Amusing as it is to see the ethical company slammed:

Three current Lush workers, who spoke to Guardian Australia on the condition of anonymity, claimed that they have suffered back and wrist injuries and are given personal quotas that result in lifting the equivalent of 500kg of dry materials a day, without adequate equipment or personal protective equipment.

That’s one bag of sugar per minute. Horrors, eh?

26 thoughts on “Horrors!”

  1. I always assumed the occupational hazard in that place was gagging on the thick chemical haze of scent that sits in each shop like a miasma.

  2. Off topic, I see that you wisely haven’t linked your Washington Examiner article on Trumpian tax cuts. If I were given a payslip with the admonishment, “Your nett pay is higher because of the tax cut but beware, this is only a deferment and come February you have to pay it back,” unless I was an activist I would put the money aside for repayment, and demand would be stimulated not a damn. The employer is in a worse situation because some of the employees might not be here in February to pay back that deferred tax, in fact if they are clever they will resign the day before dies venit, and the employer will get caught with it. It’s sheer damfoolery.

  3. Christ i’d cross the street to avoid an open lush doorway, these guys deserve all the money and benefits they get. And seriously essential oils can be pretty nasty stuff, so lack of PPE for that would be very naughty.

  4. I can remember getting a materials drop in Bayswater when the labourers hadn’t showed up. In a no-unloading zone. Three & half ton of ballast & cement. Back in the days when they used to come in 50kg bags. 20 minutes to get them off the back of the truck, onto the pavement. Just beat the yellow-peril. Hour & half to pick them up off the pavement, down a flight of steps into the basement & stack. Then time to grab a quick breakfast in the caff round in Spring St & get on with some work.

  5. As always, the Guardian picks awful examples to complain about:

    ““It takes a good seven hours to make that much per person, you’d be lifting about 400 or 500kg for the whole day,” a staff member said.”

    So it takes less than a whole shift to make the quota for a shift? The horrors!

    I have to admit that I’m not up to date on the intricacies of H+S law in Australia, but while I’m fairly sure there are limits on lifting weights, it’s normally expressed in kg, not in kg/day.

  6. My public address, band equipment, and light show weighs about 250kg. I hated doing it without help, but I could move it from a van in the carpark to a stage inside a venue in about half an hour.

    I always assumed that a hard day of labour is 16 tons. From the song: “You load 16 Tons and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt”.

  7. From Quora: Once I asked him how much coal he had to shovel into Mallard on a run from London to Edinburgh. He thought for a while and then answered “Depends on whether you’ve got a good driver or a bad driver”. So what’s the difference? “Between 9 and 13 tons of coal”.

    Ah the good old days, when ‘men’ were (really) men………

  8. LUSH products make very good gifts. However a few years ago the company became a strong and vocal supporter of BDS. That’s when they lost my business.

  9. I was once forced to sit through a manual handling course.
    We were shown a video of a bloke picking something off one conveyor, turning and putting on another.
    We were asked how this job could be done in a safer manner.
    Working in automation, I suggested he could be replaced with a relatively simple machine, then he wouldn’t have to take the risk of any injury at work as he could stay at home on the dole. It would also benefit the company as it would be quicker, never take a holiday, etc

    Maybe the same solution could be applied here?

  10. ‘lifting the equivalent of 500kg of dry materials a day’


    Why is the word ‘equivalent’ there?

    Daily total? A very odd construct. Perhaps written by someone who has no clue to manual labor?

  11. To make valid comparisons we should measure the work done in joules, so we need to know the height that the 500 kg is being raised to.

  12. Hang on. 500 kg is roughly 1100 lbs which is roughly 10 cwt. I used to lift more than that every few minutes when I was 15 and working unloading cement boats during the school holidays. And an offensive thing a cwt bag of cement is – the dust gets into every pore on a warm summer day.

  13. @Diogenes
    You ever seen the fines Highways Dept, Westminster hand out for blocking pavements?
    It’s not that hard. The guy I used to work with was a farm lad, as a boy. Used to forking straw bales up onto a flat bed. They go about 2 hwt. He’d carry cement bags two at a time.
    It’s doing it every day. We were building swimming pools together, at the time. Why we were putting one in a basement in Bayswater. We reckoned 10 days from a hole in the ground (digger excavated) to a finished pool full of water. Concrete base & block/concrete walls, steel reinforcement, throughout. Piped, wired, rendered, tiled, coping edged. Then on to the next one. Just the two of us. (The late-show labourers on the Bayswater job were an exception. There to get the gear in, fast. Because of the unloading restrictions.) We were making about £2500 each a week. In the early 80s. Helluva incentive. And never built a wrong’un!
    S’pose I was about 2 stone heavier then. 13 stone odd. Some muscle still remains into my late 60s. Pal & I took a big American fridge up a flight of stairs, last year. I got the heavy end. Think I’d trust the Spanish with a two grand appliance?

  14. In a game of rugby, I regularly lift people weighing more that 100kg over my head, albeit with someone else helping. There are often more than 10 lineouts in a game so that’s two of us lifting over 1000kg between us or over 500kg above our heads in 80 minutes. Granted they jump a bit to get started, but I’ve not played with anyone who could leap to get their feet above my waist height unaided for over a decade…

  15. Dennis, Bullshit Detector

    Let’s see…

    500 kg = 1,102 lbs
    8 hour work day
    137.75 lbs per hour
    68.88 lbs per half hour
    34.44 per quarter hour
    2.30 lbs per minute


  16. Hmmm… it looks like hand making things the old fashioned way for the mass market is not so great an idea. Except for marketing.

    The figures quoted are pretty dodgy (I’m not trusting arts graduates to get it right) but the physical requirements do look difficult for the average punter. The thought of turning out hundreds of units of finished product a day, per person quota, sounds like not fun at all. There’s going to be a lot of mixing, stirring, stamping out and packing involved in that, and it’s all supposed to be effectively handmade. Not just about 15kg lifts. We invented mass production and automation for a reason!

    On the other hand they invoke the standard harassment complaints, so maybe it’s all bullshit.

  17. Bloke in North Dorset

    At least they’re working in the hallowed “manufacturing”. Just think how wasted their lives would have been if they’d been sat in front of a computer answering customer queries.

  18. Being semi-retired, I took a job at a local market doing maintenance – which includes removing trash. I moved around a 1000lbs a day of trash. Often having to pick up 50lb cans, lift them onto the back of my truck and then lift them again over the top of an 8ft tall dumpster.

    Shit ain’t that hard.

    And what ‘protective equipment do you need? Pair of gloves, appropriate shoes. Finally, if your employer won’t provide that, either quit or buy the stuff yourself. I *prefer* the latter as I know the gear I get is quality and not cheap shit that might not even be in cert – which the employer will be incentivized to get because the users DGAF (its not their gear) and lose it all the time.

  19. Considering the amount of VOCs being given off by Lush products and air fresheners in general, I’m surprised they’re still being sold and not banned unlike materials that carpets are made of or paints. But then maybe I’m not so surprised when I know the laws are all created after extensive lobbying by the companies involved.

  20. There’s another set of calculations, Dennis. Human hand weighs approx 250g. Moves vertically six inches, twice a second. Even an arts graduate could rub out 500kg in a bit over 16 minutes. Wankers!

  21. Every builder, garage worker, delivery driver will be lifting many times more than that every day

    Kwik-Fit fitter: wheel & tyre ~25kg. Lifted many times when changing tyre – off car, roll and onto tyre machine (50), off tyre machine onto balancer (25), off balancer roll and onto car (50). Plus tyres moved, >135kg

    Whining snowflakes at Lush

  22. I play with steam railway engines for a hobby. As a fireman, I’ll shovel 3 ton or so of coal on the fire over 10 hours – that’s the easy bit.
    Then before stuffing the thing back in its shed and repairing to a local hostilry, the driver and I have to shovel that same 3 ton between us out of a wagon, over the wagon end (about 6′ tall from the bottom of the wagon) and into the bunker to refill it for the next day… That is hard work, but only takes 15 minutes or so.

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