Horseplay or Carelessness While At Work

Let’s admit it, we all at some time, have played a joke on a coworker. At times it alleviates stress on the job site. That is the upside. Part of enjoying our job is liking our co-workers and having a good laugh. The downsides are more numerous. Construction is a profession, not a sport. Horseplay and pranks should never be welcomed or tolerated.

Construction can be a very dangerous profession. There is no room for carelessness, practical jokes, or fun and games. Someone can easily be injured or killed. I am sure that would not be intentional, however it can happen. The person or persons performing the practical jokes probably would never get over causing an injury or death. I did some research on practical jokes on a job site and would like to share a couple with you to make you think of the consequences should you think of pulling a prank on a co-worker.

  • An excavator operator had worked for 30 years and was due to retire. His foreman decided to play a preretirement prank on him. The foreman greased the floor of the excavator causing the operator to slip, fall out of the cab of the excavator, and suffer a broken hip.
  • A carpentry crew decided to play “Cops and Robbers” with power actuated tools. Nails flew around the job, breaking windows and scarring walls. As nails flew out of windows, some nails narrowly missed a small boy walking past the job site. No one was injured but think of what could have happened. I wonder where this crew is working now, if anywhere.

Most of us have stories such as these, but these jokes aren’t funny. They could be considered criminal. Although horseplay results in many accidents, and sometimes death, there are only a few who would even think of actions such as the aforementioned.

Carelessness can be just as dangerous, and just as wrong. The majority of construction deaths every year are the results of falls from high elevations. Workers don’t lock the wheels of rolling scaffolding before mounting it. Some workers don’t secure the tops of extension ladders. Some workers work on leading edges without fall protection.

Carelessness comes when workers don’t put ladders in trenches that are four feet or more deep. Power cords are sometimes used with the ground pin missing, or when bare wires are exposed. There are many more instances of carelessness on the job site, but I believe you get the picture.

Indifference to safety endangers you and your co-workers. If you encounter horseplay or carelessness on the job site you must report it. After all safety is everyone’s job.</p