Report: OSHA Deems Walking a High Risk Activity at Work
TUCSON, Ariz. – In a ground breaking report released today, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) stated that the act of walking at work was now listed as one of the top three high risk activities workers perform while on the job.
Mary Cranberry, the Arizona OSHA representative told reporters that, “While we’ve known for a while that walking is dangerous, we really didn’t realize just how dangerous it was until now. Over the past 20 years, walking injuries have increased by 1400% in the workplace. It seems that putting one foot in front of the other – in a safe manner – is beyond the capability of most Americans today.”
OSHA records made public with the report show just how prolific the problem is. In one example, Chip-Tech, a circuit board manufacturing company located in Phoenix, had twenty separate and reportable OSHA incidences this past March in which walking was involved. This seemed unusually high given the Chip-Tech employs less than six people. It was such a blood bath that the few remaining (alive) employees are referring to March as “Bloody March”. Below is a synopsis of the horrific injuries recorded in the fateful month:
- An engineer received a bloody nose when he walked into a column near his desk
- A marketing analyst twisted her ankle when her four-inch heel on her right shoe failed
- Two separate incidences of stubbed toes. Bad ones. The kind that make you hop around on one foot saying, “Ouch, ouch, shit, ouch!” while everyone around you laughs
- One man reported an “owie” in his knee as he walked up a flight of stairs
- A woman had her pelvis and legs broken when she walked into the path of an oncoming car as she played Candy Crush on her iPhone. But, according to the report, she stated, “It was worth it! I finally reached level 10!”, while riding in the ambulance to the hospital
- One man fell to his death from the fourth story of his office building to the sidewalk below. Coworkers stated that he was just following his phone’s GPS directions on how to get to the nearby Pei Wei and did not understand that it didn’t take into account that he was four stories above the ground
- A bystander died as he ran to help the above person when he was run over by the responding fire truck. It was obvious that he did not understand that running is 10 times more dangerous than walking. It also wasn’t good that the fire truck driver was texting as he plowed in the man
- Twelve reports of hallway collisions. Most minor with only bumps, bruises and scrapes, but two had major injuries and one person died in a horrible fiery crash during a mad scramble to be the first in line for free Papa John’s pizza in the break room
Due to a huge increase in phone/walking related injuries, many businesses have already issued a strict policy against walking and talking (or texting) while on the phone. The licensed hallway monitor at Chip-Tech explained the policy this way: “When an employee receives a phone call when in the act of walking, they are required to safely pull over to the side of the hallway and completely stop before using their phone. The employ can not start walking again until the conversation or text session has completed. Unless of course, they are using a hands free system. In that case, they can do whatever the hell they want.”
Although the act of walking is unsafe by itself, the risk is increased significantly when incorporated with these other activities where reports of injuries show they are more than double:
- Going up and down stairs
- Talking on the phone
- Looking at attractive women
- Especially when your wife is walking next to you
- Especially if it’s your wife’s sister
- And she’s really HOT
- Getting mugged
- Being outside where the ground is not completely level
- Being around anything that moves including cars, other people, dogs and on a rotating earth
- Chewing gum
OSHA has put forth a few recommendations to help keep the workplace a safe environment for those who still dare to walk. “Due to the hazardous nature of walking,” Cranberry said, “try to limit all the walking you do to just the bare essentials. For example, do you really need to walk to the other end of the building to attend that meeting or should you just have a telecon from the safety of your own office? Or limiting your trips to the bathroom to just once a day. Those thirty feet to the bathroom can be as dangerous as walking through an Iranian minefield. Use of a personal Port-a-Potty in your cubical is highly recommended.”
Once you have decided to make the journey from your office into the hazardous unknowns, OSHA recommends:
- Take a moment to gather yourself and empty your brain of all other thoughts and distractions. Be mindful that walking is no longer a natural and safe activity. It takes 100% of your concentration to walk
- Start slowly. Face in the direction you wish to go, then put one foot in front of the other. Repeat
- Keep vigilant for dangers like other people, furniture, walls and dragons
- Take corners slowly. Use hand signals or PSWI system (discussed later) in busy hallway intersections so that others know your intentions
- When you have reached your destination, stop walking. Place hand on wall or piece of furniture and hold firmly until you have stabilized yourself. Remember, your walk is not complete until you have completely stopped moving.
In addition to the above recommendation, OSHA is looking into requiring any office buildings that could have a walking density of greater than 0.5 to use the Pedestrian Walking Safety Indicators (PWSI) now under development.
Stan Walters, Innovation President of OSHA, told reporters that, “We’ve analyzed the traffic patterns in offices and found that they are similar to that of a small city. So, we thought why not use some of the same safety enhancements used in the auto industry to make walking safer? That’s when we came up the PWSI system. Essentially, it’s a set of turn and braking indicators for pedestrians. We have also included a powerful offroad light for walking in dimly lit hallways.”
Walters stated that although their concept may seem a little clumsy and heavy at this time, they fully expect the production models to be small wireless modules able to clip onto the shoulders of any dress or dress shirt controlled by Android or iPhones.
“For example, the PSWI app on the employee’s phone will sense when they are stopping or turning and send a signal to the brake or turn indicator lights on their shoulders, giving others around them critical information they need to stay safe. Our prototypes have already reduced serious hallways collisions and fatalities by 25%.”
“And we are already looking beyond the PSWI system.” Walters went on to state. “It’s not just about avoiding walking accidents, it’s about saving lives when they do occur. We are developing a personal airbag system that can be worn around the employee’s chest that will inflate in walking accidents greater than 0.2 mph. We call them Biped’s Overinflated Orbiting Balloon System or BOOBS.”
When asked why they were $10 million dollars and five years behind schedule on their development of BOOBS, Walters replied, “We don’t understand why, but about half our test subjects state they don’t need them while the other half can’t stop playing with them.”
Although OSHA is currently concentrating on making walking safer, they have their sights on two other high risk activities identified by employers: repetitive/stationary movements like sitting in a chair typing on a computer all day and driving to and from work.
When pressed on the fact that most Americans spend their work days doing a majority of these high risk activities, OSHA responded with, “Go take a hike!” It is unknown why OSHA would recommend such a dangerous activity. We can only believe they were smoking something we wish we all had.
At press time OSHA is considering recommending that all Americans quit their jobs due to the exceedingly dangerous conditions at work and US corporations should consider outsourcing all jobs to Pakistan and China where conditions are much safer. They also recommend that employees who leave their jobs should either sue their former employer for any real or perceived injury they received during their lifetime. Either that or invest in winning the lottery.
NOTE: Think this is all made up and B.S.? Think again. You may be surprised if you knew just how much of the above is true and happening right now.
Submit your Comments
Please feel free to comment on this or any other Arizona N2O story by clicking here to go to the Contact Me page. You never know, we may just read them.
More Arizona N2O
Click here to return to the Arizona N2O page.
It is a certainty that most, if not all, of the above information has been made up and is completely false. Mostly.