Friday funny teaches lessons about safety

Twitter can be a great source of useful information. It is often the first place where news items appear, it is great for having a sense of community and for seeking information and comment. And sometimes it is just good for a laugh.

Twitter can be a great source of useful information. It is often the first place where news items appear, it is great for having a sense of community and for seeking information and comment. And sometimes it is just good for a laugh.

The ‘Friday funny‘ retweeted by Su Butcher (@SuButcher), one of construction’s most prolific and successful tweeters, is certainly in this category. Set somewhere in the US, it shows a group of workers on a construction site trying to stop an out of control piece of concreting equipment. The observers, who seem to be looking out of a half-complete window, and so are probably another construction team, can’t stop laughing.

It is very funny. Usually we can’t laugh at health and safety stories because they are too serious. Construction is after all one of the most dangerous trades. So it is lovely when we can. But this does also raise some issues. The level of bemusement and standing around does not suggest this is a well-run site. There is a lot of tramping over wet concrete which will have to be repaired. There are workers who seem to have their shirts off, putting themselves at risk of skin cancer. The overall impression is of incompetence and inefficiency. And those guys watching? Surely they should be working too?

Construction has to deal with the unexpected, but one can’t imagine this level of chaos in many other manufacturing industries – which, of course, is what construction is.

This is a great laugh, but it doesn’t bode well for the health of either the workers or the industry.

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