Something To Remember When You Return to Work Tomorrow: Safety

Note: I tried to post this last night, but I couldn’t because of technical glitches. After today’s earthquake the recommendations seem all that more important.


I was really surprised this week when I received the latest issue of EuroBiz, the magazine of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, and read Bill Dodson’s column on workplace safety. I knew that workplace accidents happen in China, but not like this:

” Operators sometimes have to reach deep inside the machines, which should automatically stop when material is trapped inside them and needs to be pulled out. “Operators – with the blessing of the Chinese owner – would take the male sensor on one side of the machine and simply push it into the female sensor on the other side of the machine, effectively short-circuiting the safeties,” he said. “I told them they can’t do that; the makers of the machine made the system that way for a reason – to protect the workers.” Another Western manager told me how a young Chinese technician at a local factory had chosen to change out a product in testing without allowing the test cycle to finish. She had bypassed the safety mechanisms in order to save time switching out products under test. Sharp pincers that normally hold the product in place mistook her finger for the next product to be tested and splayed the finger open. Blood, by the telling, sprayed onto her and her co-worker, who watched the whole episode without comment and acted only when it was too late. “

Read the rest of Dodson’s article to see how you can prevent this from happening in your factories.

Dodson does a great job laying out ways to prevent this from happening through educating factory workers. But his piece also got me thinking about educating office workers about safety. I know you’re probably thinking about that episode in the third season of The Office where the warehouse guys tease Michael and the office team because they have to take safety training to prevent things like paper cuts. But thing like eye strain can have dangerous and painful effects — as someone with a visual impairment I’ve felt the effects. I’ve also seen that many people don’t treat these type of things seriously.

Thankfully China Daily has some easy tips that can save you a lot of pain later. Another tip that I like to follow is taking an Internet- and computer-free weekend and doing some offline activities. I just did that this weekend and I feel great and totally refreshed for Monday.

Hope you do too.



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Filed under China Business, Cubicle/Nerd Culture

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