Your workers need to take their safety responsibilities seriously – and realize that fooling around on the job can be dangerous. To get your message across, we’d recommend that you stress these essential points.
- Horseplay and fooling around are the opposites of safe, responsible work. According to the dictionary: Horseplay means rough fun. Fooling around means doing foolish, useless things – and a fool is a person with little or no judgment or common sense.
- Workplace rules ban horseplay because it’s dangerous. Although horseplay is usually a friendly, physical way to let off steam, this type of fooling around doesn’t belong on the job because it means that you’re not concentrating on your work. Directing your horseplay at others is even more dangerous; they’re not expecting the distraction and could easily have an accident, such as falling into a moving machine part, slipping on the floor, or dropping a tool.
- Horseplay creates unnecessary risks. When you indulge in horseplay, you can’t stay alert to hazards and follow safety rules. For example, running, chasing, or pushing can cause slips, trips, falls, and other accidents. Throwing tools might stab someone with a sharp edge or cause an injury. Fooling around with PPE can expose you or another worker to a hazardous substance. Speeding or stunt driving with a forklift can cause it to tip over or hit people or objects. Jokes like “hiding” someone’s PPE, dropping your half of a load, turning out lights, etc., aren’t funny – they’re dangerous.
- Take your job, your responsibilities, and safety seriously. Failure to follow safety rules is dangerous, for you and for others. Think how bad you would feel if your horseplay injured or sickened someone else – perhaps seriously. Don’t indulge in horseplay, accuse those who won’t go along with it of having “no sense of humor,” or allow other people to engage you in horseplay.