The Internet can be a wonderful place. But it can also serve as a cautionary tale. The Reddit OSHA page is one of the best examples of this. It’s full of pictures and stories of mishaps and mistakes from the workplace that folks have shared. In a way, some of these stories are funny, at least they are if nobody got hurt. However, they still violated OSHA regulations and can be dangerous.
If you have some free time, go over to the Reddit OSHA page and take a look at some of the things no worker should do and no supervisor should allow. To give you a sneak preview of what’s there, here are some of the stories that stood out to us on the Reddit OSHA page.
Ladders Are There for a Reason
In one picture, we spotted a painter in the middle of painting a ceiling. However, rather than using a ladder the way most painters would, his feet were perched on the top of a door that was halfway open. He seemed to be balancing himself just fine, although if anyone touched the door, he’d likely fall to the floor.
Sleeping at Heights
We’re all familiar with working at heights, but in one photo on the Reddit OSHA page, there was a worker sleeping at heights. The man was literally lying down face up and likely fast asleep several stories up. The worst part is there didn’t appear to be any fall protection. His only defense is that you don’t want to be working at heights when you’re overly tired. But surely he could have gotten back to ground level before taking a nap.
Cut a Tree, Wear a Harness
One truly terrifying video we spotted at Reddit OSHA was a man cutting down the top of a tree with a chainsaw. He was standing comfortably midway up the tree and appeared to be in control. But when the top part of the tree was cut off, it struck him on the way down and sent him falling to the ground. There was no harness or other form of fall protection to catch him, which was a clear violation of OSHA regulations since he was more than six feet above the ground. We can only hope that he survived the fall without suffering a serious injury.
Inspect Fire Extinguishers
One fire safety inspector on Reddit OSHA was kind enough to post a picture of a fire extinguisher that had a gaping hole toward the top of it.Needless to say, it couldn’t be used effectively in that condition. Frankly, we don’t even know if there was any water or foam inside the extinguisher that could be used to fight a fire. In any event, it was a good reminder that fire extinguishers should be checked regularly for damage or other irregularities.
Our favorite picture from the Reddit OSHA page is that of a small black bear inside a manufacturing plant. How a bear could get into a work area is anybody’s guess. The comments on the post were clever references to the fact that the bear wasn’t wearing any safety goggles or other type of personal protective equipment. We can only hope that the company was able to get the bear out of there before anybody got hurt. But it was a good reminder that wild animals have no business being in the workplace.
How to Limit Safety Mistakes
The biggest takeaway from these posts on Reddit OSHA is that most safety mistakes can be prevented. Outside of common sense, the best way to limit safety mistakes and accidents at the workplace to have a comprehensive safety management system that can help manage everything from inspections to safety training to compliance.
For more workplace safety updates, visit the EHS Insight Blog.