15 Times People Didn't Know the Meaning of Safety

H&S in the workplace is there for a reason, but some guys didn't get the memo.
Christopher McFadden

"Safety first" is a common mantra in the workplace, but why do some people not take it seriously? As the old adage goes, "you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink!"

Humans can be rebellious by nature, so it's no mystery that some will completely ignore well-intended rules and regulations for their own safety. That being said, it seems that some people really have a death wish.

In this article, we'll take a look at some interesting examples of people who really don't seem to care about their safety.

Why is it important to follow the safety rules?

What is safety, and why should you take heed?

The answer is very simple. If you value your personal health and safety (and care about the well-being of your family), you will have to take safety rules very seriously. The rules are there for a reason.

They exist to protect both you as an individual and that of the general public and your work colleagues. At the end of the day, it is your employer's legal responsibility to protect you and their workforce from any unnecessary injuries.

health and safety fails
Source: PAT Test North East/Flickr

If not for yourself, you should at least think about your family. They don't want to see you injured or worse.

If the worst should occur, you will not be able to work and could potentially lose your job too. This could have a serious impact not only on your income, but also on mental health.

Why risk it?

Why don't employees follow safety rules?

Human beings are highly complex creatures at best. Trying to guess the motivations of an individual is as difficult as getting blood from a stone at times.

But if you are plagued by employees who regularly fail to follow safety rules, you might need to look closer to home. As a project manager or employer, any failure of employee behavior is ultimately your responsibility.

Are the rules too complex to follow? Is there a poor culture of health and safety in the workplace? If so, this may be the responsibility of the employer as much as the employee. It could be the result of poor training, or lax enforcement of workplace safety policies, as much as the responsibility of the employee to act reasonably.

How do you encourage employees to be safety conscious?

At the end of the day, it is important to instill a healthy, safety-conscious culture within your organization. But there are some hints and tips you can follow to help your employees help themselves.

  1. Make safety an important part of your organization's culture.
  2. Leadership teams should be champions of safety.
  3. Use positive reinforcement.
  4. Your employees should feel ownership of the safety process.
  5. Utilize employee feedback to reassess your safety program.

Examples of unsafe people who don't seem to know the meaning of safety

Despite the warnings, and the best will in the world, there are still far too many who flout health and safety guidance. Here are just some examples of what can only be described as "people against safety". 

Let's just hope they all have good insurance cover.

1. This guy goes the extra mile

poor health and safety scaffolding
Source: dob_bobbs/Reddit

This is one way to check a building's guttering and roofing. Although this chap seems to appreciate the relative safety of scaffolding, he has sort of missed the point. 

At least he isn't using a long ladder on his own, we suppose!

2. Trust me, I'm an engineer!

poor health and safety snacks
Source: Butterworth/Reddit

When it comes to snacks, we can all agree that their safety is of the utmost importance. One diligent member of staff at this market took matters into their own hands when some shelving failed.

Making good use of some highly splinter-able wood, he managed to save the day. Thank goodness.

3. Well, electricity is dangerous, isn't it?

health and safety misuse of power tool
Source: u/poiadipoio/Reddit

This man takes health and safety to the next level. Despite being issued a perfectly serviceable power tool, he is not going to take any risks. 

Rather than turning it on to remove some rendering, he decides pure elbow-grease is a far safer work method. 

Fair play!

4. Jerry cans are for losers!

health and safety gas bags
Source: u/macgarthur/Reddit

This badass lady obviously hates the concept of jerry cans to store fuel. Either that or she really takes recycling seriously. 

Using humble plastic carrier bags, she stocks up on gas without a care in the world. Should someone tell that gasoline can dissolve plastic bags?

Perhaps she knows something we don't?

5. When you are paid by the hour

health and safety work hard
Source: u/Agent_Soviet/Reddit

While not technically a health and safety violation, this guy certainly won't be earning "Employee of the Month" anytime soon. Either that or he is trying to avoid his employer the inconvenience of time off work due to repetitive strain injuries.

We may never know for sure!

6. That'll hold

poor health and safety pillar
Source: BanskyFan1/Reddit

The test of a true engineer is their ability to innovate in a time of need. This MacGyver wannabe managed to save the day when he found a critically damaged brick pillar at work.

A true health and safety hero!

7. Just why?

poor health and safety jack
Source: dammitijustwantmemes/Reddit

Surely there are better places to place the jack? We do hope they have a good explanation. 

Especially since the tires are still in contact with the ground.

8. Good enough!

poor health and safety tvs
Source: mikmakpaddywhack/Reddit

When time is of the essence, just good enough will have to do. Over half stowed is more than 50% safe, isn't it? 

Good enough odds for us. Let's just hope no one is walking underneath it when the inevitable happens. 

9. "I believe I can fly!"

poor health and safety crane
Source: MetaaL_/Reddit

This resourceful chap knows how to get places in style. Why walk when you can simply hitch a lift on a crane?

At least he has three points of contact, we suppose. Just don't look down.

10. Desperate times

poor health and safety ladder
Source: permeable_boat/Reddit

When you really have to get that job done but don't have the right tools to hand, you need to innovate. This genius apparently found the perfect strategy to get to those hard to reach places when you don't have along enough ladder.

Making use of a front loader tractor and some step ladders, he managed to find a way.

11. Yet another construction site MacGyer fan

poor health and safety crane 2
Source: dacsmema/Reddit

When this crane's alternator apparently failed, this guy decided to improvise. By making good use of a battery charger and a generator, they managed to get the crane back into action.

Not entirely safe but fair play. 

12. This guy was obviously in a hurry

poor health and safety scissor lift
Source: zophaelyijo/Reddit

Despite the fact this chap obviously has a perfectly functional scissor lift, time was obviously against him. Without wasting precious time removing more ceiling tiles, he found another way to access the ceiling void.

Let's hope he has a cat-like balance.

13. Good enough!

poor health and safety scaffolding 3
Source: Nuby76/Reddit

We admire this plasterer's ingenuity. While he took the time to erect some scaffolding to get to the ceiling, his use of copper wire to secure the bars is questionable at best. 

But it's only a problem if you knock into them, right? It'll be fine.

14. Hanging in the balance

poor health and safety tree
Source: nlderek/Reddit

You might be starting to detect a pattern here. When it comes to accessing hard to reach places, some people seem to love throwing caution to the wind.

This guy managed to jerry-rig his way up to the top of this tree using all the tools he had to hand. But at least he's wearing a harness.

Give this man a raise, pronto!

15. Fuses are for losers!

poor health and safety fuses
Source: RNerd12/Reddit

And finally, a picture that would make an electrician's heart jump out of their chest! Fuses are for losers anyway, right?

My goodness!

Which one of these safety fails is your favorite? Are you scared yet? Yes, there really are people out there like this. 

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