10/2/19

Horseplay Has No Place on the Jobsite

Originally published on 11/08/2017

Although most of us like to have fun, there is no place for horseplay on a construction site. According to the dictionary, horseplay means rough fun. Fooling around means doing foolish, useless things. Both are the opposite of safe, responsible work, and most employers ban them on the construction site.

Horseplay is generally a friendly, physical way to let off steam, but that kind of fooling around can:

  • Break your work concentration,
  • Cause you to be less likely to notice hazards until it’s too late, or
  • Cause an accident.
    • You may not notice spills or items lying on the floor.
    • You might crash into or push someone else into heavy equipment or moving machine parts.
    • You could knock boxes or materials over or onto a person.
    • You could stab someone with a sharp object.
    • Fooling around with PPE can damage it and expose you or another worker to injury or a hazardous substance.
    • Speeding or stunt driving with a forklift can cause it to tip over or hit people or objects.
    • Pushing, teasing, or otherwise distracting people working with machinery could cause pinch points or other injuries.

Horseplay can be costly to both the company and employees in doctor bills, workers comp claims, increased insurance costs and lost work. There can also be added costs to replace machinery or tools and equipment.

Employers should:

  • Make sure all employees know the rules of behavior on the job site.
  • Inform employees of the disciplinary consequences of engaging in horseplay on the site.
  • Emphasize “zero tolerance” for horseplay and practical jokes on the site.

Workers’ responsibilities include the following:

  • Do not encourage or provide an audience for horseplay or practical jokes.
  • Never initiate or participate in horseplay or practical jokes.
  • Use common sense and act professionally.

Ask yourself, “Is a coworker’s safety worth my entertainment?” Horseplay can cause severe injury and even death. Take your safety, and the safety of your coworkers seriously and wait till after you’ve left work to horse around.

Download the recording form here.

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