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Toolbox talk on horseplay at work

horseplay at work toolbox talk

Horseplay in the workplace.

Horseplay at work can cause problems for workers on-site or at the office. It is a rough play in which people behave in a silly way. They hit and push each other when they engage in horseplay. Even rough play playing around, racing and grabbing people, harassment and pranks are what can be called horseplay.
Workers play jokes which can be a stress relief for them. However, horseplay can take things too far. It can put workers at risk. Horseplay can happen in any sector, but more common in the construction industry.

Things horseplay can cause at the workplace.

  • Horseplay can make a worker not concentrate on his work, and the person involved is fooling around at work.
  • Horseplay can cause accidents in the workplace. That’s why it is not good to indulge in it. It can even lead to fatalities.
  • It can lead to damage to the assets and property. When there is damage, the company will spend more money to procure those damaged properties back for the company. Some of these property can be very costly.
  • Horseplay can lead to sprains, bruises, cuts and lacerations in the victim. Doing a rough play is an easy way to get injured and very detrimental to the body. 
  • Slips, trips and falls can happen when people are engaging in horseplay. Sometimes, the floor can be slippery for a Slip and fall to happen very fast, Or it can have some obstruction, making a worker bump into such an object and the fall.
  • Horseplay can cause accidents when you direct such to people. Since they are not expecting the distraction, it could easily make them fall into a moving machine part or slip on the floor. 
  • Horseplay can make you have less concentration on the safe work procedure, hence exposing you to hazards that can cause injuries. 
  • Horseplays are unsafe acts. Unsafe acts are among the causes of accidents in the workplace.

Horseplay examples 

  • Pranks
  • Harassment. 
  • Poor vehicle operation.
  • A worker fools around with a hammer at work.
  • Unauthorized competitions at the workplace.
  • An employee acts silly action in the office.
  • A worker running and chasing after a colleague with playful intentions
  • A worker throws a work tool to a fellow worker intentionally instead of giving it to the worker by hand.
  • Use your PPE to fool around instead of putting it on for your work.
  • An operator using mobile equipment on site to do stunt driving, for example, using a forklift truck or a backhoe loader machine to do a stunt driving.
  • A warehouse worker moves a pallet truck full of the load carelessly. 

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  • An office worker climbs on the forklift truck when they have no business with the equipment.
  • A worker causes a distraction to operators when they are doing their work.
  • A worker jumps into a moving dumper truck instead of allowing the dumper truck to stop, leading to equipment overrunning the worker.
  • A worker wants to sit down in his chair. Immediately, a colleague pulls the chair from beneath him. This action can cause the worker to fall to the ground.
  • A worker forcefully collects a phone from a fellow when the worker answers a call at the site.
  • A worker is fooling around with an air hose at work. The blast of air in the air hose can cause terrible damage to the body of that worker. It can rupture the bowels or the eye.

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Who has the responsibility to prevent horseplay at work?

Everyone in the workplace and the management is responsible for preventing horseplay. The law requires every employer to make a workplace a safe place for all. So, employers should create a system to encourage a healthy workplace devoid of horseplay. They can create a policy to this effect. And communicate it to the workers. The policy will include the consequences of indulging in horseplay. Then again, the employees have the responsibility to follow the Policy being put in place by the employers to curb the horseplay at work. The workers have to report every horseplay activity seen in the workplace.  

What can you do to prevent or control horseplay at work?

  • Ensure that all employees follow the safety rules in place in the office. If there are no existing rules, you should create one and disseminate the information to all employees.
  • Avoid throwing tools at the workplace.
  • Avoid playing with your PPE at any time during your work. Doing this may expose you or another to injury or harm.
  • Do not initiate or participate in horseplay at the site or even get pressured into doing it while working. 
  • Always make use of your protective equipment whenever you’re working on-site and ensure that they do not constitute a hazard on their own
  • Always report those misbehaving at the site to the management for necessary actions. 
  • Ensure that the workplace is safe and healthy for everyone.
  • Create a policy against workplace horseplay and inform the workers about it.
  • Engage the workers in training, educating them on preventing horseplay at the site. 
  • Avoid overspeeding with moving equipment for this may collide with workers in the environment. 
  • Avoid running around with a hand truck. Move it in the best safer way. Running around with a hand truck could spill a load on someone. 

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