Workplace Safety: 8 Hollywood Violations

Danger-SignWorkplace safety may not be something a lot of office workers pay much attention to, but there are plenty of jobs that require a keen awareness of safety guidelines. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency that works to ensure safety and health legislation is enforced among U.S. workplaces.

Still, many employees are unaware of the administration’s existence, along with the rules their workplaces must follow to ensure their jobs are safe. One way we can identify workplace safety violations is by taking a look at major Hollywood films that illustrate them. The list below was compiled by Compliance and Safety, and it illustrates a few workplace safety violations that appear in major Hollywood films. Check out their list below:

(1998) Enemy Of The State, Supply Room Scene. CLIP ENDS AT 03:20

This clip is from the late 90′s blockbuster Enemy of the State. What’s especially interesting about this clip is the management had the audacity to place a ‘Safety First’ poster in the same room as a handful of critical OSHA violations. Sadly this type of gross negligence, coupled with minimal effort to create the appearance of compliance (such as a ‘Safety First’ sign), is far too common in actual workplaces. In this case, Hollywood’s depiction of workplace safety is not so different from reality.

We can see that the hotel stocked the supply closet with a tray of lighters a few feet away from several gallons of cleaning solution marked as ‘FLAMMABLE’ in large red letters.

This is a clear violation of 1910.106(d)(5)(iii), which states:

Storage shall be prohibited except that which is required for maintenance and operation of building and operation of equipment. Such storage shall be kept in closed metal containers stored in a storage cabinet or in safety cans or in an inside storage room not having a door that opens into that portion of the building used by the public.

While this discussion centers on OSHA regulation, NFPA 30 also has a lot to say about the use of storage rooms/cabinets, ignition source control (50 feet) and management of other hazards for flammable storage. A fire could result in both OSHA and Fire Marshal inspections.

Interestingly enough, the hotel did seem to comply to regulation 1910.106(d)(7)(i)(a) that requires a fire extinguisher near the entrance of the room:

At least one portable fire extinguisher having a rating of not less than 12-B units shall be located outside of, but not more than 10 feet from, the door opening into any room used for storage.

They also complied with 1910.106(d)(7)(iii) which requires control of open flame and smoking. They posted signs to comply:

Open flames and smoking shall not be permitted in flammable liquid storage areas.

At 3:17, there is a moment when storage is very briefly visible within 18 feet of the ceiling in the storage room. In this instance, the storage of materials so closely crowding the sprinkler device could not arguably be far enough away from a sprinkler head in such a small room as to allow adequate vertical clearance in line with the Standard Interpretation of 1910.159(c)(10) and NFPA 30  3-2.3.2:

 Aisles shall be maintained to retard the transfer of fire from one pile to another and to permit convenient access for fire fighting, salvage, and removal of storage.

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    • MunrosSafetyApparel

      “Sadly this type of gross negligence, coupled with minimal effort to
      create the appearance of compliance … is
      far too common in actual workplaces.”

      A safe workplace environment requires not only an open channel of communication between employers and employees but strict adherence to all safety guidelines. Employers need to make sure that they are training their employees on proper safety procedures and are checking in to make sure that these safety protocols are being employed. Workplace safety is not a “set and forget” deal, it continually needs to be addressed.

    • monica shevlin

      It is needed to know the workplace health and safety specific laws and regulations. This to save lives and to reduce the risk faced such as accidents and injuries within the workforce. Now, it’s a matter of safety programs and not only to make good business rather to ensure high quality of safety for everyone. Additionally, I recommend this site as a helpful resource for an online video training course.