Safety with a Paint Brush

I found an article on OSH in an art class – that’s right, someone wrote about being safe while painting a picture. Now I have to admit upon reading the title I opened it with a mixture of trepidation – was this going to be another example of people giving OSH a bad reputation?  


I recently heard about a contractor working for a major company, as this ‘principle’ decided a measure of safety was the number of hazard notices filed per week. One of the company’s OSH enforcers took it on himself to point out to the contractor they needed to increase their hazard reporting, and placed a black mark against their performance because they hadn’t identified a potential hazard of a photocopier machine that is releasing ‘chemicals’ from use. Can you imagine how ridiculous some of these reported hazards were, and what such a reporting requirement was doing to the culture of safety in this workplace?


But reading this makes some sense, as it refers to basic emergency preparedness and room preparation for new people in a new environment. Maybe they are being a bit too overzealous however, I like the principal. They did take a sensible approach ie nothing stupid like getting poked in the eye from the paint brush, but how to evacuate in a fire. Simple stuff that often seems so basic, it’s not discussed on prepared for in such environments. The lesson is to take the same approach in your business. Take some safety action, but keep it real.