13 Safety Lessons I Learned from Modern Times

Safety, Schmafety

In honour of NAOSH Week, the U of A's Office of Environment, Health & Safety is planning to host a free screening of the Charlie Chaplin comedy Modern Times. But really, in these modern times can we learn about safety from a 1936 slapstick film? Here are my 13 offerings:


Beware of high speed assembly lines.


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While we're at it, avoid working next to the guy with the gigantic mallet.


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Bolt tightening can be funny (but not when it leads to repetitive strain injury: take frequent breaks!)


At work? Wear personal protective equip - oh wait. First put on a shirt, THEN put on your PPE.


Got splash? (Like, from a guy squirting oil at you?) Wear goggles.


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Looking to improve efficiency in the workplace? A Billows Feeding Machine isn't the solution. Also it's pretty much lethal.


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On that note, corn on the cob can be hazardous.


Signage matters: "in" vs. "out," for example.


Roasted duck, polka, and enraged diners don't mix.


Report all incidents, particularly beams falling on your head.


Just because you CAN do it while blindfolded, doesn't mean you should.


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Avoid being sucked into a machine.


Never, EVER work alongside Charlie Chaplin.

So if you'd like to a) watch some classic slapstick and/or b) hear a panel of health and safety experts answer the question "are we getting better about safety?" - then plan your lunch break around Safety, Schmafety: movie, pizza (free!) & discussion.

When: Wednesday, May 10
Time: 11:30 am - 1:30 pm (pizza provided!)
Where: ECHA L1-490

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Lorelei Betke - Communications & Research Safety Coordinator, Environment, Health & Safety

Lorelei Betke is the Communications & Research Safety Coordinator for Environment, Health & Safety. Her aim is to raise awareness of EHS, creatively. She studied music, parasitology, and writing, with environmental engineering thrown in for good luck. In her spare time, she's a mom.