Accidents in the workplace are no joke; they can often result in permanent disability or even death, and so it is important that employers and insurers take workplace health and safety seriously. However, businesses and insurance companies are often faced with reports of workplace injury that are confounding. Here are just a few examples of worker compensation cases that can only be described as unbridled stupidity…
‘Hey, let’s catch a rattle snake!’
This was apparently the brainchild idea of an Alabama truck driver after spotting the reptile on a deserted highway. The driver and pals hopped out of the logging truck to wrangle the serpent, which promptly bit the driver and left him in a comatose state for several weeks. When the driver applied for workers compensation for the incident he was promptly reminded that snake catching was not in fact part of his job description and running the reptile over with the truck would have been a wiser choice.
‘Hey, let’s split a bowling ball in half with a sledgehammer!’
Not something that crosses your mind too often but for a certain laborer in Pennsylvania it seemed like a great idea (at the time). It all started when the fellow came across the bowling ball on the building site he was assigned to and decided that the ball would be an entertaining distraction from an otherwise mundane day. The laborer proceeded to use a sledgehammer to break the ball into numerous pieces and consequently ended up with a piece of the ball flying into his eye. Ouch! The incident resulted in the sledgehammer wielding prankster suffering a loss of sight in one of his eyes.
Some words of advice to anyone working near an open elevator shaft….please look where you’re going!
A bar worker in London was reportedly distracted by his phone when he fell down a 10 foot shaft, fortunately he survived the incident without a single bone broken. However, on the other side of the Atlantic a painter suffered severe injuries when he fell down an elevator shaft at his place of work in Utah. During an investigation of the incident, it was discovered that the painter had not only been drinking on the job but had taken a 2-hour nap in a closet to 'sleep it off'. Not surprisingly, the tipsy painter did not receive compensation for his suffering.
Liquor is not the only substance that can lead to a near death experience at work…
For a young man instructed to fix a fence in the bear enclosure of an adventure park, his decision to smoke more than a little weed before his shift almost proved fatal. Even though he was instructed not to bother the hibernating bears, he decided he would venture towards the drowsy creatures to offer them some munchies. This resulted in an angry bear lunging at him and taking a large bite out of the young man’s backside before he managed to escape. I think we can safely say that grass cost him is ass!
Stupidity is defined in the dictionary: the state of being foolish or unintelligent; the condition of being stupid; a stupid idea or action. What more can I say other than please try and keep this noun out of your job reference, and stay safe!