Go To Work On An Egg Muesli…

The 80,000-seater stadium and the 2,818 flats built for the Olympic Village in Stratford, east London, were constructed by a workforce who lived on ‘takeaways’, according to Olympic chiefs.


I mean, if they’d realised their workforce were breaking the safety regulations left, right and centre, I could see a need for concern.

But…who cares what they ate?

It was only during construction that bosses from the Olympics Delivery Authority (ODA) realised that a staggering number of the 12,000 builders working on the Olympic showpiece were living an ‘unhealthy lifestyle’ and that many were significantly overweight.

And yet, presumably, still quite capable of doing a physically-demanding job?

I mean, they wouldn’t be paid otherwise. Would they?

Lawrence Waterman, head of health and safety for the ODA, revealed the shock statistics at a health and safety conference hosted by the Police Federation last week.

What has this to do with H&S? Why are the police federation – currently bitching about cuts to front line staff – wasting time on this nonsense?

He said that accidents were being caused by workers skipping breakfast after indulging in fatty takeaways the night before – leaving them ‘desperate’ for something to eat by lunchtime.

Is there any scientific basis to this? Or is that just the excuse offered by the person after the accident?

The conference heard how accidents at the massive 500-acre site ‘peaked’ in the one-hour period before lunch as workers’ minds were on what they were having for lunch rather than on the job in hand.

Or is it that it’s the period when the shift is coming to a natural break and people are therefore tired?

Have you tried moving lunch forward an hour, or taking a ‘minibreak’ half-way through, and seeing if the pattern recurs?

Mr Waterman said that as soon as bosses at the ODA realised how unhealthy the workers were they started offering bowls of porridge for just £1 to workers so they got a ‘healthy start to the day’.

Did it work? Well, they claim so:

“We had canteens offering porridge for a £1 and accidents in the morning went down.”

Was that down to the food, or down to the fact that the workers got a break while they ate the food, rather than getting stuck in to work?

Well, there’s always an anecdote, isn’t there?

One 41-year-old worker, who did not want to be named, said today (Tue): “A lot of the lads on the site were pretty big.

“Builders are known for their love of fry-ups and fast food – it comes as part of the job really – but nobody realised quite how unhealthy most of us were.”

The 40-year-old worker – who admitted that he was overweight – added: “Lots of us ended up eating porridge in the morning to see us through to lunchtime and I must admit it did work.

“Before that we couldn’t stop thinking about what we were having for lunch.”

I remain unconvinced, not to mention unimpressed…

But who knew that when the budget for the Olympics was soaring out of control, it was going on building worker dietician services?

8 comments for “Go To Work On An Egg Muesli…

  1. March 19, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Shocking statistics on people getting up in the morning and going to the loo – should be banned.

  2. March 19, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Well, there’s always an anecdote, isn’t there?

    As any oppressive regime knows, it is vital to have the occasional show trial; remember the woman trotted out to do public penance for her cancer in a news report* about unhealthy lifestyles?
    “Why was it you? What was it in your lifestyle that was wrong?”

    (*BBC h/t Longrider)

  3. Maaarrghk!
    March 19, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Perhaps they would prefer to go back to the “good old days” of the millenium piss pot, where immigrant workers were sleeping on site and being fed a diet of khat by their employers.

    At least it was vegetarian and didn’t have any of that nasty fat….

    • March 20, 2012 at 5:48 am

      I’m only surprised it isn’t still like that, given the gripes about how few of the construction jobs went to locals…

  4. March 19, 2012 at 9:37 am

    There are only about 170 calories in a bowl of porridge, not enough to make much difference to a big guy doing heavy manual work.

  5. March 19, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Only just caught up with this Julia – had been pondering on the same thing this morning. http://www.annaraccoon.com/politics/size-matters-to-the-police-federation/
    It answers the question as to why the police federation have been to busy to attend to police matters – but what on earth has the size of construction workers bum’s got to do with defending their members jobs?
    I fancy Gadget’s commentators are going to go into orbit when they catch up with this story…..!

    • March 20, 2012 at 5:46 am

      Heh! You may well be right! At the moment they are still in a froth over Winsor…

  6. ted
    March 27, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I’m assuming this is the same Olympics that has Mcdonalds and Coca Cola, those well know healthy eating lifestyle brands, as sponsors?

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