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Teaching Safety via Graphic Examples or via Unicorn and Puppy Dog Tails!

No one teaching method in safety is more effective in teaching Health and Safety critical issues to workers than the next that is just a fact.   I have seen the graphic photos make people think twice like impaired drivers photos with tarped scene pictures on the news or social media sites or a mothers tears in a video because someone drove impaired and killed there child or family member, to the clean and neat posters and sub-notes of handcuffs and driver license to picture of police cars and cabs being painted to drive home don’t drink and drive!  And I like you would love to go to my happy place in life and have POSITIVE thoughts over NEGATIVE thoughts any day of the week.

We live a real world, with real people and real events that is just a harsh reality.  And yes we would all not like to think about the HARD reality or harsh events of work place fatalities or the realities of what we may have witnessed on a job site.  Those TRIGGERS bring with them things associated to anxiety or depression to your past or perceived past, like hearing siren and remember the same pulling up on your work site to help a friend that may have not made it.

Hence in walks the world of, Unicorns and Puppy Dog Tails, we would like to think POSITIVELY in life of the safety messages presented or the message leaves us with no ill effects or TRIGGERS other than the shall not do things in life like Slippery Floors in Area so walk like Penguin or Not Positioning a Ladder Properly can lead to someone falling.   Neither talk to the fact of broken bones, concussions or possible rehab or being crippled in life. Hence we look at graphs and triangle events like Hierarchy of events and note, The first is that there is a distinct mathematical relationship between incidents of similar type and how severe there are.

Secondly – it is not plant, equipment or location which accounts for the majority of safety incidents but employee behavior – especially if we expert more modern interpretations of the theory which incorporate another level in the triangle for at risk behaviors.

Thirdly – by reducing overall frequency of workplace injuries the number of severe or fatal injuries will consequently reduce.

Where is the human nature factor of our lives, simple; stuck in the rubber neckers world of OH I WILL JUST TAKE A LITTLE LOOK.  Having worked traffic detail for a number of years, it always amazed me to no end the AMOUNT OF FOLKS, who would stop and take quick pics or post on social media sites like OH LOOK AT THIS!  Or get out and take picture with their kids at the site, these events were not singular but plural and no one race or gender or religion was different from the next. And oddly in safety gory videos and pictures are one of the most popular search terms on a lot web. I’m guessing because people have tried the traditional style of safety video or presentation and still the message is not getting through.

Even HOLLYWOOD knows and markets the world in scary pictures because “People go to horror films because they want to be frightened or they wouldn’t do it twice. You choose your entertainment because you want it to affect you. That’s certainly true of people who go to entertainment products like horror films that have big effects. They want those effects…[Horror films must] provide a just resolution in the end. The bad guy gets it. Even though they choose to watch these things, the images are still disturbing for many people. But people have the ability to pay attention as much or as little as they care to in order to control what effect it has on them, emotionally and otherwise.”

And yes in HOLLYWOOD FILMS, they note characteristics such as fearfulness, empathy, and sensation seeking. “The four viewing motivations are found to be related to viewers cognitive  and affective responses to horror films, as well as viewers’ tendency to identify with either the killers or victims in these films.” More specifically it was  reported in case files again and again

(i)           gore watchers typically had low empathy, high sensation seeking, and [among males only] a strong identification with the killer,

(ii)         thrill watchers typically had both high empathy and sensation seeking, identified themselves more with the victims, and liked the suspense of the film,

(iii)        independent watchers typically had a high empathy for the victim along with a high positive effect for overcoming fear, and

(iv)         problem watchers typically had high empathy for the victim but were characterized by negative effect (particularly a sense of helplessness).


Yes real life is NOT HOLLYWOOD, yes that work place fatality or accident or tragic event is REALITY and that person in that vehicle or accident site has a family or friends. Plus for some folks they have barred witness to the events or past life experience and those triggers or past events CAN and Have CAUSED GOOD PEOPLE TO RELIVE PAST TRAGEDIES, no different on what solders have witnessed or police, fire or EMS folks see DAILY IN WHY OR HOW COMES in the world of not following safety rules.  From simple speeding and impaired driving, to not wearing fall arrest equipment to cancer in working in chemicals.

Never once do people remember the posters or television or news items on not speeding if they do it is in their heads and out faster than a New York minute in life, but the sirens the traffic snarls the body recovery teams, the NEWS COVERAGE of a worker died to day due to certain tragic events and why weren’t people watching or stopping the unsafe acts?

SO LET ME ASK YOU ONE QUESTION AND BE HONEST WITH THE WORLD   “HOW DID YOU THE WORKER THE OTHER HUMAN BEING IN THE IMMEDIATE AREA. STOP OR PREVENT THE UNSAFE ACT” ?   Did you call 911 on that impaired driver, did you report that worker or his supervisor for unsafe act which could or might include calling Occupational Health and Safety at the state or provincial level or did you walk away and saying Not my Circus Not my Money it doesn’t concern me!  Someone else will do it or they should read the shall not posters or listen to prevention messages?

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