There are some truly great TV shows that provide helpful information about home repair and heavy duty professions. Lifestyle channels like the Home and Garden Network and the History channel are great for entertaining and often informative programming.
Maybe that’s why it’s so frustrating when we see popular reality TV shows that blatantly flout health and safety procedures.
One reality TV show about mining camps in Canada’s Yukon territory really plays up the drama while does little to convey the many safety standards of the mining industry.
Watching some episodes you might think all that’s needed on a job site is a baseball cap. Little to no personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn and this sets a bad example for all the industrial workers watching at home.
On mining job sites across the country, the general requirements are for proper head gear, which means hard hats (not baseball caps), close fitting long-sleeved shirts, pants, steel-toed boots, high visibility apparel and reflective vests. In many instances the only PPE these TV miners are wearing is a reflective vest.
In the one episode a man suffers from a head injury and we can only wonder as to whether or not he was properly protected at the time of his accident. To make matters worse, when we visited the show’s website, behind the scenes photography showed that the camera crew wasn’t wearing proper PPE either.
Being in such close proximity to heavy duty machinery is no joke. We know safety gear doesn’t look cool or sexy — but it’s not suppose to. It is intended to save your life and limb. If at any time you’re more preoccupied with how you look than your own personal safety, a change of occupation is in order. Perhaps these men would be more comfortable starring in a different reality TV show (Real Housewives, maybe?).
In all seriousness, we point out these safety concerns because we want all workers, including those on TV and behind the scenes, to stay safe on the job. If it requires us pointing some fingers at reality TV stars, we hope it brings home the message that no one is invincible and being prepared for the worst might just save your life.