Workplace safety is no joke. Injuries on the job can lead to lawsuits and months of headaches. Last thing any shift supervisor wants to see when they arrive at 5 in the morning is the "Days Without Incident" poster reset to 0. That's what OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and other safety organizations are for. They keep people safe and those poster days up. Sometimes, though, a day at work doesn't always go completely safe.
Reddit user, u/KrazyKingZ, wanted to hear from OSHA people firsthand about the dumbest thing they've seen when they asked:
50. Surfin' USA
Not OSHA but I worked for a year in a small plastic molding plant. Saw a guy surf a bale of scrap plastic as it ejected onto the pallet. To be fair it wasn't on purpose lol, the bale wasn't coming out so he climbed behind it (so his body was between the back wall and a 1500+ pound bale) to push it out from the back. It worked but he held onto the bale and rode it on the way out.
49. Gross People Shouldn't Work For Food Places
I'm not an OSHA employee, but I worked at a convenience store that had a pizza place inside that made food for travelers and that locals could order. We had to make cookies and we had about 6 kinds, two of which contained peanut butter. It was important to keep those two separate from the rest when making them because of how serious nut allergies can be. My manager put all the cookies into one tub to bring out (they were already pre-made in frozen disks, we just thawed and baked them) completely contaminating all the different kind of cookies with each other. I brought it to her attention, but she didn't care.
There were other violations when she was there. Like leaving food in the way past its time just so she wouldn't have to make new stuff and never dated any of the food in the fridge. She never cleaned up after herself either by wiping down counters.
48. Who Needs BOTH Hands?
I was the new safety guy for a metal shop that would send out a can of aerosol adhesive(flammable) with some products. For some reason they had someone peeling the label off of the can and applying a new one. The guy was using a heat gun to remove the labels. He said he didn't think it was safe, but one of the other guys told him that they always did it that way. I've seen some crazy and dangerous practices, but this stands out for the absurd lack of common sense.
47. Shot Yourselves In The Foot
Military safety guy here. We have a building on base with a ceiling that leaks and basement that floods when it rains. The coolest part is that there are unshielded wires and comm boxes laying in the parts of the basement where water pools. We also have the emergency phone lines for the fire department for the nearest large civilian, passenger airport right next door running through that basement. So, F everyone if we get water in those. You didn't need the fire department anyway.
It has been two years since I reported that building. The responses I got then were "it has always been like that". Also, we're "still waiting for bids for the repair".
OSHA doesn't cover the military.
46. Not A Single Thing Right
I'm not in the USA but part of my job involves working in confined spaces accessing cabling ducting and risers etc. There's a crap-ton of confined spaces working regulations in this country that have to be met when working in spaces such as these.
The work we do is classed as very low risk confined space but a friend of mine works at a chemical processing plant and sometimes has to enter empty chemical holding tanks or pressure vessels to clean out sediment and other contaminants by hand. Obviously these are classed as massively high risk.
There was an incident a few years back at his place when a new management team took over and the cleanup crews were ordered to go in and clean out an unknown sediment layer without proper breathing apparatus. They had air-fed fume hoods but these were nowhere near sufficient protection.
Previously they would bring a specialist contract company onsite who had all the necessary BA gear and training to carry out the work safely but the new management didn't want to spend the money. The union got involved and there was threats of the company being reported to the HSE (UK equivalent of OSHA) for endangering life.
Weirdly though, according to one of the BA contractors i was speaking to previously mentioned that it's usually the confined spaces classified as low risk that are the biggest killers. Apparently when it's an obvious high risk situation or when nasty chemicals are involved, you're more inclined to treat it with caution, yet it's in a seemingly harmless space that stuff tends to go wrong.
Apparently what usually happens is Person A enters an unknown space without a risk assessment or the proper protective equipment, passes out. Person B enters the space to try to retrieve Person A, passes out. If they're lucky, Person C calls the fire service and once they arrive on site and suit up, enter the space to retrieve two bodies. If they're unlucky, there is no Person C.
45. I Guess It's Problem-Solving?Giphy
None summer in college I worked in construction. We had to hang some stucco board on the side of a building. It was probably 50-60 ft tall at its highest, at the bottom was a sort of drainage ditch. We had to build scaffolding to get to the top... of course the drainage ditch isn't level, so our boss found some flat rocks, stacked two or three of them and then we continued to build the scaffolding. We worked at the top of that thing with heavy ass 12 ft stucco boards on scaffolding that was balancing on a couple of rocks stacked up. Hindsight, I can't believe that scaffolding held up over two full days.
44. Almost Blew Up The Town
Uhh not sure if it's exactly an OSHA violation but I worked as a security guard out of high school for a high security warehouse (stored toxic, flammable, and otherwise dangerous containers) and one night a driver fell asleep while bringing his load in and flattened our plywood guard shack, turned the truck on its side and dumped a bunch of oxygen tanks into the countryside. Nobody got hurt though!
43. Pendulum Swung Into You
I was at a steel mill in the middle of PA. One of the EEs had gotten really good side pulling the ladle from the furnace, arcing it down a corridor, and placing it in the cooling area.
All of the overhead cranes had just been modified from a pendent control to a wireless control.
The EE stood at the top of the fulcrum, next to a railing of a cooling pit for another furnace.
As the EE swings the load, he is struck by the ladle and hit into the railing.
He suffered several broken ribs, a broken back, and arm. His side pull did not go as planned.
I've also investigated fatalities, and a bunch of other stupid decisions that lead to bad injuries.
Everyone needs to slow down and think about what you are doing, at work AND at home. Bad habits follow you everywhere.
Remember stop work authority too, be that guy or gal. If your company doesn't care that much, you don't want to work there.
42. Flip Flops Go With Boats, Not Cranes
Intern at an osha equivalent org in asia. Was at a site where they were building two housing blocks very close to each other. The blocks were up to 40 floors high. The main contractor installed proper bridges with handrails to link the two blocks every 10 floors, but the workers also placed thin, unsecured planks on every floor to link the blocks. The end of the plank on the top floor looked like it was less than 3 cm away from the edge.
There were bare live wires randomly poking from the ceilings, workers climbing on scaffolding without helmets or harnesses, workers on 3m tall ladders and using them like stilts (rocking side to side to "walk" the ladder to the next light fixture) and the workers were housed on the site in the unfinished building. Their tower crane operator turned up and climbed up the crane in wifebeater, sarong and flip flops - his excuse was that the weather was really hot that day.
That site was disastrous. My supervisor was shaking with anger by the end of the inspection.
41. A Ticking Time Bomb
Security tasked with ensuring EHS compliance here.
The absolute worst has to be this one department on my post (chemical processing and storage facility.) Going in there when they have agitator motors running on drums (and venting the exhaust right into the room) will physically make you sick. I once had an extremely painful sore throat for a week after one ~60sec exposure.
Yet, not a single person who works in there regularly wears even a dust mask, let alone a respirator. Elsewhere in the facility, people have allegro hoods being fed O2, good respirators, etc, but not in this one area where it seems to be the worst.
Other than that, fire extinguishers with blacked-out gauges, lights starting fires because they're so covered with cobwebs, PPE is essentially optional, yeah, good times.
40. Standing Up For SafetyGiphy
but my job put in brand new 20 foot shelving units for holding pallets. They looked great and we really desperately needed the space to get pallets off the floor. Only one problem: they weren't bolted to anything. They also were not against a wall, so if they fell it would almost certainly hurt or kill someone. They'd be bolted down in a week, my supervisor said.
I was threatened with a write up for insubordination because I refused to load a dozen pallets weighing over 200lbs each on this shelf. I told them I had already taken a video showing that no shelves were bolted down while my coworker loaded them and they could kiss my *ss. They did not kiss my *ss, but they did not write me up either.
39. What Not To Do
One of my college instructors showed us a picture he took of a scissor lift on an angled rooftop with it fully raised the basket fully extended doing repairs on the building. The roof in the picture did not look sturdy whatsoever, and it looked like the slightest breeze would topple the thing. He doesn't even know how they got the lift on the roof to begin with since the only machinery that place has were fork lifts and the one scissor lift.
38. My Cigarrette Took Down The Store
When I first started working at my current workplace, I used to smoke and I had to go to a designated shelter, which was right next to a large pressurised oxygen tank. On a number of occasions I saw employees actually smoking right next to the tank itself, for some reason deciding that they didn't want to be in the shelter. What people don't seem to realise is that yes, oxygen is good for breathing, but that goes doubly so for fire. If that tank sprang a leak and someone lit up nearby, their ordinarily not so flammable clothes and flesh would suddenly be very flammable indeed.
In the end they moved the shelter after a couple years to be at least 200 yards from any building.
37. Sparkling Cyanide
I once found a cabinet with random vials of cyanide laying around. Another time I found an asbestos enclosure where the enclosure had failed and it had been without negative pressure for 2 days, this was in a VERY busy federal building. I know of one agency that routinely sends it's employees into high pressure steam tunnels without any kind of confined space training or rescue apparatus. I saw one of the carry-on scanners the TSA uses (480V) with exposed wiring directly adjacent to carpet/passengers. I know of a popular online retailer that under-reports its recordable and lost time rates by writing an essay on why the injuries don't count for every single injury.
36. A Difficult Thing To Witness
real life OSHA inspector here. Most gnarly case I had was when a father/son team was doing field service work on the hydraulic piston of a mobile crane. The piston cylinder casing failed due to a combination of over-pressurization and metal stress fatigue. Opened up an 11" fracture on the piston, releasing pressurized hydraulic fluid directly into the torso of the father, who was standing on the crane deck next to the piston. The pressurized fluid jet cut his torso in two, from roughly his left collar bone to the bottom of his right rib cage. The son was on the ground and watched it happen.
35. Just Like A CartoonGiphy
Maintenance guy was changing the bulbs in one of our overhead light fixtures in the warehouse. Goes up in the scissor lift with the new bulbs and somehow makes contact with the live part of the fixture...with his bare hands.
He's shocked pretty good, even his belt buckle flew open because of the surge. He apparently "squealed like a stuck pig", somehow manages to hit the lever to lower the lift, and stumbles off of the platform.
He never went to the hospital and said his arm "tingled for a few weeks".
34. Malicious Noncompliance
I was the safety officer at a few workplaces. I had a bunch of rescue qualifications. The rule was this: protest the bad thing in writing. After that it's not your problem. The boss will break any law he sees fit and if something goes wrong, you told him so and it's not your fault. Some businesses actually care about getting sued and the safety officer is king. The companies I worked for cared about daily costs and that was all. I was often asked to do things (as I was also a worker) that contravened OH&S and I would refuse but I would never stop anyone else from doing it.
I was never given that authority. Managers like to keep all the "God of this activity" to themselves even if they don't know what they're doing and they just want A done, they don't care how. I was once asked to move 40kg loads on a regular basis. I refused as it exceeded the legal limit and I didn't want to hurt my back.
I suggested the person telling me to do it should do it that way if they wanted. They apparently couldn't as they had hurt their back. Strange coincidence yeah? Different guy wanted me to store a 20kg box at full reach from a ladder. I refused as it was unsafe. He put it up there himself.
Cue two days later when the box broke as it was being retrieved and destroyed the expensive contents. On another occasion I was busy with something and someone wanted to use the forklift to shift a drum of oil. I was the driver but we had one of those walk behind models with a steering handle which you are allowed to use without a license. I announced that I would be a couple of minutes and of they simply went to collect the drum pincer (a special tool for picking up drums that is awkward and heavy) I would be there shortly.
No. They are in a rush, they'll just do it themselves. OK, I think. Saves me the effort. Suddenly, I hear telling and commotion. This is never good. I run out and they have pierced the drum with a tine. What's more, they have removed the tine from the hole and the drum has fallen over. Cue me on safety mode yelling at everyone and rolling out the super expensive spill kit. Two hours later and it was decided nobody was at fault as it was the boss who did it and since he couldn't blame anyone, nobody was to blame. That place was a hotbed of malicious compliance. Always had to get it on writing though.
33. Pipin' Dangerous
Watch 8 tonnes of pipe fall from about 20m because someone was in a rush and used the incorrect rigging.
The kicker is everyone there (20-30 people) were totally willing to let it go unreported, except me. I never really did make too many friends after that. Oh well.
32. That's No Lift...
But my local junkyard has their draining lift made out of steel shelving with 3 legs. The 4th leg is a piece of 4x4 wood, sitting tall ways, with a bottle jack on top of it. They have it covered with a tarp so it's safer or something. A good friend of mine worked under it for a number of months.
31. Like The Least Fun Game Of Jenga
two electricians changing the lightbulbs of the street lights in my hometown did it with one driving the van and the other standing on top of a ladder on its roof.
30. Water + Electricity = BadGiphy
My tafe teacher tells a story of an employee hosing down a three phase outlet with a water hose and getting badly shocked. He copped all the blame as he was not following the safe work method statement.
29. All With A Chainsaw
It wasn't related to my workplace (which is extremely strict with OSHA) but work I needed to have work done in my yard and knew the violations because of my job. Hurricane Florence knocked a tree over in my yard. The contractors who ended up coming out to remove it didn't use any safety equipment at all and, while wielding a chainsaw, stood on a bobcat with a forklift attachment to get a better reach, being raised up at least 10 feet in the air.
28. All For The Trash
I'm OSHA certified since our store needs so many employees certified.
We have a magnetically sealing door that leads to a trash compactor. The door is broken so it won't stay open. So instead they use a broken bungee cord to hold the door.
The one window is taped up because someone thought it would look better.
They lost the key to the door so the only way to keep it open is to wedge a peace of card board in the hole so it won't seal.
And it doesn't open from the other side for some odd reason.
When I have to use it,I have to put one foot in the door and toss my trash.
27. Sparks! Face! Burns!
go to a lot of sketchy body shops all day, so I see some unsafe practices. I have two.
Once saw a guy using an angle grinder to cut metal. He wasn't wearing any eye protection, and the sparks were flying straight into his face. He wasn't even looking away.
I also once saw a guy using a MIG welder with no welding helmet. Staring straight at what he was working on. Bonus points because he was smoking a cigarette.
26. Why Is There Always A Chainsaw
I work in construction and have seen some gut-wrenching safety violations. Too many to count. I once saw a man walking across a 2 x 4 brace (1.5 inches thick) cutting the unwanted remainder on support beams off with a chainsaw while 60ft high and no safety harness.
25. Is It Really Worth It To Cut So Many CornersGiphy
I work for a company that manufactures electrical equipment that prevents explosions in hazardous environments like and oil rig or refinery. I've seen electrical enclosures that are designed with very small tolerances for error that have only had 4 bolts holding the cover on when 20+ are required. Even one missing bolt can lead to catastrophic explosion. We're talking the risk of major loss of life just to save a few minutes of time.
24. Poor Cows Don't Deserve This
My old boss had us spray out trailers hauling cattle with Sulphuric Acid to sterilize them, all without using PPE or respirators. Cheapo wouldn't even buy us gloves until I had to take a month off work due to chemical burns to my right arm.
23. Yum, A Fungus!
the restaurant I used to work had mushroom formations a foot tall growing under the drink station. I saw it being scraped out during my last week.
22. This Ain't A Race, It's A G*D* Post Office
I wish OSHA would come to my local USPS facility. But only sort of. They'd shut it down after just a few hours, no doubt.
Some forklift / tug operators zooming by in the halls at 20-25 miles an hour when they're not supposed to go more than walking speed. Also just the general unsafe nature of equipment.
21. Micro Center With Macro Problems
Worked for a Micro Center that way overstocked its warehouse without good options for navigating the mess. We'd have to regularly climb on, through, and around loose pallets and gaylords, as well as boulder about 15 feet of shelving. Hard drives dropped on heads (thankfully packaged) were really common. Lucky it wasn't more often worse.
20. No Safety HereGiphy
A "friend" worked for a safety audit company. Fire alarm goes off. Not a drill. Turned out to be a false alarm. Which was handy because when they went to leave via the only emergency exit on the floor the door handle came off in his hand... Only other way to exit the floor was via the elevator.
19. Door To No Escape
I opened a fire escape door once and someone had removed the staircase from the other side so the door just opened into thin air with a 20foot drop on the other side.... it was like something out of an acme cartoon.
18. Sometimes It's Not Worth The Court Case
Not an inspector but did work comp insurance for a bit.
I saw this on cctv for evidence
Factory that made foam for mattresses had a machine that would cut up medium sized chunks of foam into smaller ones to put into mattresses. Sort of like a wood chipper.
One guy got tired of putting handfuls at a time (the recommended way) and decided to get a bucket and starts shoveling into the cutter.
When it got stuck from too much foam he used the stick part of a broom to push it thru. This got the broom stuck. He then decides to put both hands in to dislodge the stick and stuck foam.
The machine was still on this whole time.
He somehow manages to get the stick out and the blades start going again.
He amazingly only lost two fingertips and tried to sue his boss.
We settled for 30k...
17. Gotta Love Ingested Chemical Burns
While working on a small pipeline project, one guy had a 6-pack of beer under the back seat of his truck. Obviously the beer was warm. We figured we could cool the cans by tipping a propane bottle upside down and spraying them with liquid propane. I guess there is a safety device to prevent this, so we put a hose on the tank and cut the hose. One guy held the cans with his bare hands in the stream of liquid propane on the worksite. Good times.
16. Electric Coats
I interned at OSHA. I got to ride around with a former electrical union superintendent and I'm still telling stories. As an intern they honestly let me ask anything. The inspectors were so glad that someone actually respected them and wanted to learn so they just spilled.
Personally the worst was a couple dozen guys hung their coats up to cover the hot commercial electrical box they had pig tailed their broken radio directly to. The OSHA inspector saw it and just turned to them and said "do you have a family?
Do you ever want to see them again?" Turned out the crew chief had a brand new baby girl at home. He basically cried his face off about how stupid they were and shut it down until they could make it safer. No fines were issued. Even though it could've bankrupted all 3 companies on site. Just real talk.
In case you didn't know that amount of electricity would kill you in the worst way (unable to let go and feeling every single shock) and leave you a pile of dust.
15. Eh, We'll Fix It Later
In college I took an OSHA certification course and my instructor, who was an OSHA inspector, shared this story;
My instructor was inspecting a lumber mill in northern Maine, walking around the facility. Employees told him to be careful around two large milling machines in the back of the mill. Every 10 seconds, like clockwork, a giant high voltage charge would jump between both machines, arcing over the walkway path. Apparently all of the employees knew about it and just carefully timed when they would walk through.
That, he said, was the most glaringly obvious violation he's ever seen, ever.
14. So Long As It's Dry, Right?
Using a wet-dry vac to clear a plugged drain.
In a lead-acid battery pit.
Without the benefit of any PPE at all.
13. A Story Of Catastrophe
I work in pharmaceutical manufacturing, and we occasionally get OSHA investigators to give safety trainings. One trainer/rep in particular had been assigned to a case in Texas where a natural gas refinery exploded because a perfect storm of miscommunication, failed safety checks, and employees not following their SOPs. Opaque sight glass (that needs to be clear to detect levels), pressure gauges out of calibration, broken overfill alarms, among other safety violations.
12. The Things You Do When You Think You're Not Being Watched
I do EHS and watched a bunch of guys using a forklift to literally lift an entire box truck over a fence instead of just pushing it through the gate.
They thought I was at lunch. I was not.
11. It'll Hold. Trust Me.
Once saw a foreman tie a rope around a 100lb gooseneck elbow, secure the rope with a pair of vice grips and then pull it up about 40-50 meters onto the roof of a building.
10. When Your Bro Doesn't Have Your Back
I work in a CSO and had to clean out one of our vortexes manually. It's a confined space so I needed an attendant. After about an hour I finished and came out to find nobody was around. Walked up to the office and two of our guys were asking where I'd gone, because my attendant went to take a sh-t 45 minutes before and was playing on his phone in the office. He said he told me to come out and figured I was f-cking off somewhere. Should of lost his job then
9. Buses On The Run
I don't work for OSHA but I do work in a role where ensuring compliance with Workplace Health and Safety and arbitrating on those matters were a major portion of my role.
The worst issue I have ever seen has been a bus operator (for a major metropolitan area) direct their employees to drive buses which due to the inclusion of a new safety barrier did not possess a line of sight to the Left-hand side mirror ( This is in a Left-Hand side driving Country). I filed a dispute, and after some argument, approximately three weeks of it, they came to the conclusion that there was a problem and made the right decision to withdraw them and install a new less obstructed panel. Through this period the operator was threatening to take disciplinary actions against drivers who refused to drive these buses, drivers who couldn't see the mirrors and posed a huge risk to the public.
8. Skateboards Aren't Safe
I work in construction, and when on site, I heard our OHS person had to leave to write up a violation.
Someone decided to send one of the young blokes down a drain pipe on a skateboard to clear a blockage on a pipe. The line was 80m long, and a 450mm dia pipe. It was also storm season.
Apparently they used the skateboard so if he passed out, they could pull him back, or words to that affect.
7. How Did This Place Not Close Already?
My father was a safety coordinator at Kennecott Copper Mine and... Boy... I'll go in order of severity:
First, there were times that he caught the crew out by the woods trying to feed apples to the deer. They had skewered the apples and were trying to reach as far over the fences as they could to coax them just a bit closer. Nobody fired.
Next, he found some guys trying to break this gigantic bolt. He came across them right at the time that one was standing under this giant wrench to hold it in place while another guy was climbing up onto some equipment and planned to jump onto the wrench. Genius, I know. Two guys got fired that day.
Then comes the story about the acid vat... During a shut down, he came across some guys playing "Jack Be Nimble" with the opening of the acid vat. Needless to say, these vats, designed to process ores, were extremely dangerous. My father came across them doing this as one guy jumped and lost his shoe in the vat. Instantly disintegrated. About eight guys got fired that day, and the one had the balls to ask for a replacement for his shoe! Probably why my dad has high blood pressure nowadays.
There are more, but those ones stood out the most in my mind.
6. The Wheels On The Bus
Bus had the donut on for 8 weeks. WEEKS
5. Sour Experience
International Gas Plants, construction and operations:
-Once my idiot Chinese customers decided to ignore a massive leak in a sour gas line, that was like 200,000 ppm of H2S. I was infuriated and fled site, and only then were they willing to shut it down. Waiting to kill off the control room and poison the nearby town. This was by far the most dangerous thing I've seen.
-Confined space entry without an attendant. Yea that was stttuuupid. And of course this is the time it catches on fire. Luckily were able to escape.
-Hey lets dump sour water into an open drain = slowly forming cloud of poison gas.
-Online unplugging: In one case this guy waits for the bottom of a vessel to plug. He has a drain the same diameter as the vessel discharge pipe. SO when it plug he blocks off the discharge valves, opens the drain, and eventually the pressure builds up and a hunk of solids flies out from a 300 psi source.... followed by a corrosive solvent which they'll quickly block but not before getting it all over their boots
I was in the receiving end of an ice plug that blocked a vent valve while we were pressure testing some pipe. It released with enough force to tear apart the metal pail we had hanging on the valve to catch what should have been a couple cups of fluid. I got showered head to toe with methanol. Ended up totally fine.
4. Importance Of Grounding
A 19 yo employee was cleaning out a silo with a vac-truck and got fatally electrocuted. There was enough static generated from the friction between the air and the wall of a 100ft hose to stop his heart. All because the other operator said he didn't need to ground the hose because he'd "done this a hundred times"
Another time for a hydroelectric power plant, some guy had literally gotten cooked with a ton of voltage when someone forgot to lockout/tagout something. My friend said will never forget the smell of burning flesh.
Not an OSHA employee, truck driver instead. I don't see a lot of big rigs violating the safety laws since we get in huge trouble if we do, but I see stuff on dualie pickups and box trucks all of the time.
Last week, I saw a pickup with mattresses stacked almost as high as my trailer (~13'6") It reminded me of this one time when I saw the front end of a Mustang completely smashed in from a mattress that had fallen on it, on the freeway.
It's terrifying how some people load their pickup trucks. I once saw an uncut 4'x8' sheet of heavy (like 3/4") plywood fly out of the back of a truck on the Dumbarton Bridge going over the San Francisco Bay. The guy was going 70mph, and I had to swerve big time to avoid getting hit, nearly going over the side. I see loose steel pipes all the time too, reminds of the opening scene from The Descent...
3. Crushing News
Owens Corning had a company wide stand-down that affected all their plants. The issue? Someone had disabled an interlock that prevented the door to a caged in area for an automated robotic portion of the production system. A worker was crushed. Cleaning agents were stowed in the area and it seemed to have been used as stowage for a long time.
I was part of an engineering team that was modernizing the system at the time this occurred about 15 years ago. Same company also had a tornado response of going outside in the even of a tornado warning. The muster area was also where millions of squares of shingles were stowed. There was perfectly adequate "building inside a building" called the restrooms and showers.
Yeah, that pace was unreal.
2. Employee Revenge
My first job was for a large grocery chain and the store's huge walk-in freezer wouldn't defrost. It was covered in sheets of ice and wasn't getting fixed. When I ate sh!T hard in there one day, twisting my arm and smacking my face, I marched my overly confident teen self over to the store manager and told him, as if he didn't already know, that the freezer floor was covered in ice and that I had fallen and hurt myself. He replied, verbatim, "Yeah! Haha! It's like an ice skating rink in there!" And then he walked away.
Which it was. Which was dangerous. So I filed a complaint with OSHA and investigators showed up THE VERY NEXT DAY. The store had to finally fix the freezer and no one else got hurt in there.
1. Mai Eyez
I worked for the USAF, and I usually made people run safety equipment, like eye washes, rather than relying on the inspection cards not being pencil whipped....
One time (in Texas), they hit the foot handle for an eye wash and water trickled out then a swarm of fire ants came out with the water. I couldn't even get angry and their pencil whipping the inspection card because all I could think of was some poor bastard getting degreaser in his eyes and running to the eyewash.... to get his face full of fire ants. It was literally the scene from a cartoon waiting to happen.
Y'all know that one Hannah Montana song? “Everybody makes mistakes! Everybody has those days!" That's the song I sing to myself every time I accidentally burn myself while making ramen. It comforts me to know, however, that there are a lot of worse mistakes out there than some spilled ramen. Who knew?
In fact, some mistakes are so astronomical that they're remembered for decades afterwards, leaving the one who made the mistake a legacy of being a dumba**. Here are a few of them!!!
Some may argue that the existence of the Universe was a mistake. I disagree. It was clearly Zayn leaving One Direction. But these next few were pretty bad too.
If you do the math, this is also the reason why Hentai exists.
I'll say the wrong turn Franz Ferdinand's driver made that went right in front of Gavrilo Princip.
EDIT: yes I'm aware war may still have broken out even if Franz Ferdinand wasn't assassinated
Imagine you're Gavrilo Princip. The assassination plot you and your friends had been cooking up for about the last year or so has been a complete and total disaster, just a monumental f*ck-up of the highest degree. You're staked out at this deli thinking maybe, just maybe the car will pass by, and by some stroke of sheer luck, it does.
If you're Princip, this is nothing short of serendipity.
Petition to return to the ocean.Ocean Surf GIFGiphy
"Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans."
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move." - Douglas Adams
This was, in fact, a monumental mistake.
Sears not beating Amazon to the punch.
Blockbuster not buying Netflix.
You thought THOSE were bad? Well gear up for their next few, because they are 100% accurate. Except the one about Cats, that movie slaps.
I don’t know sports, but sure.
Seahawks not running it.
I used to wear a Seahawks jersey whenever I took a test because I knew I would pass when I shouldn't.
CATS is great, y'all are just boring.Giphy
The Emoji Movie.
That live action movie about Cats is also up there.
Very fair point.
Humans are not wired to have that many social interactions and maintain that many relationships. Plus the echochambers it allows people to create for themselves, no matter how conspiratorial or vile their beliefs, means that stupid/evil people are no longer shunned into changing their mind.
Not sure it was worth being able to see what a celebrity had for lunch or what new "dance" your younger cousin and her tween friends are doing.
But in all seriousness, some horrible things may now have happened if the right thing was halted at the right time.
Washington called it.George Washington Disney GIF by Hamilton: An American MusicalGiphy
Voting for people based on what side of the political spectrum they're on. George Washington himself advised against political parties because he thought they would cause too much division in this country. Unfortunately for everyone, he was right.
Big oops on that one.
Barack Obama mocking Donald Trump at the Correspondents Dinner might have led directly to his 2016 run....
"Now, I know that he's taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald," Obama said. "And that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter — like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?"
Then he turned serious: "But all kidding aside, obviously, we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example — no, seriously, just recently, in an episode of 'Celebrity Apprentice' — at the steakhouse, the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around. But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn't blame Lil Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled."
This is the best Star Wars and no one can change my mind.
I'll take 'Star Wars Christmas Special' for $100.
That atrocious pile of manure gave us Boba Fett, so without the Christmas Special there won't be The Mandalorian.
Wow, in this article, I openly admitted my love for Cats AND The Star Wars Holiday Special. So maybe my existence was the biggest mistake of all.
ANYWAY, I hope you enjoyed, and I hope you all feel a little bit better about yourself. Because when push comes to shove, at least you didn't accidentally start World War I
When I was younger, it seemed every adult believed that you couldn't swim for several hours after eating. Why did they all believe this? I fought them on this all the time, by the way. I shouldn't have had to, just because I'd eaten some barbecue during a pool party. Guess what, though? That belief is unfounded.
After Redditor MelonInACat asked the online community, "What is a common myth that has been debunked that too many people believe?" people told us about the myths that are still around despite credible evidence.
"Do you know how many wellness checks..."
You must wait 24 hours before reporting a missing person.
- 24 hours from when? The time you realized they were missing? The time you estimate they went missing? The time of the initial report to police?
- Who is the legal timekeeper? If this is a law, it must have a designated timekeeper for official records. City police? County sheriff? Do I hire a private attorney to file a time-keeping motion in court?
- If the most likely time to find a missing person is the first 24 hours, why would you wait 24 hours?
- If the person dies or is severely injured because the county/state refused to initiate a search, doesn't that put some liability on their office? It seems like that would've been tested in court by now.
There's no law governing how long you have to wait before notifying the police of a missing person. It's nonsense. File a report as soon as you suspect the person is missing or in danger.
Do you know how many wellness checks officers go on in a day? Call it in, man...
CALL IT IN!
Why would you wait so long? It's absurd and wastes valuable time. And in the event something has happened, you could very well be saving someone's life.
"Popping your knuckles..."
Popping your knuckles is actually harmless and the "study" that claimed it caused arthritis was heavily flawed. Studies now show that it has nothing to do with causing arthritis.
I heard this one all the time.
I didn't crack my knuckles anyway because I didn't understand the appeal. Why were all the first-graders so fascinated by this?
"That if you get too close..."
That if you get too close to a baby bird, the mother will smell human on the baby and abandon the nest.
You probably should still avoid touching baby birds for other reasons like disease or risking injury to the animal though.
"That waking a sleepwalker..."
That waking a sleepwalker is dangerous for them. They might wake up confused, but they'll be fine unless you scream at them or something.
"That your hair and fingernails..."
That your hair and fingernails still grow after you die. It's mainly an optical illusion. Your skin decays and shrinks, causing hair and fingernails to look like they've grown.
I grew up hearing this.
There are entire generations of people who believe this.
"We all know the story."
The War of The Worlds broadcast in 1938. We all know the story: Orson Welle's broadcast War of The Worlds over the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). But people only tuned in partway through and heard the radio announcing that machines were landing in the country and were advancing and attacking. People panicked in the streets and thought aliens really were invading. There was hysteria on the streets, people were looting and traffic jams backed up as people tried to escape.
But it turns out, that isn't really true. It turns out barely anyone actually listened to the broadcast, and the few that were listening knew it was Orson Welles and knew it was just a broadcast of War of the Worlds. If there was anyone that did tune in and mishear it and panicked, it was nowhere near the hundreds and thousands that have been reported in this myth.
This one is definitely a popular urban myth by this point.
Cool story, but nowhere near as exciting as you might have heard. If anything, that mythos probably helped Welles get full artistic control of the projects, like Ciitizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, that made him a star.
"You don't have to wait..."
You don't have to wait 3 hours after eating to swim. Every summer I have to fight my in-laws about it.
"Do you really think..."
That not turning your airplane mode on (smartphone) can interfere/jam communications.
Do you really think if a smartphone might endanger a whole plane with passengers they would let it fly?
"No amount of reasoning..."
That cats kill babies.
I've run into this so many times since having kids. And it's not the older grandmas making these statements. I've had 20-year-olds tell me that you can't have cats if you plan to have babies because "they'll steal their breath" or some other variation. No amount of reasoning or rationale will dissuade them of this belief.
"Maybe it's just one of those things..."
YOUR. BLOOD. IS. NOT. BLUE! Seriously tho, I was told that everyone's blood was blue on the inside when I was younger, and I honestly don't know why my Mom thought that. Maybe it's just one of those things that you only believe because your family has been saying it since your Grandma's Grandpa's Grandma's Grandma's Grandpa or something like that.
Here's some valuable advice, guys:
Google is your friend. It's very easy to debunk this stuff. I remember being taught that the tongue had taste zones––we even had to fill out a worksheet labeling the tongue's different zones. That's totally wrong, in case you haven't figured it out.
Have some myths you've heard you'd like more people to know have already been debunked? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
As much as we're not supposed to feel satisfaction upon observing the struggles of other people, it can be hard to resist a silent, internal fist pump when some blunder occurs immediately after we tried to help the person prevent it.
It is all a result of stubbornness.
The person we're trying to help is stubborn. They think they know the best way to do something, or the exact information required for a given moment.
And, on top of that, they think we're being stubborn when we try to intervene.
So all of our attempts to help fall on deaf ears. And the results can be as calamitous as they are satisfying.
TenaciousBrit asked, "What's your 'I told you so' moment?"
Many people chose to talk about the times their friends or family ended up producing some truly entertaining physical comedy.
And the laughter was only enhanced with the knowledge that they'd just predicted the whole thing.
"Was picking beans with my sister and mom. To this day I still don't know why the fence was electric but it was. I touched it and I got zapped. It wasn't too bad but it hurt. I jumped away and my sister saw me, I said that it was an electric fence."
"Of course she just thought I was pranking her. I was trying to tell her the whole time we picked beans but she didn't believe me. Right at the end she touched the fence and she didn't see it coming at all... Her face was just like, 'Oh shi-' "
"Loved the car ride home, 'I told you... Idiot.' "
No Babies, Two Hurt Backs
"My sister and I were out sledding when we were kids at this place with a really steep hill. I had unknowingly gone down a sled path that had a jump in it, and when I landed it really hurt my back."
"So when I got back up to the top of the hill I told my sister 'don't go that way, the jump really hurts.' She called me a baby and didn't believe me that it really hurt so she decided she would go down that path on her sled."
"Well, she hit the jump and didn't get back up, turns out she fell so hard she had broken her leg. When we finally got her back up the hill and to the car, I got to tell her 'I told you so.' "
"This dumb a**hole woman wouldn't leave the llamas at our petting zoo alone, even after I warned her."
"Eventually they had enough and spit alllll over her. Green goopy spit from head to torso."
"She threw up a bunch and I laughed. Until I smelled it and then I was retching too."
Others recalled the times they trusted their instincts, only to be gaslighted by medical professionals.
But they did, eventually, get the help they needed. And the mixture of pride and frustration toward the other doctor was palpable.
"Had a weirdly dark freckle. The color of chocolate. I showed spouse and he called me a hypochondriac and if I go to a doctor, I'd be wasting their time."
"I went to the dermatologist. It was melanoma."
Years of Itchy Apples
"Since I was 14, my throat got itchy when I ate apples. I told my mom but she thought I just didn't want to eat apples and forced me to eat them."
"Went to the doctor's office and got a test for allergies."
"Turns out, I'm allergic to apples, peaches, and many other fruits."
This Was a Baby We're Talking About Here!
"My newborn baby was projectile vomiting after every feeding. I took her to the doctor several times, always ended up being sent away with suggestions to try a different formula. I tried like 4 different ones, no change."
"The 4th or 5th visit, they sent me away again with the same recommendation even though I pleaded with them to figure out what was wrong with my baby. I left the office and drove to the ER instead. She ended up having emergency surgery that day."
"The surgeon said she would have starved to death (or maybe dehydrated?) had she gone much longer without the surgery. I gave the doctors in that office a piece of my mind."
Dirt: Not Always the Answer
"Went to the doctor on and off for breathing problems to no avail. A lot of 'rub some dirt on it' mentality. Wound up in the ER as a result of an asthma attack. Kept the bracelet on and everything when I went back the next week to see him."
"Not as satisfying as I would've hoped."
And some people discussed the times they knew or predicted a piece of information, but couldn't seem to persuade someone else through dialogue or conversation.
But, of course, the truth always comes out.
Chose the Wrong Partner
"Lawyer here. Fired a partner who I found some real irregularities in their spending habits vs. what they were making after he couldn't provide a good answer to where it came from. Other partner left and started a new firm with them because they disagreed with my decision and refused to look at the evidence."
"Turns out he stole 500k of a clients money, got disbarred, and is now facing prison time. I told her to look at the evidence and she didn't listen. 🤷🏼♂️"
"Someone started talking about a bottle of Newman's Own salad dressing while at dinner with my family and I said something like 'I'm pretty sure that was started by the Actor/Race car driver Paul Newman.' to which one of my siblings replied 'No it was someone else.' "
"I grabbed the bottle and turned it around and started reading the label out loud. The first sentence was 'Paul Newman's career was acting, but his passion was auto racing.' I stopped reading after that."
He Knew Immediately
"Bed frame wasn't properly lashed down while moving, partner insisted the weight of the frame would keep it in place."
"Flew into the middle of a major intersection on a left turn. We dodged four lanes of oncoming traffic to collect the pieces."
"I fixed my partner with a look that could peel paint, and he said 'I know, I know, you told me so and you're right. I'm sorry.' "
"I still give him sh** for it every time we move something. It's funny now, but god damn was I pissed at the time."
We can draw a couple of lessons from this list.
First, know that, at the end of the day, you can only do your best to share your opinion. You need to accept that they're going to do what they're going to do.
Second, when someone tries to give you advice, maybe take a moment to listen.
One of the most upsetting aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic––which is saying a lot, frankly––is the number of people who have been so affected by misinformation and disinformation. You know the ones to which I refer: These are the people who are convinced the virus is a hoax despite the lives it's claimed and the devastation it has wrought on society at large. Disinformation kills––there are stories of people who remained convinced that Covid-19 is a hoax even while intubated in the ICU, even up to their last breath.
After Redditor asked the online community, "Doctors of Reddit, what happened when you diagnosed a Covid-19 denier with Covid-19?" doctors and other medical professionals shared these rather unsettling stories.
"The one that sticks out in my mind..."
I'm a doctor working in acute internal medicine. I've seen lots of COVID over the last 12 months, probably 300+ cases. The one that sticks out in my mind the most was a 70-year-old lady with COPD. She refused to have a vaccine because she didn't trust it despite the fact she was eligible for one for weeks beforehand (in the UK). Subsequently caught COVID and was admitted to hospital. She repeatedly doubted this was the diagnosis. She refused to go to our COVID High Dependency Unit despite quite significant respiratory failure. Of course, she deteriorated over a number of days to the point where she was on maximal oxygen on the ward and at that point finally accepted treatment in HDU with high flow oxygen, although continued to doubt she had COVID. Died within 24 hours of her HDU admission having refused to go to ICU.
And of course, what did her family say? They were convinced she never had COVID and even went as far as accusing us of withholding life-saving treatment from her. Unfortunately, there's no treatment for stupidity.
Indeed there isn't.
A completely avoidable tragedy.
"My worst experience..."
My worst experience was when a 2-year-old kid got diagnosed with COVID. His mother had brought him with c/o fever and diarrhea. The child was severely dehydrated and so we had to do a mandatory swab test since we planned to admit him. It came positive and the mother refused to admit it. We were ready to perform a repeat test and we even advised the parents to get tested. Her defense was "The child never left the house. It's just me and the father who go to work daily. The grandmother babysits while we are away. How can he even get COVID without leaving the house." She had called her husband, he came with 10-15 relatives in a car, they broke a few chairs and then left with the baby. We just informed about the case to the COVID control centre.
"Only one patient ever accused me..."
Infectious disease doctor here. Seen about 450-500 COVID patients in the hospital since it all started. Only one patient ever accused me of using the nasal swab to give him COVID (along with a microchip). A handful have ranted nonstop about China. Everyone else has been sick enough to accept it, but lots still refuse the idea of vaccination even after being in the ICU.
"I had a lady who was maxed out..."
I had a lady who was maxed out on high flow (the next step is breathing tube) who still refused to believe she had Covid and was holding a negative test in her hand that she had taken a week prior.
The denial is so strong here.
It would be sad if it wasn't so horrifying.
"I'm an attending physician..."
I'm an attending physician at our Triage Unit. On a Friday, an older gentleman (60 + years) came in with his entire family (wife, sister, BIL, 2 nephews, and 3 children), none of them with a face mask. All had mild COVID symptoms except him, he was saturating 80% with evident shortness of breath. We insisted on doing PCR and a chest CAT scan looking for COVID but he and his wife refused, saying that COVID wasn't real and it was just a bacterial infection. The more we talked with him the more agitated he got to the point that his face was red. We suggested hospitalizing him to stabilize him and start treatment, but they accused us of exaggerating his symptoms and that we only wanted to hospitalize him so we could steal the liquid in his knees (a stupid rumor that was going around when this whole thing started).
They both cursed at us and said they were going to a better hospital to get antibiotics. Fast forward 24 hours later on Saturday, I get a call from the hospital next county over telling us that they intubated one of our patients because he went into respiratory failure when he arrived and they had to transfer him here because they don't have the appropriate equipment. We transfer the patient on Sunday only to find out on the CAT scan he had 90% of lung damage. He passed away on Monday morning.
Just before the family took the body away, I gave the widow the death certificate (that I filled out) and before walking away, she turns around and waves the certificate yelling "See! I told you it wasn't COVID! It says here: "Death due to pulmonary pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2! I knew it was a bacteria!" I told her: "SARS-CoV-2 is COVID-19, ma'am."
The lengths people are willing to go to stay in denial astound me.
Basic critical thinking appears to have gone out the window here.
I'm a family doc who mostly does outpatient.
I live in a pretty conservative area with a good proportion of COVID deniers, so I've been seeing COVID deniers since this mess became politicized (I've lost a few patients over the mask mandate).
Anyway, I'm pretty pleased to say that several of my COVID denying patients have completely turned their attitude around when they (or a close family member) contracted COVID. Even if their case wasn't severe, the sudden terror that they could wind up on a ventilator overnight really puts the fear of God into people.
Unfortunately, I still have some patients who are still pretty obnoxious despite their covid diagnosis. They mostly dig deeper into paranoia. If not about the virus itself, then about the circumstances surrounding them contracting it.
"If Fauci had done his job from the beginning, it never would've hit this town."
"It's the entire fault of Obamacare that I can't get the experimental immunoglobulin treatment!" (It's not, your eligibility for the infusion is dependent on a list of risk factors).
And, probably my favorite...
"So I have COVID and it's completely your responsibility to fix it. I need you to send Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, Vit D, Lisinopril, and azithromycin to the pharmacy..." Then they proceed to get pissed at me when I don't.
"During our peak time..."
I'm an emergency department physician in the US. I work in an area that had the highest death rate for a solid couple of weeks in the country.
During our peak time when we had national news crews here covering how we were a s***show, saw numerous people screaming their Covid disease wasn't real despite being hypoxic and on large amounts of oxygen due to Covid. That was an unpleasant time as this was still early (May/June) and it was extremely political like people apparently plotting to kidnap our state governor due to lockdowns.
Saw a lot of people refusing Covid testing who needed admission for non-covid purposes because the swabs would give them covid or put some sort of tracking device. They weren't pleased when they then had to be admitted to our full-blown Covid floors. Our Covid floors resembled a warzone because they were understaffed and relative s***hole conditions as we basically converted hallways into covid floors.
Also saw a lot of people young people who weren't exactly deniers but thought you basically couldn't sick if you were young. Lots of people with their lungs permanently scarred or at a minimum a couple of weeks of misery and/or spread it to their loved ones who got extremely ill.
"The willful cognitive dissonance..."
Physician here. The willful cognitive dissonance is real. It never ceases to amaze me how many patients will refuse assistance from me to register to get vaccinated, make claims that vaccines are harmful, but then accept my medical care on anything else that suits their whim. Patients absolutely have the autonomy to refuse care, but why would you continue to see a physician and accept their medical advice and care if you think they would simultaneously recommend something to you that would be harmful?
I've posed this question to patients who are vaccine-hesitant: "Why would you let me manage your diabetes and hypertension if you think I would harm you by recommending vaccinations?" You cannot get any kind of thoughtful response aside from, "I just don't want to be vaccinated."
"Some denier patients lived..."
RN here with most of 2020 spent in COVID land. I never had anyone refuse treatment when things got serious. I know some of the MDs I worked with got yelled at, like the rest of us...but honestly, that happens frequently anyway.
Some denier patients lived, many of which had accepted reality by the end of their stay after seeing what we all were going through to treat them.
Some died telling me I was a sheep or an idiot or a liar between gasps of air.
COVID didn't care.
This comment is strangely poetic.
Covid definitely doesn't care. The virus lays waste to people and... that's it. Good luck with your games of Russian roulette.
"People are crazy."
I work on a COVID unit and I ran into a patient like this. They'd tell me over and over again about how they weren't really sick and about how I didn't need to be gowned up in PPE. They even tried to take my face shield off. If you test positive for COVID two times then you have COVID! People are crazy.
Covid disinformation is a very serious problem and it's costing people their lives.
What can be done about it?
News literacy matters: It's important to get information from verifiable sources. Scientists and medical professionals are trustworthy. Those with backgrounds in public health know what they're talking about. Some conspiracy theory you received from your distant cousin on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger is not worth your time or consideration.
Have some of your own Covid denial stories to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!