Heroes Or Daredevils: 40 Instances When Work Safety Took A Back Seat

By Saptargha D

While in-office staff or employees working from home are used to a safe and sound working environment, some workplaces may have hazardous items or ambiance that can significantly endanger the lives of those working there. This is where governmental organizations like OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), which aims to reduce the risk of employees being exposed to injuries or fatalities, come in.

In this article, we feature 40 photos from a Reddit community dedicated to finding workplaces where employees’ lives are exposed to dangerous situations. Some of the people you’ll see could really benefit from an intervention by OSHA. These pictures might either scare you or leave you feeling grateful for your working conditions. So, without much ado, let’s dive right in!

The Best Way To Fix Cracks In Concrete… Is Not To Tape Them

When this concrete post started showing signs of cracking, someone thought it would be a good idea to tape it! Well, whoever did this probably forgot that duct tape is not the best way to fix things like concrete structures.

Image by ChewybacaXD on Reddit

People must understand that duct tape is not an all-inclusive solution for all types of damage! As seen in the photo, the tape does little to nothing when it comes to fixing this concrete pole. It could still crash and fall any second and hurt people.

A Grinder Turned “Death Trap”

The grinder in this picture is anything but safe workplace equipment. It’s not only rusty and old, but it also has wires hanging out that can seriously injure anyone working with it. This device is the perfect example of a dangerous workplace hazard.

Image by the123king-reddit on Reddit

Used for grinding, high-strength cutting, polishing, and stone-cutting purposes, modern-day grinders come equipped with a bunch of safety settings that ensure the welfare of workers. But this particular one breaks a series of workplace standards and must be promptly relieved of its duties.

Any Minute Now

Walls and other areas of any building must be constantly examined for cracks, rots, etc. These issues not only harm the surfaces but also make them more likely to break and fall and cause severe damage, like this concrete wall that looks like it is minutes away from collapsing.

Image by b-assblaster on Reddit

Even the smallest cracks deserve full attention. The faster it is fixed, the lesser the risk potential for bodily injuries. Therefore, workplace managers must step in and fix these minor issues before they become a hassle and someone ends up in a hospital or worse.

A Terrible Idea

The next picture shows two people transporting a glass pane in the most hazardous way possible. The boy is seated at the back of a motorcycle holding the unprotected glass pane as another person drives him around. We wonder if they considered the risks before doing this.

Image by Unknown User on Reddit

If not carefully wrapped in protective coverings like moving blankets while being transported, glass panes can easily break. Besides, suppose the motorcycle encounters even the slightest bump. That could result in the glass pane slipping and shattering into pieces, which could hurt them and other people on the street.

Duct Tape To Secure A Load On A Car

If you are carrying heavy materials on the back of your truck, the first step is to secure them so they don’t harm anyone. However, the truck driver in this picture decided to forego all safety procedures by using duct tape to keep things in place.

Image by VMansa_Valdo on Reddit

The flimsy duct tape could come off at any moment, and the items inside could fall and hurt pedestrians. But the person driving doesn’t seem to care much about that. They need to be reacquainted with the fact that duct tape works for lightweight items only.

Do Not Ride this Forklift at Any Cost

Forklifts are crucial in many workplaces as they lift heavy items or transport cargo. But this particular one looks like it could collapse at any moment! There’s absolutely no way we’d be okay using this to transport one package, let alone several.

Image by bsizzle95 on Reddit

The tires of this forklift have seen better days and are almost giving up. However, the truck continues to be used despite the risk of severe cargo damage and injury to employees. Someone should really look into the matter and replace these tires immediately.

The Most Ineffective “Ladder” Placement

Fixing roof-related issues is not always daunting, but some people over-complicate it and endanger themselves. For instance, this person tried to fix this roof while standing on a ladder that was not correctly placed and was highly unstable. Meanwhile, another worker unsteadily holds on to the misplaced ladder while standing on an extension ladder.

Image by Inane_Endeavours on Reddit

Sometimes people make the silliest mistakes because they don’t consider that some actions can cause them serious physical harm. These guys, for example, are just a teeny tiny misstep away from a serious accident. Hopefully, everything went as they’d hoped.

Not the Right Way to Use a Power Bar

Not all hacks ease your troubles. In fact, some of them can risk your life, as seen in this photo. This guy thought drilling holes into a power bar was a brilliant way to mount it on the wall, but it wasn’t.

Image by Mosesaurass on Reddit

Electrical devices shouldn’t be meddled with carelessly. This person probably wanted to mount the power bar against the wall with the help of screws but ended up making holes in it. They didn’t even realize they were exposing themselves to an electrical fire.

Helmet On A Hat

Another picture from the Reddit group that got people in splits was of this Russian man wearing a helmet over an Ushanka hat. The Ushanka is a Russian fur cap generally worn to protect one’s ears, jaw, and lower chin from the biting cold.

Image by gnitto on Reddit

This man was more weary of the cold than a potential accident, so he wore the fur hat below his white helmet to safeguard himself from the freezing weather. It not only gave his head an extra layer of protection but also added quirkiness to his look!

Don’t Take This Exit!

This viral photo incited both amused and horrified reactions from people. While the door in the picture has an “Exit” sign, there is another conflicting cautionary notice just beneath it saying “Danger.” Apparently, taking this exit exposes you to Formaldehyde, an irritant and cancer-causing hazard.

Image by BFeely1 on Reddit

However, an unassuming person could easily miss the bottom sign and walk out through this door. The best remedy would be to get rid of the “Exit” sign immediately and only keep the “Danger” warning to prevent people from mistakenly opening the door and exposing themselves to possible health issues.

The Most Dangerous Reading Corner Ever

Every book lover loves a little reading nook where they can sit and enjoy their favorite piece of literature. However, trying to read a book while sitting in this particular nook is bound to result in some serious injuries. The recess not only looks uncomfortable, but it was also constructed quite haphazardly.

Image by vanlikeno1 on Reddit

The ramp leading up to the nook is placed carelessly over the stairs and looks like it could fall anytime. This is especially dangerous if there are children living here. They may not realize the potential danger of the set-up and walk over without much thought. It’s an emergency room visit waiting to happen.

These Wooden Shards Could Give Up at Any Moment

This photo from the streets of Idaho reminded us of the Final Destination film franchise. In one of the movies, a huge log got loose from the back of a truck and pierced a car’s windscreen, killing the person inside the vehicle.

Image by 50Trees- on Reddit

Here, multiple blocks of wood were stacked on a truck and tied in a flimsy manner. In such a setup, the chances of slipping off and causing grievous injury to people on the streets are significantly higher. Fleet owners like these need to learn better ways to secure the items they carry.

An Attempt to Fix a Road Sign

A photographer spotted the most unusual scene while strolling in downtown Ljubljana, Slovenia, and immediately captured it. In the picture, a man with zero regard for his own safety seems to be hard at work fixing a road sign on top of traffic lights.

Image by super_nova_135 on Reddit

But instead of using a reliable tool like a ladder, he chose to stand on top of a forklift. The man could have easily injured himself, as forklifts are designed to elevate objects, not personnel – OSHA strictly prohibits this. Could this be a strange case of forbidden fruit tasting sweeter?

This Heavy-Duty Pallet Rack Could Crash Anytime

Generally, pallet racks are used in warehouses to store innumerable items on multiple levels. Thus, they must be looked after regularly to ensure there are no breakages or dents and that they are sturdy enough to hold hefty weights. After all, a damaged rack could not only harm people but also destroy the stored items.

Image by b-assblaster on Reddit

This pallet rack shows clear signs of damage and is on the verge of giving up. If not taken care of immediately, it will break, and the items will fall off, hurting the workers below. This level of damage is hard to ignore, so we’re pretty sure someone has seen this.

The Most Dangerous Way to Hang Streamers

In our next photo, these two workers have settled on an unconventional and life-threatening way to hang pennant flag banners. They seem to have forgotten all safety procedures as they try to attach these streamers for a fun event outdoors.

Image by b-assblaster on Reddit

One can even be seen dangling on a gable-like structure with nothing around him that could offer protection against the fall. Employers must realize that workplace safety always comes first and take the necessary measures when the staff are assigned such dangerous tasks.

Former Australian PM Tries out Welding

Here’s a surprising photo of Mr. Scott Morrison, the former Prime Minister of Australia, trying his hand at welding. Although he seems to be excited about the opportunity, he made a crucial mistake that could have ended differently and caused significant harm.

Image by nonsensepoem on Reddit

He wore a helmet and a visor for safety purposes but failed to pull it down at the key moment. The exposure to bright light could have resulted in an “arc eye” or “welder’s flash,” which is when the cornea gets inflamed. But Mr. Morrison is a lucky guy since no such thing happened.

No Way Out of This Fire Exit

Most workplaces have a fire exit in case of any unprecedented fire. Sometimes employees also undergo vigorous training to learn how to protect themselves if there is a sudden fire in the workplace. However, this fire exit has surprised many people.

Image by caboose2006 on Reddit

It’s locked! That means that people would be unable to escape in case of a sudden fire. Can you imagine being in such a building when the fire alarm goes off and you try to rush out (in a calm and orderly way) only to find this? It’s the perfect recipe for hysteria.

This Reagent Bottle Ages Back to 1985

For the uninitiated, reagent bottles contain chemicals in liquid or powder form. Hence, they must be safely stored, and you must handle them carefully to avoid accidents. However, the one pictured here is a potential life hazard to anyone handling it. Why?

Image by roariah on Reddit

Well, if you take a close look at the photo, you’ll see that the bottle was opened in the year 1985. So, there is a high chance that its contents expired years ago and can be quite hazardous if someone is exposed to them.

The Most Careless Way to Keep Loading Containers

The two loading containers in this photo are a huge liability as they’ve been placed in the unsafest manner imaginable. Both have stacks beneath them at one end, and thanks to the inclined surface, they could slip off anytime and harm anyone close by.

Image by geoemt on Reddit

Transporting these containers will be a hassle. Also, the doors are against the loading dock, making it extremely difficult for the workers to open them. These guys should have found a better way to support loading containers on this slanting surface to avoid potential injuries.

Man Uses Excavator as a Scaffold

A scaffold is a movable platform often used for tasks like bricklaying, construction, repair of buildings and bridges, etc. However, the man in this picture seems to be least bothered about his safety, as he uses an excavator in place of a scaffold.

Image by TC1671 on Reddit

Unlike a scaffold, excavators are heavy construction machinery used for various lifting, carrying, and digging jobs. Though they are never used to lift people, this man decided to use this one as a scaffold. This list is clearly full of daredevils!

Electrical Wires Connected to a Mysterious Power Strip

Someone spotted a bunch of wires leading to a hidden power strip while they were in their hotel room in Cape Town, South Africa. It was evident that the cables were being used unethically, so they posted this picture online.

Image by tommygunz007 on Reddit

After the photo went viral, many hypothesized that electricity was probably being diverted from a neighboring hotel or building through the wires. Electricity theft is not uncommon and happens globally. That said, the repercussions of this illegal act can be dreadful.

Not the Best Place for a Fire Extinguisher

Fire extinguishers have become common items in most workplaces as people may need them at any moment to prevent the spread of a sudden fire. The one in this photo, though, has been placed next to a device used for igniting fires.

Image by courtesy_flush_plz on Reddit

While both the devices have been labeled correctly as “less fire” and “more fire,” the employees at this workplace need to be highly vigilant about using them. During a sudden accident, it’s easy to overlook things like small labels and pick the one, ultimately resulting in more fire.

Strange Ad

This picture is from an advertisement for an electric chainsaw that someone came across on YouTube. The person in the ad stood on a plank and tried to saw through the piece of wood between his legs just to showcase the device’s abilities.

Image by The-Sofa-King on Reddit

Although it was just an ad, the probability of this person falling from the wooden bar and hurting himself was very high. Even for commercials, creative agencies must always consider workplace safety guidelines to prevent any mishaps on set. How did everyone miss this?

Not the Right Way to Stand on a Ladder

An onlooker couldn’t help but feel scared for this person as they tried to fix an external HVAC unit. The way he set up the ladder and stood at its edge, leaning backward, was quite dangerous since he could have easily fallen to the ground and gotten injured.

Image by Lord_tsirhC on Reddit

In such situations, it’s always better to be accompanied by another co-worker. They can at least hold on to the ladder to support the other person. But like in all jobs, when you have years of experience doing something, sometimes you get cocky and disregard the procedure. Until everything backfires on you!

Van Carrying an Unusual Amount of Powdery Substance

This vehicle carrying an excessive amount of an uncovered powdery substance caught the attention of many people on the street, and one of them captured this shot. Now, netizens are coming up with their own theories about the photo. Some say it’s lime, while others think it’s a narcotic.

Image by Striped_Sponge on Reddit

No matter the van’s content, this is not the right way to transport items like these. Thanks to wind and potholes, the contents could be easily lost. Additionally, whatever it is could blow in the faces of fellow drivers and other passersby, resulting in a severe accident.

Wires are Barely Hanging on

The picture below features some wires barely hanging on for dear life on a power socket. Even though it’s evident that the protective casing around the cables came off long ago, the cables are still being used. This is something most of us are guilty of.

Image by aFreeScotland on Reddit

Instead of using new ones, the owner of these cables taped up the worn-out ones. Careless actions like these can lead to electric shock, burns, fires, electrocution, etc. In more severe cases, haphazard handling of such cables can even result in explosions.

Great Fall Loading

This one made us wince! More often than not, people make the most unintelligent decisions while trying to find a shortcut. In this photo, a man seems to be fixing something on his roof by standing on a highly precarious ladder, which could result in a dangerous fall.

Image by acryforpeace on Reddit

He somehow fixed the ladder on the edge of a handrail. However, that is a temporary fix, and the bottom of the ladder could tumble down at any moment. This guy is risking serious damage to his body parts. Another daredevil, ladies, and gents!

Dangerous Four-some

Whether it’s electric shocks, small fires, or explosions, all forms of electrical accidents can be frightening. But this photo proves that many people take these things lightly and don’t bother having proper ground in circuits. So, if there’s a dangerous situation that needs to be remedied immediately, it’s this one.

Image by bsizzle95 on Reddit

It seems while connecting electronic devices to these sockets, this person’s plugs’ grounding pins somehow broke off into the outlet, resulting in a hazardous situation. That said, only professionals should remove these since an amateur could electrocute themselves or cause a short circuit.

A Truck Plays “Jenga” on the Road

Just look at how this excavator truck is leveled on the slanting road. Instead of using a floor jack, the operator stacked wooden logs haphazardly and formed an elevated platform to support the truck’s front end. The way the wooden pieces are placed on top of one another reminds us of the popular game “Jenga.”

Image by XRatedBBQ on Reddit

Since the wheels are not on the ground, the truck can lose balance anytime. Also, wooden logs are not sturdy enough to hold the vehicle up for a long time. Thus, if things went south, the truck would not only hurt workers but also hinder the entire workflow.

How is This Hefty AC Unit Hanging on?

As soon as this photo was shared online, people started losing their minds over this dangling AC unit. The way it stays in place, hanging over the edge of the pit, is truly unusual. The owner of this air conditioner is certainly very brave.

Image by Tseik12 on Reddit

You should always keep safety concerns in mind, no matter the experiment or activity. Leaving an AC unit in such a position is pretty dangerous, so we hope whoever it belongs to promptly rectified the situation after the photo was taken.

An Unexpected Warning Inside the Elevator

After the doors of this elevator closed, someone came across the most unusual kind of warning. According to it, jumping inside would result in entrapment for an extended period. It also stated that they would have to pay a whopping $1000 for their own rescue and elevator repair.

Image by Alpham3000 on Reddit

Well, if an elevator is that high maintenance, the operator should have highlighted the caution outside the doors. That could have prevented people from using it, risking an accident and, worse, paying for it! Watch out for such notices the next time you’re in an elevator somewhere you’ve never been.

No Warning Sign While Digging Holes

A driver caught sight of a group of workers digging holes in the middle of a populated intersection. Surprisingly, there was no warning signage anywhere near the location. This lack of caution can be dangerous to both the workers and the hordes of people traveling in their cars.

Image by AndyjHops on Reddit

The workers can easily get hit as the intersection buzzes with oncoming cars during rush hour. Additionally, an unattentive driver could be seriously harmed if a pothole is left unattended on a road like this. Just thinking about it makes us shudder!

Zip Tie On An Emergency Door

Emergency doors in office buildings are meant to allow people to escape during an unfortunate event like a fire outbreak or earthquake. But the manager of this workplace seems to have zero regard for employees’ safety, as they have locked the door with, of all things, a zip tie!

Image by Valladian on Reddit

When asked about it, they said the decision was made thanks to increased break-ins through the door. Well, protecting employees is also a part of workplace safety, so they should definitely find another way to prevent thieves from getting into the office and keep the emergency door open.

A Fearless Window Cleaner in NYC

The window cleaner in this photo couldn’t care less about his safety as he cleaned the panes of a house on the 5th floor of a building without any support. A fall from that spot could be fatal, but this man does not seem bothered by that.

Image by lazykaru on Reddit

There are neither ropes nor any safety equipment in sight that could help the man. While he seems like he has been doing this for ages, employers must heed the basic safety procedures and provide the necessary equipment that would prevent workers like him from injuring themselves.

A Truck Carries a Car at 75 Mph

People traveling via Southbound I-95 caught sight of this truck transporting a huge car. Because the four-wheeler was too big to fit in, the truck’s back door couldn’t be closed properly. Thus, it increased the risk of the car falling out at any time, which could lead to damage and injury to road users.

Image by MikeyJBlige on Reddit

What’s even more surprising is the way the back of the car had been fastened to the truck. With a strong gust of wind and an unanticipated bump, the flimsy yellow rope-like attachment could come off easily, ultimately hurling the vehicle onto the road.

A Temporary Albeit Unsafe Fix for a Broken Pole

Here we have another photo of another unsafe fix for a broken pole. The person who shared this picture on the Reddit group stated that their boss had mistakenly hit the pole while they were on a job, and the solution they came up with was this.

Image by ThetaBass on Reddit

Instead of replacing or fixing the pole properly, they attached several pieces of wood in different directions to keep it from falling. While this may work temporarily, the wooden bars will eventually get loose and not be able to hold the pole up, which could lead to an accident.

A Low-Hanging Electrical Wire in the Middle of the Road

A driver was surprised to see a dangerous electrical wire hanging low in the middle of the road. The only thing keeping it from hitting the road was a thin, unsteady tree branch. This temporary hack is definitely a premonition for impending doom.

Image by wearing_moist_socks on Reddit

Given the unsteady state of the branch, it could easily break or collapse, making the wire fall on the road and pose a threat to oncoming vehicles or pedestrians. Thus, if this is not fixed properly, it could result in serious accidents.

Broken Pallet

Racks like the one in this photo are generally used to store heavy goods. With a setup like this, it’s important to check it regularly to prevent human injuries or loss of property. That said, the pallet on this particular rack seems to have almost given up.

Image by flannelman678 on Reddit

It seems to have fallen from its position, and now it hangs sideways inside the rack. Employees will have a hard time trying to rescue the items inside, as careless handling could result in potential physical injuries. A forklift could really come in handy here.

A Flaming Blowtorch Finds Its Way to a Playground

Someone spotted a dangerous, flaming blowtorch on the side of a playground and snapped a picture of it. Leaving something as hazardous as an unattended blowtorch spells imminent danger. It is even worse when it’s left next to a playground.

Image by Birdseeding on Reddit

Kids often run around unsupervised in such places, and they could end up hurting themselves if they come across something like this. Besides, the way the blowtorch was left against the wooden edge of the playground could easily cause a fire, resulting in a catastrophe.

The Electric Box Has Been Compromised

It is common knowledge that electricity and water do not go together, as the latter is a good conductor of electricity. By this logic, the electric box in the photo below is undoubtedly a serious hazard and can result in sparks or a massive fire outbreak.

Image by lkril on Reddit

Some people in the Reddit community believe that a PVC pipe may have burst somewhere at home, and the water must have seeped into the box. In such a scenario, it’s always better to call a professional plumber and electrician to look into the matter. Don’t try to fix it yourself.