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The 10 Best Health and Safety Fails from around the Globe

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Author Photo
Leslie Duroe
Marketing Manager
Published On
July 22, 2020

Most of us are familiar with the Health and Safety precautions we have to take in the workplace. These differ from industry to industry; the risks of working on a construction site are a world away from the risks posed working in an office environment.

However, regardless of the ubiquity of health and safety in the workplace, sometimes the day becomes too busy to keep all the rules in place. We’ve scoured the internet and found some of the best health and safety fails from around the web.

1. Ladders

Whether you’re using a leaning ladder or a stepladder, ensuring that the ladder is the correct height for the task in hand is a crucial health and safety concern. We’re not quite sure the guy in this picture got the memo. We’ve got to give him points for having a friend steady the bottom ladder, at least!

Man trimming a hedge using two ladders

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2. Electrical Wiring

Technology is a key part of the workplace, whether that is computer leads in an office space or wiring a house on a construction site, electricity will no doubt play a part in your everyday work life. Working safely around electrical equipment is of the utmost importance, as the risk of serious injury and even death is always present around electrical currents. Our friend below, however, has adopted a slightly more ‘devil may care’ attitude toward safety around electrics.

Man wiring electrics stood in a puddle

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3. Protective Wear

Protective wear, or personal protective equipment (PPE) as the Health and Safety Executive [1] terms it, is essential for any working in an environment where falling materials, contaminated air or corrosive liquids pose a hazard. Goggles would be one such example, but we’re not sure two glasses duct taped to your face quite counts…

Man wearing homemade safety goggles

And while we’re at it, putting an empty water bottle over your entire head, while ensuring greater coverage, doesn’t quite comply with PPE regulations either!

Worker wearing homemade head gear

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4. Vehicle Safety

The Health and Safety Executive’s Load Safety Guidelines [2] warn that unsafe loads on vehicles injure more than 1,200 people a year and cost businesses millions of pounds in damaged goods. Securing loaded vehicles prevents loss of goods and accidents to those on the road. This is especially advisable if you’re carrying flammable liquid on a moped, just seems like common sense really.

Man riding a scooter with gas canisters hanging from the sides

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5. Manual Handling

According to the HSE, manual handling injuries are the most common types of occupational injuries throughout the UK [3].  Therefore, it’s important to ensure the correct posture is adopted when lifting and carrying in the workplace. We feel this is particularly good advice if you happen to be lifting your work colleague out of a manhole by his trousers. We hope he, at least, has a helmet on!

Workers holding another worker by the trousers down a manhole

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6. Flammables

A basic awareness of the threats to health and safety posed by flammable materials is applicable in almost any workplace. If flammable liquids or materials are stored too close to a source of ignition, the risk of a fire increases exponentially. Something like, say, a lit cigarette near flammable gas? What was he thinking?

Man working around flammable gas while smoking a cigarette

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7. Storage

Storage areas should always be clearly designated, stable in structure and an appropriate size for the materials they are meant to be storing. This helps to prevent any unnecessary accidents associated with the storage of materials, such as slips and trips associated with oils, liquids or badly stored objects. We wouldn’t, however, suggest, propping up a pallet of bricks on an unsteady, single pillar of the very same bricks. Just doesn’t seem like a good idea, right?

Bricks propping up a pallet of bricks

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8. First Aid

A trained first-aider and a well-stocked first aid kit is a must for every work place. Keeping track of the contents of your first aid kit, and appointing someone to replenish supplies is a must, so as to avoid a situation like this…

Empty first aid box

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9. Confined Spaces

Confined spaces pose a threat when in the work place for a number of reasons, such as lack of oxygen or the presence of dangerous materials and objects. For this reason, the engine of an aircraft might not be the best place to crawl in to for a work photo.

Man posing inside an aircraft engine

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10. Alcohol

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that alcohol in the workplace is basically a recipe for disaster. Your judgement is impaired, leaving you unable to perform your job properly and leaving you liable to further accidents. Although we suppose that falling asleep at your desk is the least of your worries!

Man with a hangover sleeping on his desk

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Contact us today to see how our QHSE software solutions can help you avoid safety fails like this and create measurable and demonstrably safer working environment. For more info email or call 0151 289 6811 to arrange a demonstration.






Leslie Duroe

Leslie has been at the start of the Airsweb innovation journey and has, over the years, written a few articles highlighting the value of digital technologies in EHS Incident Reporting.

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