At the end of April, a number of popular blogs posted a link to a disturbing workplace safety video from the 1990s.
Most workplace safety videos are cheesy and dull, more likely to induce yawns or eyerolls than anything else. That’s exactly what the United Safety Council was afraid of when the produced “Will You Be Here Tomorrow?”, a workplace safety video that’s genuinely terrifying. According to the official synopsis, “This eye-opening meeting opener will capture your employees’ attention and show them just how easily accidents can happen.”
While the graphic ’90s-era special effects and over-the-top acting might seem outdated today, the video is still on sale in the Accident Prevention section of the United Safety Council catalogue. According to the official description, this four-minute video was produced in 1994.
Gawker Media’s popular technology vertical Gizmodo picked up the story, describing it like this, “Neither Freddy Krueger nor Jason were ever as scary as the apparent horrors lurking in the average factory.”
The video is available on YouTube (Warning: Rated NSFW for Gore and Bloody Depictions of Workplace Accidents).
Yet while many Internet culture blogs have been having a laugh at the bloody video, it’s really no laughing matter. Workplace safety remains a top issue for many unions across the country, as well as the domestic oil and gas industry.
The video features a diverse group of workers having their limbs torn off by lathes, being impaled on spikes, being crushed to death under forklifts and inside balers, and more gruesome scenarios than should be possible to fit into a four-minute training video.
While the National Safety Council reports that overexertion and slip-and-fall accidents are the most common type of workplace injuries, anyone who works with heavy equipment faces serious health risks. Falling from heights, being struck by falling objects, and machine entanglement are all some of the most common workplace injuries.
And often, injured workers are the lucky ones. A recent study from the Ohio Safety and Health Administration found that 20.2% of workplace fatalities occurred in construction-related accidents — that’s one in five workplace deaths.