There are many different ways to express your astonishment, depending on where you might be from, or indeed how you were brought up. For this example, and when you lay your eyes on this picture, I’m pretty sure that all our exclamations mean pretty much the same thing. Throw out all the other questions which images such as this might pose:
‘Where is this?’
Is his Safe Pass in date?’
‘Who was the Safety Officer on this job?’
‘Are they sitting down on their own or the boss’s time?’
The no 1. question here should definitely be ‘How on earth did he acquire the ehhhh…..guts (lets keep it decent) to stand up there like that?!’
Things to think about…
There are a few other things I notice about this particular image. Firstly, the hard hats. The crew are at one of the highest points on a building under construction. There are 3 guys sitting down having a rest, another standing up, and the last one is stretching his legs on a tiny platform smaller than the size of your average manhole. There are no lanyards, harnesses or cable systems. In fact all other traces of safety measures are completely thrown out the window. Yet, at what must be at least a couple of hundred metres from ground level, they have not forgotten their hard hats. Small mercies and all that…
The second thing which I notice is regarding the 4 guys who are on the horizontal beam below Evel Knievel (Where’s his bike I hear you ask? He was on it thirty seconds before the picture was taken, before it plummeted to the ground below…) Anyway, what I instantly notice about these workers is that not one of them is looking up. I know that if it were me in their position, I would be looking up (I definitely wouldn’t be looking down). In fact I wouldn’t take my eyes off the guy above me in case he fell in my direction! Maybe they aren’t looking up in case their hard hats fall off.
The last thing I notice is that it must have been incredibly difficult for them to get up to where they are now, especially for the person at the very top. Did he receive the old ‘footy-up’ from one of his co-workers? Ah the old footy-up, invented especially for occasions such as this when you need a booster up onto a steel beam at a few hundred feet!
Safety at Height – How far we have come
Seriously though, it is images such as this that remind me how far we have come regarding safety when working at height. No longer is a worker just another nameless figure who is sent to complete a job while working at his own risk. We are now at a point where every accident, big or small, is reported and archived in order for us to learn from it and enable us to prevent it happening again to anyone else. We are all responsible for not only our own safety, but the safety of those around us. One accident is one too many. In the case of a fall, that one accident could very well be fatal.
Safety at height has been pinpointed as a key focus area within the construction industry and although the correct safety measures are now firmly in place, it is still vital that workers value their own safety enough to adhere to these measures. Something which the crew in this image clearly do not.