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Diary

As the sun beat down and temperatures soared last week, one of our reporters was out on a south coast construction site soaking up some rays - oh, and researching a story. Anyway, when it came to taking photographs she was surprised to find that workers wearing shorts or going topless were herded out of shot. Asked why, the site agent confided that it was against company policy to expose so much flesh. The firm is worried that workers who develop skin cancer will sue for occupational ill health. So swelter in your shirts, boys.

lf on-site sanitation gets too grim have a look at www. bumperdumper. com. An entrepreneurial American, Uncle Booger, has devised a way of mounting a loo seat on the towing hitch of a car. But its name suggests the £45 Bumper Dumper would make a perfect building site commode. As far as NCE staff can tell, the contraption should connect equally well to most smaller items of plant.

Privacy looks problematic and new health and safety codes would need to be drawn up, but if needs must. . .

We hear that engineers pushing to get out to Iraq are frustrated at the UK government's cautious pace. A reconnaisance party is all set to go, but needs to be given safety clearance by Whitehall.

Meanwhile, US firms have taken an altogether different approach to safety - they have piled into Iraq with their own private security force. Infuriating!

The Institute of Funeral Directors is attempting to put some fun into funerals by holding an exhibition of coffins in Northumberland. For future reference, you can be buried in a cask of any shape, size or description. A funerary builders' skip has already been commissioned by somebody who apparently sees his ageing body as comparable to a condemned building. Hmm. Wonder if landfill tax applies?

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