Hospital workers have had their toaster taken away for health and safety reasons. Discontent has spread across the orthopedic nursing staff at Cheltenham General in recent days since the appliance was removed from their kitchen. Employees were told the toaster was banned by top management because it had become a fire risk and set off the alarm too often.
Nurse and department fire warden, Ricky Newton, of Ormer Road, said: "They say it's for health and safety, but I don't think that can be right and it shows contempt for the staff on the part of the managers. It isn't a fire hazard at all. I should know because I've been here for years and we haven't had a toaster fire yet. Not everybody eats toast on their break, but a high percentage do, and it's not right to take it away for no good reason."
He added there had been no problem with toasters setting off the kitchen's fire alarms. Mr Newton, 50, has worked at the hospital for 14 years and said the ban had harmed morale. He said staff went through about three loaves of bread each day and toast served as an important snack to keep them going through their shift.
The kitchens also have coffee percolators, fridges and cookers. While those in the orthopedic department are left to have non-toast snacks during their breaks, the other departments appear to have escaped to be able to keep their device. Mr Newton said: "It just seems like we are being victimised. I don't know why we are the only ones who cannot have toast because if it's a health and safety risk for us, it must be everywhere else." Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was unable to comment.