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Virtual safety on television


Sometimes I’ll watch a little TV when it is my time to relax. I might catch some sports or watch a movie with a tasty beverage. I like a good ‘hefe’ or a margarita to sip on while indulging in the hi-def world before me. Kick back and not think about the safety of the workforce for a bit.

My goal at work is I like to see every worker go home safely at the end of every day. As a safety kind of guy I notice the things at the worksite that might cause an injury and have it corrected. So when I make my inspections (I am the fresh eyes on the site) I look for safety concerns that may get overlooked. Some concerns present themselves when there is a sudden change of work scope, or even a change in the schedule. Usually there is a distraction and then a safety issue arises.

The journeyman on the crew has a plethora of knowledge on their craft and the apprentice will pick up that knowledge. Not only are the apprentices learning skills and techniques, they will also learn the habits of their instructor. If good safety habits are passed down to the newer craftsman from the more experienced, the apprentice becomes increasingly valuable to that craft.

Most workers are very conscious of how they might get hurt on the job and approach their task with safety on their minds. Sometimes a worker may get so focused on the job they forget to lower their faceshield when grinding, or leave their safety glasses on their forehead after reading the schematic. A little reminder fixes that.

But I digress, back to making inspections, I have learned over my career to notice all kinds of safety issues and that sometimes spills over into my downtime, like watching the boob-tube. If the show we are watching happens to have a scene at a worksite I’ll notice safety issues. I’ll comment to my wife, Robbin, ‘did you notice those propane tanks weren’t secured’, or ‘there’s no guardrail on that leading edge’.

Commercials will catch my attention, also. They show workers not wearing their PPE or machinery without proper guards on them. There is a soda commercial that has folks not paying attention and being struck by boards, golf clubs, and sticking their fingers into electrical components. Robbin just chuckles at me when I shake my head at the representation of such bonehead behaviors. Then she suggests that I should be the safety guy for these shows and those watching can see that safety applies even in the fictional world of television dramas.

Actually, that’s not a bad idea. So, for all you directors of television and commercial programs out there, if you are in need of a Safety Continuity Coordinator, I’m your guy.

You know, I suppose it is a good thing that I notice safety issues in my downtime, keeping workers safe even on TV shows. It keeps me sharp for the real world.

A shameless plug…. I’ll get my ‘hefe’ (hefeweizen- a non-filtered wheat beer) in a growler from my local Rock Bottom. Or use my Magic Bullet (a gift from Dan & Rhedda) to spin up my own margarita recipe.


  • scott 5 years ago

    Does that margarita recipe include tequila from Cozumel?