I’ve worked in a number of different positions over the years, and have seen and experienced a variety of injuries, while also dealing with overly cautious regulations. One of my most memorable experiences was when I was 18 and working three jobs to save to go on a big trip overseas. One of these jobs was in a factory, and I began work at 4am in the morning, meaning I was already exhausted before I would even begin.
This was a vegetable factory, and while I was shuffled around the factory, at one stage I had to sort carrots. Basically, I had to sit on top of a massive metal “desk” as carrots would come past, and I had to sort the edible carrots from the ones that were misshapen or rotten. This was the most boring job of my life, and I would be sitting down for 8 hours at a time, with only small breaks. To keep myself occupied, I would wear my MP3 player, with my headphones in one ear so I could listen to my music while also sorting the vegetables in an attempt to keep myself sane.
I was quickly given a warning as apparently this was unsafe behaviour. I found this absolutely ridiculous since I was sitting up high by myself, with no trucks or other machines close by which I would be in danger of not hearing. It struck me as just another way for the managers to control staff, and in my 18 year old brain I figured I knew better, and continued using my MP3 player, while doing my best to hide the cord. While I thought at the time that I was being subtle, I wasn’t kidding anyone, and when my contract was up I was told that I wouldn’t be hired again. Of course this was no skin off my nose, since I had absolutely no intention of working there again anyway.
In my opinion, the biggest threat to my safety was actually when I worked in an office. Sitting down all day while typing is a common way that many people end up with wrist injuries, and I definitely put on a lot of weight from not walking around enough in the office.
While there were many warnings around the office about how to correctly use the printers, how doors should be locked from the public and more, there were never any signs encouraging staff to get up and move, which would have done a lot more for my health and safety than anything else. I remember one day I got up and pulled a muscle in my back, simply because I had been sitting in one position for so long.
Luckily I was young and the muscle quickly sorted itself out, but an older person may not have been so lucky. To learn more about why health and safety training is so important, check out .