pies!



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