Horseplay - Only Fools Do It!

Be alert don’t get hurt! Horseplay has no place on the job. It usually leads to an accident or could lead to an act of violence. Someone decides to horse around or play a practical joke on someone else. One thing leads to another, and before you know it someone gets hurt or property is damaged. Think back to when you were in school. You can probably remember horseplay beginning in the elementary grades and continuing through middle and high schools. You probably know someone who did it; most likely you even participated in some horseplay yourself. Sometimes it seems like no big deal but sooner or later things go wrong and one or more people get hurt. 
When it comes to horseplay a work site isn’t much different than school. There are lots of employees who just want to have a good time. They like to tease or make fun of other workers. They do stupid things or take unwise risks. Frequently the end result is that a worker gets hurt. Clowning around, setting traps, and horseplay cannot be tolerated at work. Supervisors must put a stop to it immediately.  
As a worker, never initiate, encourage or participate in horseplay. If someone starts it, let them know that you don’t like it and will not let it continue. Tell them that the chance of causing an accident is too great and you don’t want that to happen. If they still don’t get the message and the horseplay continues, advise the supervisor. 
If everyone on the job assumes a responsible attitude about this kind of immature behavior, the jokester will be without an audience. Without anyone to appreciate the prank, horseplay should diminish considerably.  
Another angle to use to convince someone to discontinue this type of recklessness is to warn them that they are subject to prosecution if their horseplay results in a serious injury or death.

Work can be fun, but horseplay is a hazard nobody can afford. It cannot be tolerated by either employers or employees. Do your part, and never instigate or participate in any kind of horseplay. Discourage your coworkers from engaging in horseplay too. Be safe at work and go home healthy at the end of the day. 
Contact OMAG Risk Management Services if you have questions about this or other issues  related to municipal workplace safety. Kip Prichard can be reached at (800) 234-9461 or kprichard@omag.org.


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